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Korngold and His World$
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Daniel Goldmark and Kevin C. Karnes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691198293

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691198293.001.0001

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Some Experiences in Film Music

Some Experiences in Film Music

(p.247) Some Experiences in Film Music
Korngold and His World

Erich Wolfgang Korngold

, Daniel Goldmark
Princeton University Press

This chapter provides some insight into the steep learning curve Erich Korngold faced when he first arrived in Hollywood. Korngold points out that, though no one questioned his abilities as a composer for the stage and concert hall, he essentially knew nothing about the integration of music into film from a technical standpoint. He quickly mentions the composer's “most hated rival,” the film's dialogue, as being distracting to the creation of the score, not to mention the sound effects, both of which typically end up dominating the music in traditional Hollywood soundtracks. As a composer of opera and operetta, Korngold had much experience in writing music that would express and articulate drama that was not yet realized. Not so with cinema, in which Korngold received a largely completed record of a performance—the film itself—for which he would have to create a musical illustration of what he saw. No surprise, then, that he extols the virtues of writing music without needing to be tethered constantly to the restrictions of a click track or even the finished film.

Keywords:   film music, Hollywood, cinema, film dialogue, Hollywood soundtracks, sound effects, Erich Korngold

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