Sometimes it’s the music that makes the movies. You just have to watch “˜Sound of Music’ or “˜Saturday Night Fever’ to understand what I am talking about. You have to be a Martian not to have heard about either of those two. Then let me throw “˜The Wizard of Oz’ at you, a movie that entered the musical consciousness of a lot of people, as time went by.
Yes, it’s the magic of movies. But even as the movie unspools, music lends a bit of its own too. Just for the nitpickers, let’s use the more precise term of soundtrack.
The word “˜soundtrack’ has obviously come from the sound recording on a narrow strip of a motion picture film, which runs with the images. Today, we also know it as a Film Score or more promotionally as OST (Original Soundtrack). It’s music by another name and quite similarly, it can uplift, it can sadden or it can give us goose pimples.
If you have seen “˜Chariots of Fire’, then the opening scene with Vangelis’ score is as energizing as the scene of the athletes. Or take the space imagery that’s shaped by “˜The Blue Danube’ in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece (2001: A Space Odyssey).
Am I coming off like a besotted fan of movie tunes? I guess you can call me that. Once upon a time, I used to wait for the end credits just to see who performed which song even as everyone moved towards the exit.
These days, I tap a few keys and access a listing of movie soundtracks from websites such as these:
Tunefind is mostly a listing of movie soundtracks from TV shows. The selection of TV soundtrack information veers towards the more recent ones on the air. The soundtrack listings are all prepared from user contributions. Users also get to validate a soundtrack as belonging to the show or not.
From a light resource, we move to a comprehensive one in Soundtrack.net with almost 30,000+ titles. The site gives you album reviews from critics and also external purchasing links if you want to buy the album. For instance, in the Marketplace, you can buy albums and also the sheet music of your favorite scores. For the serious buff, the section to head to would be the Podcasts. They are downloadable and give you a rundown on what’s on in the OST scene.
Start with the search box or the alphabetical listing here. You can also search its song database by movie title, song title, composer’s name, or performer’s name. You can also put in a question regarding a vaguely remembered song or anything else. Each album has its own long listing of movie soundtrack Q & A’s which on its own, is a mine of information.
We also have covered it briefly before.
Cinemusic is a site that gives you the dope on OST on a backdrop of a well designed dark theme. Land on Soundtrack Previews and you can see the entire tracklist for the film OST as well as enjoy a few samples. The only dealbreaker is that the previews are not catching the current crop of releases.
The site’s Links resource section redirects you to many other film score websites, not least of which are the direct links to the composers personal websites.
Heard on TV is similar to Tunefind with its user generated content of TV soundtrack listings. The songs are also linked to YouTube videos apart from iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody. The latter is US only, so the YouTube link really helps with listening and watching the titles for free. Heard On TV also clears your memory cells by letting you upload song clips for identification with some help from the community.
AdTunes is a guide to music used in television commercials and it also carries information on TV shows, movie trailers, film soundtracks, video games and more. The site has sections like News, Forums, Links, and a Store. AdTunes is more like a blog and forum combined. You can browse through the content using the navigation bar on top.
Streaming Soundtracks is an internet radio station that plays music from movies, television shows, and video games. With a free registration you can start requesting songs to be played and participate in community discussions. You can surf the music library (by album or artist) and give your choice to the queue. There’s also a high quality 128 bit listening option, but that comes as a price. Most of the common music players support the streams.
I wouldn’t ask you to pronounce it, but I guess it stands for movie music player. That’s what it does – type in a name of a movie and you get to hear an OST pick from the movie. You won’t get all the tracks, but it’s a nice way to listen to movie tunes on the fly.
Soundtrack Seek is a search engine for movie scores and soundtracks. The mother site of this search engine is a quality movie music review site called Soundtrack Geek.
The search engine connects you to many varies sources for OST reviews and info. Most results will of course, put you on Soundtrack Geek’s page which also has all the track listings and sound clips from Amazon. The site’spage is also a launching pad for further information.
The definitive movie database has everything that’s related to the tunes behind the scenes. Using the search engine (the Soundtrack Explorer), you can browse for even song writers let alone their performers.
The other more obvious way is to go to the movie page directly and click on the soundtrack listing on left side column. Just as a diversion, you can also check out any available sound clips for the movie or TV show by clicking on Sound Clips that can be found under External Links.
On the web, getting information about and a listing of movie soundtracks isn’t much of a problem. But unlike a lot of other kinds of downloads, free OST downloads are very difficult to come by and also not advised. These sites not only give you the entire track listings but also the background on the background scores. For the music buff that’s as much fun as it is for an Egyptologist in Giza.
For me? I don’t have to wait for the end credits anymore. What about you?
Image Credit: ldandersen