Does anyone have a compilation of the background music (not the commercial tunes?) I sent Alf Clausen an e-mail (he has sold his Simpson's soundtrack music) but he has not responded. There is a web site that sells all the commercial tunes (less most of those on the original soundtrack) and I bought that CD set, but haven't found any of the original stuff anywhere either for sale or download.
I suppose there isn't a compilation available then of the background music. This is a bit sad. I read in the Alf Clausen interview where he had all of the material available, but was looking for a distribution outlet. You'd think in this age of iTunes and Napster that he could easily post them for online download or rip a few CDs worth of music and sell them through his website. He wouldn't even need to have a large ad campaign or a ton of stockage since he could just make the copies and ship after the sale.
I haven't received any reply yet to the note I sent to his own site, but maybe if more of us from the forum start asking, we might get him to move on this, before the music is lost to the ages.
Post by beesnbears on Jan 25, 2008 20:07:09 GMT -5
To this day when I watch ML, I am still deeply moved and often brought to tears when the ML theme is played to reveal characters thoughts and emotions.
I would love to have a compilation as well of all the different versions that Alf Clausen arranged. He was a genius with the 20-30 second scenes and the slow theme playing, especially with his use of the harmonica for David. I also enjoyed his explanation of how he made "Zack" in Dream Sequence look like he was really playing the trumpet. Anyone that knows anything about music and composing can really appreciate the way he went about doing this.
Amazingly though, I bet you could turn the volume down and just watch Bruce and Cybill and still get the same effect. Example being when David returns from jail and he sits on the bed listening to Maddie's voice mail and then unpacks. But, boy does the music really top it off!!
I was reading these great analyses of why music plays such a crucial role on "Moonlighting", and they're all on-point, but they're mostly analyses of songs with lyrics -- songs that the characters on the show can hear because they play within the show's universe, eg. in a club a character goes to or on a car radio. These songs would be on the soundtrack, if there were an official soundtrack. But I recently came across this great compilation of instrumental themes from the show that somebody collected by going through all the episodes, and it made me think of the way "Moonlighting" is scored, i.e. melodies without lyrics which are external to the narrative -- they don't play within the show's universe so the characters on the show can't hear them, only the viewers can. These melodies would be on the score, if there were an official score.
I already commented on this in the comments section of the Youtube video, but there is a more lax word limit on here, so I'm posting some more thoughts. This comment is going to be long-ish, so read at your own risk.
I've been reading a lot about the classical approach to scoring Hollywood movies in the '30s and '40s, and how it influenced movie and TV scoring in subsequent decades. "Moonlighting" fits the classical approach to scoring: it has a recurring Romantic (in the sense of Wagnerian) sax leitmotif that plays on top of various melodies at different points all throughout the series.
I always remembered "Moonlighting" having very (lower case 'r') romantic background music, which always made me think of classic Hollywood movies from the '30s and '40s, especially movies with Ingrid Bergman, women's weepies (eg. almost any movie with Bette Davis), and melodramas. Those types of movies have very characteristic musical motifs that are played whenever a particular character is about to appear, to heighten the tension, or to underscore the mood and emotional impact of a scene. These musical motifs or themes are called "leitmotifs" and they originated with Richard Wagner's operas during the period of Romanticism. "Scores" with transcribed leitmotifs were given to audiences at opera concerts and those scores worked as cues for the audience. Basically, they made it easier to follow the "narrative" of the opera. The leitmotif in classic movie scoring has precisely that function.
In classical Hollywood movies, leitmotifs work as cues for the audience. Whenever a musical theme associated with a particular character starts, the audience expects that character to appear. In a way, the purpose of the leitmotif is to guide the audience's responses -- emotional or otherwise -- to a scene. But the main purpose of the leitmotif is to ensure that the movie maintains coherence and continuity from scene to scene. Classic Hollywood movies are narrative-based. The story is the most important thing. Music is an element of narrative. It's supposed to serve the narrative. So leitmotifs in classic Hollywood movies usually play between bits of dialogue, during scene transitions, and generally in moments when there is a break in narrative. They have a practical purpose -- they fill in the missing bits of narrative. They ensure narrative coherence and continuity. They make sure that the movie flows smoothly from one narrative element to the next. Classical movie scoring was characterized by the use of leitmotif. And classical scoring was the dominant mode of movie scoring for years until, in the late '60s, the classical score was replaced by the rock 'n' roll soundtrack, eg. "Easy Rider." There were no recurring instrumental melodies/leitmotifs anymore, just a bunch of rock 'n' roll songs playing at different times throughout the movie, with lyrics paralleling or contradicting the action. The score disappeared, the soundtrack thrived.
The classical approach to scoring resurfaced in the '70s, when Hollywood film-makers like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, who grew up watching classic Hollywood movies and who were classic Hollywood affectionados, used leitmotifs in their movies, eg. the scores to "Star Wars" or "E.T.". Their end of the resurgence of the classical score was motivated by admiration. The leitmotif in "Star Wars" (an old 20th Century-Fox intro music) is monumental, grand, mythical, overblown. It alludes to an earlier approach to scoring, when such an overblown score was not even the least bit ironic because it had a practical purpose (to ensure narrative coherence/continuity and to guide the audience's responses to a scene). On the other end of the '70s, movies like "Young Frankenstein" made fun of the leitmotif and classical scoring. "Young Frankenstein" makes fun of the leitmotif and the idea that the viewer needs musical cues to guide them. Such guidance tends to make the viewer a passive spectator who has to have everything spelled out for them, for instance by the use of musical motifs. The movie parodies classical scoring and the leitmotif even as it pays tribute to the classic Hollywood monster movies of the '30s. In "Young Frankenstein", the leitmotif is parodied as follows: whenever a female character name Frau Blucher is about to appear, someone yells "Frau Blucher", "Blucher", there's a sound of a thunder, or there's a horse whiny sound. What those two approaches to classical scoring as exemplified by "Star Wars" and "Young Frankenstein" have in common is that the function of the leitmotif changes. The leitmotif no longer has a practical purpose (to ensure narrative coherence and continuity/to guide the audience's response to a scene). It has a purely aesthetic one: 1) homage, in the case of "Star Wars", 2) parody, in the case of "Young Frankenstein."
