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From silent cinema to the modern Hollywood blockbuster, this volume provides a comprehensive and engaging overview of the major trends in the history of film music. The first study of film scoring to present a genuinely international perspective, it is ideal for both students and film enthusiasts alike.
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'Written in a clean, clear prose shot through with a lightly-worn, concisely-argued scholarship, this is a considerable achievement and an essential read for anyone interested in this vital and still developing genre.' Classical Music Magazine
'Mervyn Cooke hasn't written merely 'a' history of film music - when all the reckoning is done, this will surely be 'the' history of film music written for cinema, from 1920s silent films to the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Writing about a medium that, as Aaron Copland once cogently put it, is designed to be felt rather than explicitly heard is an exacting task, and one that leaves many floundering. But Cooke's background writing about opera and jazz puts his brain in the right place for considering an art form that aims to balance artifice and spontaneity. ... An authoritative read, written with the cracking pace of a Bond thriller.' Classic FM
'Cooke writes accessibly yet with as much intellectual rigor on the propagandistic songs of Shostakovich as on MTV's impact on Flashdance. ... Crammed with source acknowledgement for further reading, this is nothing short of essential reading for anyone with an interest in film.' BBC Music Magazine
'Cooke has written a book useful to readers with or without musical background ... they [readers] will appreciate a historical study that incorporates music and film studies and keeps the film music, not the films, its focus.' Choice
'The real charm of Mervyn Cooke's A History of Film Music ... is the sheer breadth of coverage and the passion with which this coverage is conveyed. Never before has a work attempted such a wide-ranging, vivid, and well-documented sweep of film music and, for this reason among many others, it is a work thoroughly to be recommended.' Music and Letters
'Cooke arranges his book thematically rather than chronologically, and gives substantial attention to the work of important film music composers such as Max Steiner, Alfred Newman, Hanns Eisler, Georges Auric, and Ennio Morricone.' Larry M. Timm, Journal of the Society for American Music
'The world of film music will rejoice at being the subject of Mervyn Cooke's new book. It is both scholarly and highly accessible - a must have for anyone interested in this increasingly popular topic.' George Fenton, film composer
'If you can only buy one film music book, make it this one ... This is perhaps one of the most clear and cogently conceived overviews of music that one is likely to see ... one is struck by the fine choices Cooke makes to illustrate his point, whether he is discussing a Virgil Thomson score, or why a Scott Bradley animated short score works best. ... With no room for subsequent updates or supplements, this may very well be 'the' film music book for some time to come. ... this is a book that every lover of film music should have on their shelves. It is a book not so much to be read but to be savoured and enjoyed.' Film Music Review Film Music Review
From silent cinema to the modern Hollywood blockbuster, this volume, first published in 2008, provides a comprehensive and engaging overview of the major trends in the history of film music. The first study of film scoring to present a genuinely international perspective, it is ideal for both students and film enthusiasts alike.
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