Jump to content

Unusual instruments you wish more film scores used...


Matt C
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm referring to instruments mainly used for color or atmosphere, ones you'd wish more film scores would use more often or integrate as a main part (Thomas Newman and Alexandre Desplat seem more willing than others). It can range from the usual ethnic flutes to the Chinese ditzi or something like the glass harmonica.

I love that otherworldly sound of the glass harmonica, one Debbie Wiseman used to excellent effect in Arsene Lupin. Another one is the hammered dulcimer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I would like to hear more, as it has all but disappeared from the film scoring arena, is the sound of separate sections. So many scores seem caught in the "eternal tutti", which makes great tutti writing stand out to less effect. What I'd love to hear more of, is economy. Bring on unusual, colorful combinations in duos, trios etc. Or even entire set pieces conceived for winds alone or brass alone. The funny thing is it won't necessarily sound smaller or less "epic". Another thing I'd like to hear (or write myself, if the opportunity is alloted), is an entirely choral (a cappella) score. And scores for solo instruments, even.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great examples there.Theremin, clarinet (sweetest sound in existence), cymbalon, waterphone and similar ideas to the waterphone. I'll add that I'd like some more bassoon, and also old intruments like oud, cithara, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thing I'd like to hear (or write myself, if the opportunity is alloted), is an entirely choral (a cappella) score. And scores for solo instruments, even.

I noticed a few silent film scores that were played entirely by organ (another underutilized instrument). I forgot the name(s), though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thing I'd like to hear (or write myself, if the opportunity is alloted), is an entirely choral (a cappella) score. And scores for solo instruments, even.

I noticed a few silent film scores that were played entirely by organ (another underutilized instrument). I forgot the name(s), though.

Yes, please, let's have some more organ. I think the reputation of this instrument has been decimated just by the cliché of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor in horror films. It's seriously an amazing instrument, though. The original synthesizer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want more pizzicato!

Like this? And wait, wait, there are woodwinds in it as well! And it doesn't seem like a likely candidate of a movie for this type of instrumentation.

Karol - who would like to hear more woodwinds (basoon, clarinet) in a non-comedic vein

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cimbalom

I love that! I think a score written for cimbalom, choir, hammered dulcimer, and organ is possible. It'd be challenging, but I'd love to hear something like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The harp. Anyone here knows a film score where the harp is the primary central instrument?

Herrmann's Beneath the 12-Mile Reef. Well, not one harp... nine of them.

It's fairly prominent in Herrmann's "Journey to the Center of the EArth" also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Piano is something I definitely want to hear LESS of in todays film scores.

Wait, what? If the score is well-written and properly orchestrated, why should there be less?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Piano is something I definitely want to hear LESS of in todays film scores.

Wait, what? If the score is well-written and properly orchestrated, why should there be less?

I think it's more the fact that, when piano is used today, it's more often than not in a really obvious and pedestrian way. I would have no problem with a piano sensitively and intelligently used in a score, though; if someone can come up with another The Conversation, bring it on.

As for unusual instruments, I'd love to hear Harry Partch's instruments used in (a) film score(s).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Piano is something I definitely want to hear LESS of in todays film scores.

Wait, what? If the score is well-written and properly orchestrated, why should there be less?

I think it's more the fact that, when piano is used today, it's more often than not in a really obvious and pedestrian way.

Exactly.

I hate it when a piano is used for just some unobtrusive tingling.

I loved it in Amazing Spider-Man. But then, it's James Horner. Most other composer today simply ... aren't James Horner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

harpsichord like Johnny Mandel used in his score for Deathtrap.

That score is one of the many gems from 1982, a wonderous year for film and film scores.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cimbalom

I'm starting to feel that the cimbalom is already starting to overstay its welcome in today's film scores, considering its now become a standard element of MV/RC repertoire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to hear more prominent but accompaniement piano parts, like in Snowy's theme. I love a solo piano, but I feel a lot of times people forget that it can be very effective in supporting or interacting with other sections of the orchestra.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to hear more prominent but accompaniement piano parts, like in Snowy's theme. I love a solo piano, but I feel a lot of times people forget that it can be very effective in supporting or interacting with other sections of the orchestra.

...such as "Corey In Jeopardy"...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.