Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Rona, Jeff. “Making Soundtracks, Part 1: Those Pesky Songs that Show Up in Between Your Cues - Who Puts ’em There, Anyway?” and “Making Soundtracks, Part 2: More On the Differences between the Score and the Soundtrack.” In The Routledge Film Music Sourcebook, ed. James Wierzbicki, Nathan Platte, and Colin Roust, 259-64. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Composers of film scores are not usually involved in the choice of any pre-existing songs that appear within the film, but these works are often very important to both the narrative of the film and to the soundtrack itself. Instead, these choices are made by the music supervisor, who decides what songs should be included in the film, usually with specific feedback from the director. There are completely different budgets for the music supervisor to license films and the film composer to create a new score. The two must coordinate in order to create a score and soundtrack that work together. Sometimes the supervisor has chosen the songs for the film long before the composer is brought onto the project, which can make this collaboration difficult. In other cases, the composer is chosen at the start of the film, which can change the dynamic. The use of the temp score can be a stumbling block to both the composer and music supervisor, who are often asked to emulate the temp track, and directors and writers often request songs from the music supervisor with no thought to how much the licensing fees for those songs cost.

Works: Jay Roach (director): Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (262); Giorgio Moroder: Score to Metropolis (263); Sam Mendes (director): American Beauty (263-64).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Film

Contributed by: Emily Baumgart

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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