https://work.chron.com/much-money-average-film-scorer-make-15385.htmlA film score (also sometimes called background score background music, film soundtrack, film music, or incidental music) is original music written specifically to accompany a film for the actors. The score forms part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes pre-existing music, dialogue and sound effects, and comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question. Scores are written by one or more composers, under the guidance of, or in collaboration with, the film's director or producer and are then usually performed by an ensemble of musicians – most often comprising an orchestra or band, instrumental soloists, and choir or vocalists – known as playback singers and recorded by a sound engineer.
Film scores encompass an enormous variety of styles of music, depending on the nature of the films they accompany. The majority of scores are orchestral works rooted in Western classical music, but many scores are also influenced by jazz, rock, pop, blues, new-age and ambient music, and a wide range of ethnic and world music styles. Since the 1950s, a growing number of scores have also included electronic elements as part of the score, and many scores are written today feature a hybrid of orchestral and electronic instruments.
Since the invention of digital technology and audio sampling, many modern films have been able to rely on digital samples to imitate the sound of live instruments, and many scores are created and performed wholly by the composers themselves, by using music composition software.
Songs are usually not considered part of the film's score, although songs do also form part of the film's soundtrack. Although some songs, especially in musicals, are based on thematic ideas from the score (or vice versa), scores usually do not have lyrics, except for when sung by choirs or soloists as part of a cue. Similarly, pop songs which are "needle dropped" into a specific scene in film for added emphasis are not considered part of the score, although occasionally the score's composer will write an original pop song based on their themes, such as James Horner's "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic, written for Celine Dion.
Most films have between 40 and 120 minutes of music. However, some films have very little or no music; others may feature a score that plays almost continuously throughout.
In some instances, film composers have been asked by the director to imitate a specific composer or style present in the temp track. On other occasions, directors have become so attached to the temp score that they decide to use it and reject the original score written by the film composer. One of the most famous cases is Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, where Kubrick opted for existing recordings of classical works, including pieces by composer György Ligeti rather than the score by Alex North, although Kubrick had also hired Frank Cordell to do a score. Other examples include Torn Curtain (Bernard Herrmann), Troy (Gabriel Yared), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Alan Silvestri), Peter Jackson's King Kong (Howard Shore), and The Bourne Identity (Carter Burwell).
Films often have different themes for important characters, events, ideas or objects, an idea often associated with Wagner's use of leitmotif. These may be played in different variations depending on the situation they represent, scattered amongst incidental music.
This common technique may often pass unnoticed by casual moviegoers but has become well known among genre enthusiasts. One prominent example is John Williams' score for the Star Wars saga, and the numerous themes in Star Wars music associated with individual characters such as Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia. Similarly, the music of the Lord of the Rings film series featured recurring themes for many main characters and places. Another notable example is Jerry Goldsmith's Klingon theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), which later composers in the Star Trek film series quoted in their Klingon motifs, and which was included on numerous occasions as a theme for Worf, the franchise's most prominent Klingon character. Michael Giacchino employed character themes in the soundtrack for the 2009 animated film Up, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Score. His orchestral soundtrack for the television series Lost also depended heavily on character and situation-specific themes.
"Source music" (or a "source cue") comes from an on-screen source that can actually be seen or that can be inferred (in academic film theory such music is called "diegetic" music, as it emanates from the "diegesis" or "story world"). An example of "source music" is the use of the Frankie Valli song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" in Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter. Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 thriller The Birds is an example of a Hollywood film with no non-diegetic music whatsoever. Dogme 95 is a filmmaking movement, started in Denmark in 1995, with a manifesto that prohibits any use of non-diegetic music in its films.