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The Written Scores

This is a large topic that I’ve been meaning to tackle, but don’t have too much time to spend on it now.

I studied music in college, which doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’m fascinated it and love to learn.

Until fairly recently, it was almost impossible to get a hold of the actual written film scores to our favorite works. I enquired a few times when I was doing the FSM CDs about also publishing books to the written scores, but it was a non-starter—the publishers basically said no, if we did that, we could no longer control public performances. I also figured there’d be no reasonable way to turn a profit...and I had no clue as to the engraving.

In recent years, a few small press companies have managed to figure out a path: Omni Music Publishing, Chris Siddall Music Services (in England), and Neumation Music.

I’ve tried to get as many of these as I can afford—they are expensive! And I helped out with Omni’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture book, which was terrific fun.

If you’re a musician—or even a dilettante like me—this stuff is the Holy Grail! To see the actual orchestrations, the harmonies, the did he do that? What exactly is that chord? That scale? It’s totally fantastic!

On top of that, a number of...enterprising YouTube channels have taken to creating their own score reductions, playing along with the music and (usually) an inset of the film. One of them is above. They aren’t hard to find.

I find the reductions more useful to understanding the melodic and harmonic content—which is the point. You can see the simplicity and logic of compositions that might be overwhelming in the orchestrated page.

But, of course, they’re still many miles beyond my capability.

Of course, the reductions on YouTube are basically all unauthorized. So I sure hope nobody takes them down!

What a golden era for finally being able to access and study this stuff!

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