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Pod filmskom glazbom uglavnom se podrazumijeva glazba koja je skladana posebno za film. Stvara atmosferu (ugoaj) pri gledanju filma i potpomae njegovu promociju .
Ukoliko bi se film gledao bez glazbene pratnje (ali s tonom), doivjeli bi ga dvodimenzionalno bez emocionalne i dublje povezanosti s radnjom. Filmsku glazbu najee izvode orkestri, koji variraju u svojoj veliini.
Filmska glazba pokree razne emocije kod gledatelja filma: umiruje, strai, uznemirava, potie osjeaj mrnje ili simpatije.
Glazba nam moe unaprijed rei kakav e biti karakter lika u filmu, kao to je to izvrsno prikazala tema Dartha Vadera u filmu "Star Wars Episode V" skladatelja J. Williamsa.
Glazba ne mora biti uvijek skladana za odreeni film, a da ga uzdigne i zauvijek se uz njega vee kao to je npr. djelo R. Straussa "Also sprach Zarathustra" u filmu "2001.: Odiseja u svemiru" od Stanleya Kubricka.
Moe nas predvidljivo voditi kroz film ili zbuniti. Tako se primjerice glazbena dionica iz Hitchcockovog filma Psycho, koja je pratila legendarnu scenu tuiranja, kasnije izvodila i u drugim filmovima poput komedije "Policijska akademija". Slinu sudbinu imala je i poznata glazbena pozadina velike bijele psine Spielbergova filma Ralje, koja se takoer ponavljala najee u komedijama.
Pop glazba moe isto tako biti dio filma, ali ona uglavnom nije posebno pisana za taj film i najee ima drugu funkciju (vidi soundtrackUsually, after the film has been shot (or some shooting has been completed), the composer is shown an unpolished "rough cut" of the film (or of the scenes partially finished), and talks to the director about what sort of music (styles, themes, etc.) should be used this process is called "spotting." More rarely, the director will talk to the composer before shooting has started, so as to give more time to the composer or because the director needs to shoot scenes (namely song or dance scenes) according to the final score. Sometimes the director will have edited the film using "temp (temporary) music": already published pieces that are similar to what the director wants. Most film composers[who?] strongly dislike temp music, as directors[who?] often become accustomed to it and push the composers to be imitators rather than creators.On certain occasions, directors have become so attached to the temp score that they decide to use it and reject the score custom-made by a composer. One of the most famous cases is Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, where Kubrick opted for existing recordings of classical works rather than the score by Alex North, which eventually led to a law suit by composer Gyrgy Ligeti when he was surprised to hear his compositions in a motion film; though one should note Kubrick hired two composers (the other Frank Cordell) to do a score, and while North's 2001 is indeed a famous example, it is not the sole example of well-known rejected scores. Others include Torn Curtain (Bernard Herrmann), Troy (Gabriel Yared), Peter Jackson's King Kong (Howard Shore) and the The Bourne Identity (John Powell).Once a composer has the film, they will then work on creating the score. While some composers prefer to work with traditional paper scores, many film composers write in a computer-based environment. This allows the composer and orchestrator to create MIDI-based demos of themes and cues, called MIDI mockups, for review by the filmmaker prior to the final orchestral recording. Some films are then re-edited to better fit the music. Instances of this include the collaborations between filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass, where over several years the score and film are edited multiple times to better suit each other. Similar to these are the associations between Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. In the finale of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Morricone had prepared the score used before and Leone edited the scenes to match it. His other two famous films, Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America, were completely edited to Morricone's score as the composer had prepared it months before the film's production. Another example is the famous chase scene in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The score, composed by long-time collaborator John Williams, proved so difficult to synchronize in this specific scene during the recording sessions that, as recounted in a companion documentary on the DVD, Spielberg gave Williams carte blanche and asked him to record the cue without picture, freely; Spielberg then re-edited the scene later on to perfectly match the music.
When the music has been composed and orchestrated, the orchestra or ensemble then performs it, often with the composer conducting. Musicians for these ensembles are often uncredited in the film or on the album and are contracted individually (and if so, the orchestra contractor is credited in the film or the soundtrack album). However, some films have recently begun crediting the contracted musicians on the albums under the name Hollywood Studio Symphony after an agreement with the American Federation of Musicians. Other performing ensembles that are often employed include the London Symphony Orchestra, the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (an orchestra dedicated exclusively to recording), and the Northwest Sinfonia.
The orchestra performs in front of a large screen depicting the movie, and sometimes to a series of clicks called a "click-track" that changes with meter and tempo, assisting the conductor to synchronize the music with the film.Films often have different themes for important characters, events, ideas or objects, taking the idea from Wagner's use of leitmotif. These may be played in different variations depending on the situation they represent, scattered amongst incidental music. A famous example of this technique is John Williams' score for the Star Wars saga, and the numerous themes associated with characters like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia Organa (see Star Wars music for more details). The Lord of the Rings trilogy uses a similar technique, with recurring themes for many main characters and places. Others are less known by casual moviegoers, but well known among score enthusiasts, such as Jerry Goldsmith's underlying theme for the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact, or his Klingon theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture which other composers carry over into their Klingon motifs, and he has brought back on numerous occasions as the theme for Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation's most prominent Klingon. Up, the 2009 animated film, used character themes and received the Academy Award for Best Score in the 82nd Academy Awards Ceremony.
In 1983, a non-profit organization, the Society for the Preservation of Film Music, was actually formed to preserve the "byproducts" of creating a film score: the music manuscripts (written music) and other documents and studio recordings generated in the process of composing and recording scores which, in some instances, have been discarded by the movie studios. The written music must be kept to perform the music on concert programs and to make new recordings of it. Sometimes only after decades has an archival recording of a film score been released on CD.
 Source musicMost 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. Dogme 95 is a genre that has music only from sources within a film, such as from a radio or television. This is called "source music" (or a "source cue") because it 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"). A famous 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 a rare example of a Hollywood film with no non-diegetic music whatsoever.
 Historical notesBefore the age of recorded sound in motion pictures, great effort was taken to provide suitable music for films, usually through the services of an in-house pianist or organist, and, in some cases, entire orchestras, typically given cue sheets as a guide. In 1914, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company sent full-length scores by Louis F. Gottschalk for their films. Other examples of this include Victor Herbert's score in 1915 to Fall of a Nation (a sequel to Birth of a Nation) and Camille Saint-Sans' music for The Assassination of the Duke of Guise in 1908 arguably the very first in movie history. It was preceded by Nathaniel D. Mann's score for The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays by four months, but that was a mixture of interrelated stage and film performance in the tradition of old magic lantern shows. Most accompaniments at this time, these examples notwithstanding, comprised pieces by famous composers, also including studies. These were often used to form catalogues of film music, which had different subsections broken down by 'mood' and/or genre: dark, sad, suspense, action, chase, etc. This made things much easier for the in-house pianists and orchestras to pick pieces that fitted the particular feel of a movie and its scenes.
German cinema, which was highly influential in the era of silent movies, provided some original scores. Fritz Lang's movies Die Nibelungen (1924) and Metropolis (1927) were accompanied by original full scale orchestral and leitmotific scores written by Gottfried Huppertz, who also wrote piano-versions of his music, so that it could be played in smaller cinemas, too. Friedrich W. Murnau's movies Nosferatu (1922 - music by Hans Erdmann) and Faust eine deutsche Volkssage (1926 - music by Werner Richard Heymann) al