A Look At the Evolution of Musical Underscores
We are so blessed at CSS Music to have David and Eric Wurst in our stable of great composers. This brother team has been composing film music for 25 years (they were 12 and 13 when they began—kidding! Inside Hollywood joke) and have over fifty film credits under their belts. From the beginning, these guys loved—and still love—writing music for motion pictures, video games and theme parks.
How has film music evolved over the years? If you think back to the classic John Williams score for the 1977 “Star Wars,” a new era in writing for the big screen was born. While composers like Max Steiner and Bernard Hermann always brought drama to the table (and most likely influenced Williams,) it was John Williams masterpiece for George Lucas’ first sci-fi adventure that assigned musical motifs to characters that appear throughout the film. Even the opening credits utilized these themes, much like you’d hear in an overture to a musical.
It could be argued that many early composers used similar techniques, such as Max Steiner’s “Tara’s Theme” from “Gone With The Wind.” But Williams elevated use of character motif throughout the entire “Star Wars” score.
While this technique is still employed in epic motion pictures today, the trend of late has been to use familiar contemporary music to capture a mood versus defining characters. Films like “American Hustle,” “Pulp Fiction” and “O Brother Where Art Thou” (to name a few) use pre-recorded songs to create a vibe versus writing to character. While this is an effective direction, it’s also incredibly expensive.
CSS Music is devoted to bringing you music that will best serve your film, doc or television series. Spend some time with our libraries--in particular, Super Themes. We believe once you hear the skill, effort and craftsmanship David Wurst has put into this library, you’ll agree that we have the film music you will “go to” again and again.