American Western Film Soundtracks

“Morricone brought the electric guitar to the western. The great thing, though, about the electric guitar in the western is that there were no electric guitars, but somehow he did it so committedly that nobody ever questioned it. It was only much later people started to say, ‘How come there’s an electric guitar part there?’ He needed that sound to show the grit and the machismo of the characters. There is really no other sound that can do it as well as an electric guitar, so, like the movies themselves, he took the zeitgeist of the late ’60s and put it into the 19th century.”

Hans Zimmer, “My Inspiration – Morricone”, Limelight, May 2011, p.28




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Who needs four strings anyway?
In his work Le Streghe (The Witches), the virtuoso violinist Paganini would use scissors to reduce the number of strings on his violin throughout the piece, until he would be left playing the work on just the G string. Source: Haylock, Julian, “Nicolo Paganini”, Classic FM, December 2009, p. 41.
The significance of the individual
  “You are an extremely valuable, worthwhile, significant person even though your present circumstances may have you feeling otherwise.” – James Newmann, American mathematician
Your Words, Lord, are Spirit and Life – Psalm 18 (19)
TITLE: Your Words, Lord, are Spirit and Life TEXT: Psalm 18 (19): 8-10, 15 COMPOSER: Greg Smith INSTRUMENTATION: SATB and piano PRODUCT MEDIUM: PDF score and part SAMPLE:
Tips for composers
Rob Deemer highlights several aspects needed for a composer to survive in the artistic community: – ability to accept “failure” (entering competitions, etc.) – maintaining a “stubbornness” to achieve recognition – promoting not only your best works, but also occasionally enjoying the success of your “foibles” – having a sense of “who you are” as […]
An artist’s job is not for small talk
Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, once told me a story about a reception she was at where Bob Dylan was in attendance. The business people there were quietly commenting on how unsociable Dylan seemed to them, not what they imagined an encounter with Dylan would be like. When that observation about Dylan's behavior and disposition were […]
The Vineyard of the Lord is the House of Israel – Psalm 79 (80)
Title:The Vineyard of the Lord is the House of Israel Text: Psalm 79 (80): 9, 12-16, 19-20. R. v. 5:7 Composer: Greg Smith Instrumentation: SATB and piano Product medium: PDF score and part Sample:
A dog with musical taste
“Anton Bruckner had a chubby, fat pug dog named Mops,” Fritz Kreisler, a former pupil of Bruckner’s once recalled. “He would leave us with Mops munching our sandwiches while he himself hastened off to luncheon. We decided we’d play a joke on our teacher which would flatter him. So while the Meister was away, we’d […]
The path of an artist
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants.” – Lao Tzuo, Chinese philosopher. Cited at: QuotationsBook
Look under your feet
The lesson which life constantly repeats is to ‘look under your feet.’You are always nearer to the divine and the true sources of your power than you think.The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive.The great opportunity is where you are.Do not despise your own place and hour.Every place is under the stars.Every […]
Abstraction XII
Title: Abstraction XII Composer: Greg Smith Instrumentation: Piano Product medium: PDF score Sample: