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Sight and sound

Christopher Tookey regrets that film scores do not receive the attention they deserve

Who can now remember who won the music awards at this year’s Oscars? Music critics are much more likely to review a concert or opera heard by a few hundred than a film score heard by millions.

Almost 50 years ago, music critic Hans Keller wrote: “Film music is ripe, not to say sufficiently putrid, for widespread criticism.” Yet lack of space, or confidence, means that even today few critics evaluate a composer’s contribution to a movie.

In their defence, critics might point out that few leading 20th century composers have written for film. There are exceptions: Sergei Prokofiev, whose…

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