Film Music 101: Compilation Score

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Unlike an original film score, which is composed specifically for the film, the compilation score consists of background music that is assembled entirely from pre-existing material.

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Copyright © 1967 by Embassy Pictures

Using Simon & Garfunkel songs for the score had a big impact on later film music

Compilation scores really took off in the mid-1960s after the 1967 film The Graduate featured a score consisting entirely of Simon & Garfunkel music (including “The Sound of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson.”).  Compilation scores can also be known as pop scores if the pre-existing music consists of pop songs.

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Another example of the compilation score is 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Most infamously, Stanley Kubrick rejected composer Alex North’s original score at the last minute and retained the film’s temp track (consisting of classical pieces) as the film’s final score.

 

The advent of compilation scores led older film composers to bemoan the growing belief that the classic film score (as created in the 1930s) was “dead and buried.” While this appeared to be true for a time (as compilation scores became exceptionally popular), original film scores never fully stopped being created, they were merely placed on the back burner for a decade or so until John Williams stepped up with his earth-shattering score for Star Wars (1977).

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See also:

Film Music 101: Borrowing

Film Music 101: Arranger

Film Music 101: Anempathetic sound

Film Music 101: Empathetic Sound

Film Music 101: Foley

Film Music 101: Mickey Mousing

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

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15 thoughts on “Film Music 101: Compilation Score

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

  2. Pingback: Film Music 101: Arranger | Film Music Central

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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