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    • CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007
    Personally, when first listening to a score it takes me several listens to really get anything out of it. Never fails. I could never judge music by that first listen alone, it has to grow on me a bit.

    Is this true for anyone else here, or is that first impression enough to tell you if you either like it or don't want to bother with it again?
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007 edited
    The first impression is virtually NEVER enough to give you an adequate overall impression on a musical work in general, especially if its programme music (i.e. film music as well). The only way to get the whole picture and appreciate a film score entirely is through repeated and focused listens but also by observing its function within the movie it accompanies. I’d further suggest that the film music trends of today also suffer from rushed opinions floating around.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
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      CommentAuthorSteven
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007 edited
    Christodoulides wrote
    I’d further suggest that the film music trends of today also suffer from rushed opinions floating around.


    Whether this is a 'sign of the times' though is debatable. It's human nature to react on your initial opinions, especially ones of extreme disappointment or vice-versa. (Jordi being the most prolific example of that from this board.)
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007 edited
    I know what you’re saying Steven and you’re right. But those “tactics” will always pale in comparison with extreme opinions which are simultaneously in fact well-grounded and justified opinions and therefore valid and justified, something that only derives through long, repeated and careful listens in preparation of reviews.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
    • CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007
    Yeah, I have always maintained that seeing the film - after all this is film music we're talking about - is very important to understanding why the music is the way it is. Whether or not that will change someone's enjoyment of it is entirely personal, but anyone and everyone can benefit from more understanding, as it helps to avoid such snap judgments.

    I get that the music should be strong enough to stand on its own, but that's not why it was created in the first place.
  1. Not for me. My first impression when listening to THE GOLDEN COMPASS for example was a bit muted. I'll never play a soundtrack for the first time on those speakers again, but this just isn't a score you can quite 'get' the first time around.
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
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      CommentAuthorlp
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007
    Interesting thread. I think there are many way to approach this.

    1. If you were to buy the music without seeing the movie, then you're treating the score as pure music, not music that was meant to be accompanied with something else. If so, the music should give you something to grasp onto, to maintain your interest, throughout that first listen. Unless....
    2. You got the album due to how it worked/affected you while watching the movie. Then the score might encourage further listening where the depth of the music would be explored.
    3. You have the whole user recommended issue, where you got the score because of the acclaims people have given it. That's something else where, if the first listen does disappoints, you might be more inclined to give it more attention.



    Regardless
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007
    Nick wrote
    I get that the music should be strong enough to stand on its own, but that's not why it was created in the first place.


    Indeed but that is as long the actual value and importance of film music is never diminished by notions that support it can only be understood and appreciated through the film it accompanies. The former can be often enhanced or elevated through the latter indeed but the majority of film music which is simultaneously good music is not a part of an integral couple.

    As i said in the mmuk board under a perfect topic sadhttp://mmuk64.proboards42.com/index.cgi … amp;page=1)

    Does film music need the movie to be understood?

    "Only if you need to see a swan slowly swimming in circles around a lake in order to understand and appreciate Jean Sibelius' "The Swan of Tuonela".

    Or if you can't understand Tchaikosfky's gorgeous ballets or Wagner's magnificent operas without actually having the visuals directly in front of you. "
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007
    Interesting thread, I'll come back on this one.

    Agree with Michael on Golden Compass, it's really grown on me.
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
    • CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007 edited
    Christodoulides wrote


    As i said in the mmuk board under a perfect topic sadhttp://mmuk64.proboards42.com/index.cgi … amp;page=1)


    I'm not a member of that board, but the guy who started that thread "thelistener", posts the same topics on the Filmtracks board as well, and he got the subject from my many remarks about seeing a film to better understand a score on the Hornershrine, as he is a member there as well. His actual name is Kevin Smith, and no, not "Silent Bob".


    So I'm taking it back so to speak.

    biggrin
    • CommentAuthorAnthony
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007
    Nick wrote
    Personally, when first listening to a score it takes me several listens to really get anything out of it. Never fails. I could never judge music by that first listen alone, it has to grow on me a bit.

    Is this true for anyone else here, or is that first impression enough to tell you if you either like it or don't want to bother with it again?


    Absolutly not. As shocking as it sounds, on first listen, I HATED The Incredibles. Now it's one of my favourite scores. smile
    • CommentAuthorpmrsim
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007
    First impressions are nothing! There are so many scores that I couldn't get my head around during the first listen, but later... they've become favorites. Llike Alien 3, Interview with the Vampire, Horse Whisperer, Schindler's List ... even The Rock -- these are scores that, at first listen, I wasnt sure what to think of them. Now they're all favorites for their own individual reasons.
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      CommentAuthorRalph Kruhm
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007 edited
    I think film music should be judged based on its purpose, whether it works in the movie or not.

    Everything beyond that is based on taste. Nothing else.

    Some people tend to overanalyze a score until they discover two dozen themes in Michael Collins, others throw away a thematically rich and complex score like Golden Compass as boring after one listen and never return to it.

