Music, Hollywood’s Way

Your article on “composer” Marc Shaiman was yet your latest excursion into egalitarian journalism (“Hollywood’s Hottest Music Man,” Aug. 14). It represents a liberal society’s view that you don’t have to be, say, a medical doctor to heal; you don’t have to win an election to suggest policy; and you don’t have to read and write music to be a film composer.

Now, anybody can be a genius!

But not for long. Remember Giorgio Moroder? Remember Harold Faltermeyer? Remember Vangelis?! At least they demonstrated enough respect for the craft of film scoring to restrict their noodlings to phony instruments (synthesizers). The audacity of the current crop is that they accept credit for an orchestrated score, orchestrated and conducted by someone else!

And they readily admit that they couldn’t arrange parts or conduct even if they had to. In musician parlance they’re known as hummers . In Calendar they become “ Wunderkind .”


Shaiman reveals his humming ways when he says: “If the sound doesn’t come out exactly like you thought it was going to, it’s a horrible feeling.” Guess what? The cure for that is to understand harmony and orchestral instruments to the point where you can “hear” the parts as you write them .


Beverly Hills