Akira Ifukube

Film music in Japan has tended to follow one of two, or perhaps three, directions. Much music is derived from historical Japanese musical traditions, particularly in older films and, of course, historical dramas. But there has been an increasing tendency to adapt Western musical influences, and often composers find themselves alternating between the two modes…

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Alexander Courage

Can you think of one composition by Alexander Courage, apart from the original STAR TREK theme? This article sets out to show that Sandy Courage is under-rated as a composer. As you will be aware, he has worked exclusively as Jerry Goldsmith’s primary orchestrator for a number of years now that Arthur Morton is getting…

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Barry Gray: Music with Strings

Twizzle first introduced Barry Gray to Gerry Anderson, and it was a history-making meeting. Twizzle was a character created by author Roberta Leigh, who was trying to interest producer Anderson in making a series or a film with Twizzle. Barry Gray was the composer who eventually brought Twizzle, and countless other characters, to life through…

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Bill Conti

Named William after his grandfather, Bill Conti was born on April 13, 1942 in Providence, Rhode Island. He joined an Italian-American family whose interests included sculpture, music and painting, but it was the second of those arts which played a major role in the young man’s development: there was a radio on the table at…

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Dimitri Tiomkin’s Golden Decade

Today Dimitri Tiomkin is remembered primarily for his later scores such as THE ALAMO and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE. As enjoyable as these scores are, there is so much more to enjoy in his earlier work. In fact, Tiomkin composed some of the most enthralling music ever to come out of Hollywood. During the 1950s…

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Don Banks

One of the most under-rated British film composers is Don Banks who, while scoring only a handful of films during the 1960’s, left a notable mark on British film music. Bank’s music – particularly that for several Hammer horror films – was amongst its most melodic and evocative compositions, approaching dark subjects in lighter, more…

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Ennio Morricone

Even for those who only go to the movies once or twice a year, the name of Ennio Morricone should bring back good memories. Composer of more than 400 film scores during a career that spans over 40 years (so far), Morricone entered musical legend by composing unforgettable themes to such films as ONCE UPON…

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Franz Waxman

I would like to thank John Waxman for being so willing to answer my array of questions, as well a offering his advice and constructive criticism of my article. Franz Waxman photos courtesy of John Waxman, please visit the Franz Waxman website, which also features a link to the Waxman papers at Syracuse University. Franz…

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George Duning: A Hoosier in Hollywood

George Duning was born in Richmond, Indiana, in 1908. He began his musical career in 1921, when he was thirteen years old. His mother who taught organ and piano wanted the young Duning to study piano seriously, but he opted for the trumpet and had lessons from Herman Wogelmuth, who was first trumpet with the…

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