Film Music 101: Arranger

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Another individual (or group of individuals) who serve an important function in getting a film score put together is the arranger.

An arranger should not be confused with an orchestrator. An orchestrator takes the composer’s piano score and fleshes it out into a full-bodied orchestral score. Arrangement, by contrast, takes a pre-existing musical work and re-arranges it by adding new musical themes, new transitions or whatever is necessary to make an old work fit in a new context.

Take for example the main theme from the Mission Impossible film series. The title theme (featuring a lighted fuse) was taken from the original theme written for the television series in the 1960s.

The Mission Impossible film series now contains five films: Mission Impossible (1996), Mission Impossible II (2000), Mission Impossible III (2006), Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015), with Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) coming out later this summer. For each film’s title sequence, the music has been arranged to fit the context of the new film, though the core of the music remains intact. Listen to the examples below and you’ll see what I mean (the biggest contrast, in my opinion, comes in the title sequence for Mission Impossible II, it has a definitive 2000-era vibe).

You can thank the arranger for the different sound of the music in each title sequence. So hard to believe that the first Mission Impossible movie opened TWENTY YEARS AGO!! Hope you enjoyed!

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For more Film Music 101: see here

See also:

Film Music 101: Anempathetic sound

Film Music 101: Empathetic Sound

Film Music 101: Foley

Film Music 101: Montage

Film Music 101: Compilation Score

Film Music 101: “Stinger” Chords

Film Music 101: Dubbing

Film Music 101: Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music

Film Music 101: Underscore

Film Music 101: Sidelining

Film Music 101: “Test” Lyrics

Film Music 101: The First Film Score

Film Music 101: Borrowing

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17 thoughts on “Film Music 101: Arranger

  1. Pingback: Film Music 101: Montage | Film Music Central

  2. Pingback: Film Music 101: Mickey Mousing | Film Music Central

  3. Pingback: Film Music 101: Compilation Score | Film Music Central

  4. Pingback: Film Music 101: “Test” Lyrics | Film Music Central

  5. Pingback: Film Music 101: Orchestration and cues | Film Music Central

  6. Pingback: Film Music 101: Underscore | Film Music Central

  7. Pingback: Film Music 101: Anempathetic sound | Film Music Central

  8. Pingback: Film Music 101: Leitmotif | Film Music Central

  9. Pingback: Film Music 101: Sidelining | Film Music Central

  10. Pingback: Film Music 101: Borrowing | Film Music Central

  11. Pingback: Film Music 101: Dubbing | Film Music Central

  12. Pingback: Film Music 101: Music Editor | Film Music Central

  13. Pingback: Film Music 101: “Stinger” Chords | Film Music Central

  14. Pingback: Film Music 101: Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music | Film Music Central

  15. Pingback: Film Music 101: Empathetic Sound | Film Music Central

  16. Pingback: Film Music 101: The Temp Track | Film Music Central

  17. Pingback: Film Music 101: The Click Track | Film Music Central

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