Settling the Score
By Jon & Andy
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Join Jon and Andy as they explore the world of film music, one score at a time. Each episode is an in-depth discussion of a classic film score: what makes it tick, how it serves the movie, and whether it's, you know, any good. It's a freewheeling, opinionated conversation with an analytical bent, richly illustrated with musical examples. No expertise required. The series begins by tackling “100 Years of Film Scores," the AFI's list of (purportedly) the 25 greatest scores in American cinema history. Jonathan Dinerstein writes music for film and television in Hollywood. Andy Boroson is a music director for theater in New York. They've been chatting together about movie music for 20 years. Join the conversation on Twitter @ScoreSettlers.
||Clean#22 – The Godfather||We’ve made you a podcast you’d be hard-pressed to turn down! We finally cracked the AFI’s top five, with Nino Rota’s score for 1972’s The Godfather. What far-reaching historical traditions does the main theme come from? What somewhat nearer r||9/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#21 – Jaws||You’re not gonna need a bigger podcast – this one’s about John Williams’ 1975 score for Jaws, the #6 score on the AFI’s list! How did Williams change Spielberg’s conception of his own movie? In a score often remembered||8/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#20 – Laura||Not only is it the face in the misty light, but Laura – and its 1944 score by David Raksin – is the #7 on the AFI’s list! What in Raksin’s personal life helped inspire the famous theme melody? Why was it so bewitching for so many performers,||7/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#19 – The Magnificent Seven||Thumbing their nose at the chance for some numerical serendipity, the AFI put Elmer Bernstein’s score for the 1960 epic Western The Magnificent Seven at #8 on their list. What makes this theme such an all-time great? Does this movie deserve it? And, J||7/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#18 – Chinatown||What’s the AFI’s #9 score, by Jerry Goldsmith – did you forget it? It’s Chinatown. What behind-the-scenes intrigue brought Goldsmith to work on this picture? Why is his main theme such a perfect fit for this story? And, what eye-opening scoop di||6/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#17 – High Noon||Don’t worry, we won’t forsake you – we’ve finally cracked the AFI’s top ten, with Dmitri Tiomkin’s score for the classic 1952 western High Noon. How did this movie inadvertently change the whole landscape of the entertainment industry? How s||5/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#16 – The Adventures of Robin Hood||What ho! – #11 on the AFI’s list is Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s score for the 1938 Technicolor romp The Adventures of Robin Hood. Why did Korngold at first think he was the wrong man for the job? What does the score sound like both before and after||5/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#15 – Vertigo||We won’t keep you hanging – #12 on the AFI’s list turns out to be Bernard Herrmann’s score for the 1958 Hitchcock psychological thriller Vertigo! How do Herrmann’s musical suspensions perfectly serve the Master of Suspense?||4/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#14 – King Kong||Rampaging onto the AFI’s list at #13 is Max Steiner’s score for the 1933 fantasy adventure classic King Kong. Did Steiner invent film music in the first place? Does this music have more in common with modern scores or silent film accompaniment? And,||3/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#13 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial||John Williams makes his first appearance on the AFI’s list at #14, with his 1982 score for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Why does this movie ask so much of its music? What’s the relationship between a composer and a temp score? And, how loud ar||3/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#12 – 2018 Oscars Special||In this special super-sized episode, Jon and Andy take a break from their countdown of the AFI’s list, and examine the five films and composers nominated for this year’s Best Original Score Oscar. These wide-ranging scores come at the questio||2/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#11 – Out of Africa||Look, up in the sky, it’s John Barry’s score for 1985’s Out of Africa! In the #15 score on the AFI’s list, does the melody for the famous airplane scene get enough use through the movie? When should the music connect one scene to the next, and w||1/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#10 – Sunset Boulevard||Franz Waxman’s score for 1950’s Sunset Boulevard is ready for its closeup! Jon and Andy bring some differing viewpoints to their discussion of #16 on the AFI’s list. What musical reference joke does Waxman use for his love theme? Should the score||1/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#9 – To Kill A Mockingbird||Jon and Andy are excited to welcome a special guest onto the show! After their discussion of Elmer Bernstein’s score for 1962’s To Kill A Mockingbird, stick around to hear a chat with Emilie Bernstein – Elmer’s daughter and longtime orchestrator||12/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#8 – Planet of the Apes||Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the 1968 sci-fi landmark Planet of the Apes was #18 on the AFI’s list the whole time! What technique does Goldsmith call on to sound so alien? What wacky instruments does he throw into the mix? And have we finally seen th||11/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#7 – A Streetcar Named Desire||Another Kazan/Brando collaboration turns up as the AFI’s #19: it’s Alex North’s score for the 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ stage classic A Streetcar Named Desire. Why is North’s groundbreaking use of jazz so effective? Why was t||11/13/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#6 – The Pink Panther||Now it’s time for the AFI’s #20: Henry Mancini’s score for the 1963 farce The Pink Panther. Why is the iconic Pink Panther tune such a great melody? When does Mancini feel the need to “hit things with the comedy hammer?” And||11/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#5 – Ben-Hur||Miklós Rózsa’s score for the 1959 super-spectacular Ben-Hur trumpets its way onto the AFI’s list at #21. How were biblical epics like comic book movies? In such an immense film with such an immense score, what are the moments that don’t get a||10/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#4 – On the Waterfront||Counting down to #22 on the AFI’s list takes us to Leonard Bernstein’s score for the 1954 classic On the Waterfront. Were Lennie and Elia Kazan making the same movie? Is this the prettiest love theme ever? And, how is Jon’s Marlon Brand||10/23/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#3 – The Mission||#23 on the AFI’s list is Ennio Morricone’s score for the 1986 period drama The Mission. Why is the music accompanying Robert De Niro’s redemption so powerful? Is the “Gabriel’s Oboe” theme too noodly? And, what did Jon say to Ennio when he b||10/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#2 – On Golden Pond||Next up is #24 – Dave Grusin’s score for On Golden Pond (1981). When does Grusin decide to just score the scenery, and when does he dare to get inside Katherine Hepburn’s performance? What changed between 1981 and 1991 about how joy sounds? And wh||10/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#1 – How the West Was Won||Jon and Andy kick off their show by talking about #25 on the AFI’s list – Alfred Newman’s score for the 1962 epic western How the West Was Won. As they figure out what they’re doing, they consider: How should music be used for action sequences?||10/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#0 – Welcome||Jon and Andy introduce themselves, and the show.||10/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
I've always been a fan of movie music...
...but this podcast helped me appreciate it on a new level! Jon and Andy are funny and entertaining but also incredibly knowledgeable, and the way they break down the music in a movie, cue by cue, walking you through what works and why and what they might have done differently is endlessly fun and fascinating.
If you like movie music, or if you just like movies or music, this is truly worth a subscription.
Excellent new podcast!
This fills a big hole in the podcast world. With an insightful and charming take on film music, the hosts are extremely knowledgeable and the musical examples are striking and compelling. Can't wait to hear them agree/quibble with the rest of the scores on the AFI's list.
The best movie music critique podcast I've ever heard!
If you love movies and/or movie music, you should definitely check out this great new podcast. Jon and Andy thoroughly dissect, analyze and geek-out over the greatest movie music ever composed. Production values are fantastic with them playing examples of exactly what they’re discussing so even a casual movie music buff can appreciate their points. Plus, they don’t ever mention Trump. At least not yet. Nice job, guys!
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