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Critic's Notebook: Thoughts on the Year's Strongest Scores by Some of Hollywood's Best Composers

Where film music is concerned, has any year since 2008 been anything other than the Year of Alexandre Desplat? The composer is as brilliant as he is indefatigable. In 2012, he has his name on eight films, and it's an extraordinarily eclectic bunch: Moonrise ... More

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We Get Mail: How Much Music Is Too Much Music?

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and tucked into the piles of new CDs is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. In this holiday-shortened week of over-indulgence, we answer questions about too much music and not enough time. Doug Cutchins asks: "Given a finite amount of time to ... More

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For film scores, composers create a world, note by note

A film's music is often considered a character itself, and this season the roles composers have to play aren't getting any easier. Talking about love between the emotionally unstable is one thing, but how, for instance, does that sound? Or when a character speaks to God, should God answer back with ... More

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Jon Brion Tried To Score 'The Fighter' For David O. Russell, But The Score Was Scrapped

At the beginning of the aughts, Jon Brion was the man for film soundtracks, especially the quirky and offbeat kind. He wrote the score for Paul Thomas Anderson's "Punch-Drunk Love" (and had done the same for "Magnolia"), as well as Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of ... More

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Study: Music, language's common evolutionary roots lie in emotion

Some folks who are “tone-deaf” musically might be a little hard-of-hearing emotionally too. A new study of people with amusia – the inability to properly process music – revives an old Darwinian hypothesis linking music and language to a common evolutionary origin. According to an idea ... More

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Atticus Ross Out, Javier Navarette In To Score '47 Ronin'

If things had gone according to plan, Keanu Reeves' "47 Ronin" would already be in theaters. But a troubled production has seen the movie's release date get bumped twice, as reshoots took place and the studio got involved with the editing process. Not always a good sign. And there are still more ... More

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Composer Alexandre Desplat On Scoring His Newest Film, 'Rise Of The Guardians'

You may be surprised to hear the same person composed the scores for the hormone-pumping vampire flick "Twilight" as well as Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" -- we certainly were. If you're still unfazed, the same composer is also the musical force behind "Harry Potter and the ... More

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Santa Cruz's Gourd Music part of 'Lincoln' soundtrack

In Hollywood terms, "Lincoln" is a powerhouse film, directed by the world's most famous director, Steven Spielberg, and starring what may be the world's finest actor in Daniel Day-Lewis. In musical terms, the film featured perhaps the greatest film composer still breathing, John Williams. And then ... More

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Skyfall soundtrack without Adele breaks James Bond franchise record

It debuted at number 100 in the Billboard 200 chart, the highest position that a Bond soundtrack has reached since A View to a Kill was ranked 38 in the summer of 1985. This is perhaps even more surprising given that Adele’s single Skyfall, which one would expect to be featured on the ... More

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Spielberg & Williams: Inseparable tandem

Thirty-eight years ago, Steven Spielberg wanted musical Americana for his first feature, "The Sugarland Express." He hired John Williams on the strength of the composer's folksy scores for "The Reivers" and "The Cowboys." "Lincoln" marks their 26th film, one of the longest-running director-composer partnerships in ... More

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Top 5 Stunning Soundtracks from Awful Movies

There’s nothing quite like the long, insufferable wait before a film’s release. You sit at your computer desk, counting the days as they slowly roll by, devouring every bit of leaked footage and exclusive clips that the internet has to offer. When your excitement has reached a level beyond any normal human’s ... More

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Experience the Sound of Universal Pictures’ Les Misérables in Select IMAX

If you’re eager to see Les Misérables this holiday season you’re in for a sound so sweet. We’re excited to announce to fans that select IMAX® theatres will begin featuring this musical epic beginning December 25. Universal Pictures’ Les Misérables, the motion-picture adaptation of ... More