FILM AND TELEVISION MUSIC
There is a growing interest in all kinds of film, TV and ambient
music, not just the classic main themes but in sound tracks, interludes,
library and production music (used as incidental music in films
and TV programmes, also for the background to newsreels, through
shopping-mall and elevator 'Muzak', to the background music behind
the television test card.
Soundtracks are only part of the story, therefore; the other music
used in films and broadcasts is categorised either as 'presentation'
or 'production' music, depending on whether it identifies the production
or is merely incidental to it.
Soundtrack albums have always been fairly accessible (so long as
you bought them whilst still available) but the production or 'library'
music used incidentally in programmes was not to be had for love
or money since they were made available only for professional users.
Gradually the specialist music libraries recognised there was a
market for this as well and many of these original performances
are now being made available to the public. You can now find them
on commercial recordings in the form of limited edition albums available
either through specialist labels or by special arrangement through
organisations such as the Robert
Farnon Society (which is allowed to sell library music CDs to
members only -a good enough reason for joining!).
- GALA OF FILM MUSIC, concerts by the BBC Elstree Concert Band
in the Westminster Central Hall, London. Organised by Don Walker,
21 Bonsart Road, London, SW6 6AJ (020-7385 6468 evenings). Send
SAE for details of next event.
Magazines and specialist publications
- FROM SILENTS TO SATELLITE. The journal of film and TV music.
Details from John Williams, 1 Folly Square, Bridport, Dorset,
- HISTORIC RECORD & AV COLLECTOR. John Wrigley, 185 The Wheel,
Ecclesfield, Sheffield, S30 3ZA. Quarterly magazine with fascinating
articles on the history of recording, with regular guides to matrix
- JOURNAL INTO MELODY. The magazine of the Robert Farnon Society
- NZ FILM MUSIC BULLETIN. A magazine for film enthusiasts published
quarterly by Colin Adamson, 35 Jenkin Street, Invercargill, New
- TELE TUNES, £15.25 (post-free in the UK), from Mike Preston,
The Glengarry, Thornton Grove, Morecambe, Lancs., LA4 5PU. This
is an amazing annual directory of film and advertising music.
It lists all television commercials, programmes, films and shows
in 300 fact-filled pages, listing the music used in the productions,
whether commercially available and so on.
- APOLLO SOUND. 32 Ellerdale Road, London, NW3 6BB. Easy listening,
Test Card Music and more. Web site: www.apollosound.com
- BBC RECORDS (available through most record stores) ON THE AIR.
ZCD454. 60 Years of BBC Theme Tunes.
- ROBERT FARNON SOCIETY
David Ades, Stone Gables, Upton Lane, Seavington St. Michael,
Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 0PZ. The Farnon Society was founded
in 1956, and its aims remain to publicise the work of Robert Farnon
in particular and similar musicians involved in light and film
music. The society is also the forum for people interested in
library music, used (for example) as incidental and background
music in the sound tracks of films and radio and TV programmes.
At least four magazines are published each year, and London meetings
are held in April and November. In particular, look out for the
splendid Guild series of CDs of pre-1960 Light Music, of
which there are now more than 50. Free sample magazine available
from the Secretary, David Ades.
- MOVIE GROOVES, PO Box 469, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 4EJ.
Tel: 01252 668001. Web site: www.moviegrooves.com/
A mail order webstore that's dedicated to providing movie soundtracks
and and library music from the 60s & 70s.
- RADIO SIX SCOTLAND, Box 600, Glasgow, G41 5SH (0141-427 0531).
SOUNDS VISUAL. RSY603. 16 vintage TV themes on cassette, highly
- SCREENTHEMES, 22 Kensington Close, Toton, Nottingham, NG9 6GR.
Stockists and publishers of theme tune albums. Good mail order
- SILVA PRODUCTIONS Ltd (Silva Screen records), Silva Productions
Ltd, 261 Royal College Street, London, NW1 9LU (020-7284 0525,
fax 020-7482 2385). Large catalogue of mainly recent film and
TV music. Mail order.
- WINCHESTER HOSPITAL RADIO can supply library and production
music. Authentic Interlude Music & TV and Radio Themes on
CDs including "Watch With Teacher" and "Girl In
A Suitcase". Web site: www.whr.org.uk
Click on to their 'WHR CDs' link for more.
Television theme music
- FAMOUS THEMES, MORE FAMOUS THEMES and LONDON CALLING (Famous
Themes Volume 3). Grasmere Music Ltd, 59 Marlpit Lane, Coulsdon,CR5
2HF. Price £8 (including postage) on cassette, other formats available.
"With the rapid expansion of radio and television networks
throughout the world, many leading music publishers formed their
own recorded music libraries to satisfy the increasing demand.
For various reasons these mood music records were only made available
for professional users. Many of these original performances are
now being made available to the general public for the first time
on commercial recordings."
So says Bob Barrett of Grasmere Records, who has done us an inestimable
favour by putting these treasured themes on tape (and record and
CD). All your radio and TV favourites are on these three albums,
a total of 65 (yes, 65) melodies in all. Composers include Robert
Farnon, Richard Adinsell, Eric Coates et al. And what a selection!
Picture Parade, Down Your Way, Music While You Work, the TV interlude
themes, old BBC news intros, Pathé News... Sorry, I'm getting
- SOUNDS VISUAL. RSY603. 16 vintage TV themes, highly recommended.
Cassette, current price unknown. By mail and only from Radio Six
Scotland, PO Box 600, Glasgow, G41 5SH. 0141-427 0531.
- SCREENTHEMES, 3 Newland Close, Toton, Nottingham, NG9 6EQ (tel/fax
0115-973 2431). Mail order business supplying thousands of current
and deleted items by the world’s top composers of television and
Other production and library music CDs by publishers such as CHAPPEL
and KPM are not sold to the public (but can be bought through
the Robert Farnon Society.