"Moonlighting" is a bit like "Star Wars" in its approach to scoring because the recurring leitmotifs on "Moonlighting" are like tributes/homages to classical Hollywood scoring, especially scores by Bernard Herrmann, John Barry and Hans Zimmer. I always think of these three as classical movie composers, in the sense of their use of the leitmotif, eg. the "Midnight Cowboy" score, the "Taxi Driver" score, or the score to "Thelma and Louise." I always think of these three composers in relation to "Moonlighting" because their scores always have these recurring romantic motifs that totally enhance the scenes they appear in in a purely aesthetic way -- their leitmotifs don't have a practical purpose (they're not needed for narrative coherence/continuity), just a purely aesthetic one. And that's how I tend to think of the leitmotifs on "Moonlighting": the show pays tribute to the classic Hollywood movies of the '30s and '40s ("The Thin Man", "His Girl Friday", "Adam's Rib", "It Happened One Night", "My Man Godfrey", "His Lady Eve", etc.) on the level of narrative (the story); and it pays tribute to classical scoring in its use of the leitmotif. There are so many layers to this show, and I keep unpeeling new layers, and it makes me love the show so much!
"Moonlighting" is actually a special case of a classical score in the '80s. Classical scoring with a recurring leitmotif went away in the '80s and was (once again) replaced by the rock soundtrack (as it was before in the '60s with the biker movie soundtrack/in the late-'70s with the success of the "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease" soundtracks). The soundtrack permeates '80s blockbusters, teen comedies and action movies, eg. "Top Gun", "Cobra", "Sixteen Candles", etc. Just about every movie in the '80s had a soundtrack, but not all had a score ("Lethal Weapon" has a great one, or at least I think so).
I was also thinking about how there is an instrumental Maddie's theme (but no David's theme), sort of like you have an instrumental Scully's theme on "The X-Files" (but no Mulder's theme). Both women are associated with what are considered lyrics-less types of music: classical and jazz, respectively, so the leitmotif fits them better. Their male counterparts are associated with music with lyrics: David listens to Motown/rock and Mulder worships Elvis/rock (he visits Graceland and calls it an almost religious experience). In a way, Maddie and David as characters represent two approaches to film/TV scoring: David is like the soundtrack, Maddie is like the score. So the use of score for Maddie and soundtrack (Motown/rock) for David makes sense.
Whew, I'm done. Sorry for the length of this comment. It's just something I've been thinking about lately, something I'm passionate about, and I wanted to share my thoughts with fellow "Moonlighting" fanatics. Hopefully some of it makes sense because I sat down and kind of typed it all up in one continuous sitting. Hopefully the logic that flew smoothy in my head as I was typing this translates. Anywho, thanks for reading.
Last Edit: Dec 7, 2012 1:39:15 GMT -5 by maddieson
As in Maddie and David Addison.
Maddie Hayes: "For what it's worth, dead bodies and all, I did have fun, tons of fun."
I've enjoyed your recent posts, but particularly this one.
I too have always loved the incidental music. Alf Clausen was a genius to write all of the different maniupations and inversions of the theme. It's almost like he created windows for the audience to peek through and see David and Maddie's souls. Some scenes wouldn't be the same without the piano playing Maddie's theme or the harmonica playing David's.
Try it....turn the volume off when David returns from prison or when Maddie is folding laundry and comes across a maternity t-shirt. While they both do a fabulous job in those scenes, the music enhances their performance tremendously.
Hey, everyone! I've been a fan since my college years (2007-2010), but I've only recently found this website. It's so nice to find this outlet, because none of my friends ever know what I'm talking about! lol
Since there aren't any instrumental tracks available (believe me, I have SEARCHED like no other), I convinced my friend to compile a video of most of the tunes. Keep in mind that some of these have background noise, so it's nothing perfect. Hope you guys enjoy!:
Anyway, I was wondering if maybe we could get a petition to have the musical scores released? If I'm not mistaken, that's how we got the DVD's... Regardless, I felt the musical cues added SO MUCH to this show! Remember the scene in the elevator (in Between a Yuk and a Hard Place) where they broke down over the miscarriage? I thought that was SO beautiful, and it was only a really slow, mellower version of the theme. <3
Post by kendraluehr on Dec 10, 2012 22:58:47 GMT -5
Thank you! <3 And you're very welcome. I'm not sure who was responsible for convincing them to release the DVDs, but I would love to somehow get them involved for this. I think it'd be a wonderful addition to the available ML merchandise.
The answer to the question really depends on who you ask....lol. The important thing is that we actually DO have the DVDs, right?
I probably can't speak for all of the members of the DVD campaign, but I really wouldn't have the time to devote to the cause right now. If you ask around, there are some good fan made music anthologies of the series.
If you'd like to go the petition route, I'd be happy to give you some ideas and tips, but it would have to be your project, I think, unless you can muster some volunteers to help.
"I don't have a disease...I have a difference of opinion." ~ Maddie Hayes