    Personally I tend to listen to a CD at least once and decide then whether I liked it immediately or that I should try to appreciate it at a later point in my life, which may never come for some Elfman scores. tongue

    That said, no, I don´t think a score should be judged after the first listen.
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      CommentAuthorDavid
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2007
    I agree with a lot of what's been said already. I honestly don't remember the last time a score made a really strong impression on me the first time around. It takes me two listens at the very least to get a grasp on the music. When I first listened to Atonement, I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about, but the more I listened to it, the more and more it grew on me, and now it's my favorite score of the year.

    As to whether a score needs to be heard in it's respective film -- I think it definitely helps. Seeing Atonement certainly raised my opinion of the score. I've probably got 400 or more scores that I have never seen the movie they were written for, but I still enjoy them. However, I think it's interesting to point out that I've seen the films to all of my absolute favorite scores. That connection between the film and music definitely raises their enjoyment when listening to them alone. Whether I'm thinking about the scenes from the film while listening to the music or not, I'm sure there's a subconscious connection by mind is making between the two which heightens my enjoyment.
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      CommentAuthorBobdH
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007 edited
    Steven wrote
    Christodoulides wrote
    I’d further suggest that the film music trends of today also suffer from rushed opinions floating around.


    Whether this is a 'sign of the times' though is debatable. It's human nature to react on your initial opinions, especially ones of extreme disappointment or vice-versa. (Jordi being the most prolific example of that from this board.)


    Yet it's the availability of the music nowadays which makes it a 'sign of the times', in my opinion. For example, when I did not have the internet yet to go freely and discover every new soundtrack that was going around, and when my pocketmoney was limited to only 1 CD every few months (or so), I only had a few CD's: Jurassic Park and Casper, most prominently. And those scores I listened to a lot. At first, there were just highlights on them I really appreciated, but after listening to it repeatedly, ultimately, I loved them from start to finish. I did so, because I could focus completely on them. Although I think it is possible to completely love a score from the beginning to end, it's only untill repeated listens and you know every note by heart, you can truly say it's a personal experience.

    But nowadays, when every score is for the taking and you 'need' to hear everything that comes out, the focus is gone. You want to give Lust / Caution several listens, but you also have to listen to The Golden Compass, and what not, since every week sees another scorerelease to listen to, to have an opinion about and to talk about. With so easy access to so many scores, which is definitely something the digital age gave us, every score is way less special. And if you're not swept away with something the first (few) time(s), there are enough other scores waiting to give it a go. And you are able to choose between rediscovering something you already heard, and discovering something new. Quite often, the latter choice wins.

    It's a luxury problem, but sometimes I just choose not to get the newest scores and wait till I've really grown tired with the ones I already got. We just don't appreciate the stuff anymore that we have. And if we just didn't download all that music, I guess it'll be a lot more special again when we purchased a CD.

    Me, myself, I tend to listen to the music on bed, with my headphones, in the dark, where it's possible to fully concentrate on the music. And then, as opposed to hearing it with the stereo while doing something else (even if that's just random surfing on the net), it is possible, I feel, to really discover the themes of a score on the first listen. Yet, the second listen brings a whole new emotional level to it; there are no expectations anymore and you know what you're going to hear, how long it is, when you reach the finale, etc., so, on a conscious level or not, you're bound to have different feelings about it. Plus, you don't need to worry about if it's good or not.

    Yet, most often, you never fully appreciate the true masterpieces on the first listen. Because the really original scores, where the composer is doing the unexpected, are most often the best works and those are the ones we will remember. And on the first listen, you don't get what you were expecting, so you're often disappointed. You never truly expect originality, because you're basing your expectations on works you can relate to. Yet when a composer gives in to your expectations, you will feel satisfied at first, but will discover the unoriginality on later listens and it will sooner feel as a stereotypical, 'normal' score.

    Ah, darn, I've got quite some thoughts on it, and they all seem to contradict each other, but this is about the way I think about it, rubbish ramblings or not wink
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    Not rubbish, not ramblings; nice reads instead, bring 'em in! wave
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    I'll happily judge anything at first view or listen.
    Doesn't mean I won't return to it though, but it's a very rare case indeed where my opinion will change radically. Most often I find that maybe my first inkling to have a composer slowly beheaded with a particularly rusty piano wire may have been slightly harsh and a quick firing squad will suffice nicely instead.

    But these are mere nuances, and a softening of an opinion that at its core remains unchanged.
    In general, and in a binary good-bad context, I find that my first impression therefore is quite suited to represent my taste.

    I do not need (nor enjoy) having to have my music or indeed its context explained to me.
    Amazingly I tend to know what I like.
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
    • CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    The issue of context isn't meant to clarify what you do and do not like about something, it's about understanding why some element is there at all.

