{{ credit }}

Movie-Music Magic

Explore how music is written for the movies

Have you ever been mesmerized by the soundtrack of your favorite movie or caught yourself humming the melodies long after the credits rolled? Imagine every moment of drama and excitement amplified by the live performance of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Come experience movie music like never-before, perfectly synced with the on-screen action of full length films.

Alt tag for image

Dive Into Film Music

Music, the emotional backbone of any film, has the power to amplify a scene—be it action-packed, romantically intense, or deeply mournful. It's an enduring love affair that began with the birth of cinema itself, when silent films were given voice through the tunes of live orchestras, theatre organs, and even live sound effects. Can you imagine a team of Foley artists—the team who re-create sounds for film in post-productioncreating live sound effects for a modern-day superhero movie?

The Art of Crafting Blockbuster Scores

John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Alan Menken, and Danny Elfman are names synonymous with unforgettable film scores. Unlike traditional composers, film music maestros not only create captivating melodies but also finely tune their music to enhance the audience's emotional response to each scene. This meticulous blend of artistry and empathy results in music that leaves a lasting impression.

Behind the Scenes with Musicians

Studio musicians, the unsung heroes behind movie soundtracks, typically sightread—play the music without seeing or preparing it prior—the entire score during the recording session. They often perfect a soundtrack in just one to three takes, working at a fast-paced 5-6 minutes of music per hour. Imagine the level of talent and precision required.

The Role of the Conductor & the Magic of Click Tracks

In the recording studio or during a live concert, the conductor synchronizes the orchestra with the on-screen drama. Much like any classical concert, the conductor cues the musicians using hand gestures. But here's the twist—to ensure perfect timing with the film, the conductor (and sometimes the musicians) uses a click track, an auditory metronome piped into an earpiece. A seamless integration of old-school conducting and modern technology brings the performance to life. 

Alt tag for image

It’s a new way to experience and appreciate the music that’s been written. Some of the best music that’s ever been written happens to be accompaniment for film...To hear the performers live is a whole different element that you just don’t get in a theatre. ”

Anthony Parnther, conductor

Why the Live Orchestra Experience?

It's simple. Movies with live orchestral music create an immersive, unparalleled experience that transcends traditional cinema. So grab your popcorn and immerse yourself in a sonic spectacle at Orchestra Hall.

Coming up next: Marvel's Black Panther in Concert on June 23 & 25. Relive the thrilling saga of T'Challa's rise to the throne and his battle with Killmonger, accompanied by the DSO performing Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar-winning score live-to-picture, for the first time ever. Join us for an exhilarating experience!

June 23 & 25

Black Panther Film in Concert

Related articles