BBC to celebrate film music in Sound of Cinema season

Programmes on BBC television and radio to explore some of the greatest movie scores from Citizen Kane to Gladiator

Neil Brand
Published: July 25, 2013 at 11:31 am

The music of the silver screen will take centre stage in September in the BBC's 'Sound of Cinema' season.


At the heart of the season is Sound of Cinema: The Music that made the Movies, BBC Four's three-part television series presented by writer, composer and film music expert, Neil Brand (above). This will explore the development of the movie score, looking at how film composers have used the riches of the symphony orchestra and their reaction to pop, hip-hop and electronic music.

Speaking at the season's launch, Neil Brand said: 'I hope after seeing the series people will realise that when they go and see films, they're actually getting information from the music even though they don't know they're getting it. Hopefully they'll be able to spot that working a little bit more and the music will come forward a few inches.

'All the great film composers know about drama but they also know their audience. It's that feeling that this music is actually being crafted for you, being handed over to you like a present, that's the joy of it.'

Radio 3, meanwhile, will dedicate much of its schedule to the Sound of Cinema season. Highlights include a broadcast on 13 September from the British Film Institute looking at some of the creepiest film scores; live film music concerts from the BBC orchestras presented by film critic Mark Kermode; and an exclusive interview with John Williams on Composer of the Week.

Throughout the season, Radio 3 will feature interviews with actors including Tom Piggott-Smith, Olivia Williams, and with composers including Debbie Wiseman, Alex Heffes and Bernard Herrmann's widow, Norma Herrmann.

BBC Four will also broadcast this year's Film Music Prom, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and on Radio 2 Mark Kermode will explore film music in Mark Kermode: The Soundtrack of my Life. On BBC Radio 6 Music, actor Cillian Murphy and Bond film composer David Arnold discuss their favourite film music and Radio 1 will examine the role of hip-hop in film scores. BBC Asian Network will explore the evolution of Bollywood film music in Men Behind the Music.


To find out more about the Sound of Cinema season, look out for the September issue of BBC Music Magazine, on sale in August which features interviews with a clutch of film composers and full Radio 3 listings and TV highlights.

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