    Why is the same theme repeated over and over? Why is there some damned chanting going on every couple of minutes in track 4? Stuff like that can be placed in the appropriate context when seeing the visuals that the music was written for. You may continue to hate that element, but what's wrong with having an understanding of why it's there, right?
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    Nothing at all wrong with an understanding of why it's there.
    In fact there's just as little wrong with that as with not giving a hoot for why it's there and just enjoying it in its own right. smile
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007 edited
    Screw the films, I'm only in it for the music. smile

    Oh, and first impressions are important, but I always give my CD's second chances unless the first impression was REEEEALLY way off.
    I am extremely serious.
  2. Many first listens are screwed just because you´re in the wrong mood for a specific score. If I´m depressed, I won´t give a score like Sinbad a chance. If I´m in the mood for action, I doubt that Snow Falling on Cedars will survive for ten seconds. So either I wait for the perfect mood or i just give it another chance later.

    Which is why I still haven´t heard my new AVP:R score... biggrin
    • CommentAuthorKatiek
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    The scores that I truly love, I usually know I love them on first listen. However, for the scores that I simply liked or didn't like that much on first listen, often a second or third listen makes me appreciate it a little more. But a second or third listen rarely moves a score into the "love" category.

    But I'm a sucker for lush, romantic themes and dramatic scores, and they generally are pretty easy to identify on first listens.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    Thor wrote
    Screw the films, I'm only in it for the music. smile

    Oh, and first impressions are important, but I always give my CD's second chances unless the first impression was REEEEALLY way off.


    Mostly agree with you Thor, a very large percentage of scores I have, particularly continental scores are from films I've never seen and a reasonable percentage of those are scores I really love.
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
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      CommentAuthorDemonStar
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    Interesting thred moon There are many scores which I liked/disliked on first listen, but listening to them more changed my opinion. Eg: I disliked Beowulf when I first listened to it, but I eventually got used to the themes and favoured them.

    lp wrote
    Interesting thread. I think there are many way to approach this.

    1. If you were to buy the music without seeing the movie, then you're treating the score as pure music, not music that was meant to be accompanied with something else. If so, the music should give you something to grasp onto, to maintain your interest, throughout that first listen. Unless....
    2. You got the album due to how it worked/affected you while watching the movie. Then the score might encourage further listening where the depth of the music would be explored.
    3. You have the whole user recommended issue, where you got the score because of the acclaims people have given it. That's something else where, if the first listen does disappoints, you might be more inclined to give it more attention.



    Regardless


    Absolutely right. There are scores which are intended only for the movies but not so interesting on their own, while there are scores which are excellent both on screen and on CD. Eg: there are cues in Toy Story 2 (Randy Newman) which work perfect onscreen but listening to them on CD, they are not that much fun IMO.

    And of course it all depends on one's taste cool
  3. For me, I rarely see a movie before I have the music - so the music has an effect on me as pure music rather than being associated with the movie itself. Or the music is seen (and heard) as another example of a favourite composer, etc.

    I find that I get a very general like/loathe feel for the music when I listen to a CD the first time - and many times that opinion can be based upon clips. I know it's dangerous to base an opinion on clips as I have several good examples where the best 30 seconds of a score is a clip and the rest of the score does nothing for me. Then I listen to the CD and my initial opinion is refined down to favourite cues, how a theme(s) is/are developed or presented in various forms, etc.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
    • CommentAuthorPanthera
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    It can go either way. Sometimes a first impression will stay, while other times it will not. Normally if I like something a lot on the first listen I will continue liking it. And sometimes when I don't like something on the first listen I will eventually like it a lot, which was the case for several of my Bruce Broughton scores.
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    For me... the truly GREAT scores are the ones that make a great first impression. Most of, if not, ALL of my favorite score of all time made an immediate impact on me. However, there have been some scores that need multiple listens to truly appreciate but NONE of those are going to be on my ALL TIME list.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
    • CommentAuthorJoep
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2007 edited
    I disagree with almost everyone who says a first impression isn't enough. With 90 % of the scores I've got my final verdict ready, and can spot a masterpiece right away. Later on I might change some ratings or feelings about a certain work a little bit, but that happens with a low percentage. I've once talked to someone about rating scores, and he asked my why I still keep on changing ratings quite a lot... Well, it's not so much that I've changed my mind so much on a score after a first listen, , but that it's just very hard to rate. I still feel exactly the same thing for certain music, but just felt the rating didn't match that. I don't want to say music never gets better or worse after a few times, but it's only less regular for me.
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2008
    Joep wrote
    ...and can spot a masterpiece right away.


    Exactly!

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
    • CommentAuthortjguitar
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2008
    Erik Woods wrote
    For me... the truly GREAT scores are the ones that make a great first impression. Most of, if not, ALL of my favorite score of all time made an immediate impact on me. However, there have been some scores that need multiple listens to truly appreciate but NONE of those are going to be on my ALL TIME list.

    -Erik-



    Absolutely agree with Erik.