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Good Movie Music (for gig)


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My school has a big benefit auction every year. This year, the theme of the event is movies. About a week ago, they remembered to mention to the music department that they want us to play some movie music (the gig's in early November). Are there any GOOD, easy to prepare arrangements of movie music for solo instrument and piano or for string quartet? It seems most available music is for beginners and sans accompaniment or is for full orchestra.

I'm not a big fan of most movie music (of course, my first thought was The Red Violin) but I guess I'll have to put up with John Williams for a little bit. I've looked through his "Devil's Dance" but I don't have time to learn it thoroughly.



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"Lara's Theme" from Dr. Zhivago is lovely and should be readily available for voice and piano, with violin playing the voice part.

Also suggest some themes from musicals which have been made into movies, such as The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, etc. Piano+voice arrangements should be readily available.


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You might go to www.oscars.com and check out the winners for Best Picture. Just in the past few decades, aside from actual musicals like Sound of Music, and My Fair Lady, for which I have seen music in string quartet arrangements, you can also find movies like Chariots of Fire (bound to be something nice for that one), The Godfather (easily recognizable), Lawrence of Arabia (one of my favorites), and Ordinary People (the theme song for which was the Pachelbel Canon).

Perhaps if you went to sheet music sources and put in Movies or Broadway you would find things like Theme from ....(insert Chariots of Fire or The Godfather, or whatever movie title here).

In The Titanic, they played the Kesh Jig and The Blarney Pilgrim, among other Irish tunes.

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Another vote for "The Godfather theme song"


"Unchained Melody" is absolutely fabulous on the violin

Other considrations:

"Born Free" from Born Free

"Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's

"The Way We Were" From The way We Were

"Colors of The Wind" from Pocahontas

An advanced player might find these choices too simple for consideration but they all sound simply marvelous on strings.

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There are some very good arrangements of Mancini's movie tunes for string quartet (moderate skill). The "Baby Elephant's Walk" and "Pie in the Face Polka" (from the Great Race?) are especially fun, but "Thornbirds" has nice music, too, & "Pink Panther" & "Breakfast at Tiffany's" & even "Charade."

Henry Mancini for Strings , ed. William Zinn, pub. Belwin (2 volumes).


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Someone mentioned Schindler's List, which is a great choice.

I find that the best modern classical music is coming from the film industry.

Film music aside, there is very little 20th century classical music that I find worth the time to listen to. That's why I spend so much time listening to 80s and early 90s heavy metal, to me that's the real 20th centry classical (that's not as crazy as it sounds, put Metallica next to Vivaldi or Pantera next to Wagner and you'll see where the influence is).


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