Contest: What Does Film Music Mean To You?

In celebration of Film Score Click Track’s first birthday, I am sponsoring a contest called “What Film Music Means To Me”. Over the past year, I’ve rambled on about my feelings for this very special art form. Now I want to hear what YOU have to say!

As my thanks, you will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate sponsored by Screen Archives Entertainment, your one stop shop for great film music.SAE logo for site usage e1271305975767 Contest: What Does Film Music Mean To You?


The contest is open to ANYONE in the U.S. or internationally. You must complete both of the following items to be eligible to win:

  • Sign up for the Film Score Click Track newsletter here or in the sidebar.
  • Leave a comment below–50 words or less–on the theme, “What Film Music Means To Me”.

The contest will end 11:59 PM EST Thursday, April 22. At that time the comments will be turned off, but you can still sign up for the newsletter.

The winner will be contacted by email on Monday, April 26, and announced here on the site in a special post that week.

To maintain a sense of honesty and fair play with regard to people and email addresses I might recognize, I will not be judging the entries. Tim Curran, Managing Editor of Film Score Monthly Online, will be doing the honors.


I’ve never sent out a newsletter from this site. But as we roll into our second year, I would like to build a sense of community and communicate with my readers on a more personal level.

At the moment, I have plans to issue the newsletter on a monthly basis. If it takes off, that may increase. But that’s further down the road. Either way, I will NOT flood your inbox with a bunch of emails and useless information. This will be a learning process for me and the information contained in the newsletter will be dictated by your feedback.

I have a lot of exciting plans for the site in the coming year. As a newsletter subscriber, you will get first notification of those plans, as well as subscriber-only film music information to boot!


  • Please make sure you 1) sign up for the newsletter AND 2) leave a comment. (Remember, 50 words or less, please.) If you miss one or the other, you will not be eligible to win.
  • Please use the same email in both places as that will be the method of checking that eligibility requirements are met.
  • Your email address will NOT–and I mean will NOT–be used by, traded, or sold to any third party lists.

Help me get the word out by publicizing the contest on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and your own site.

I’m looking forward to the next leg of our journey in celebration of film music. And I can’t wait to read what film music means to you! Thanks in advance for your participation and support. Good luck!

About Jim Lochner

Jim has been writing about film music for over a decade. He holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of Texas at Arlington and a Master of Music from The University of Texas (Austin), both in Clarinet Performance. He has written soundtrack CD liner notes for Intrada, Varèse Sarabande Records, Film Score Monthly, La-La Land Records and Disques Cinemusique. Jim has been a bimonthly guest on BBC-Kent’s Drive Home at the Movies radio program and has been interviewed by a number of online and print outlets, including The Toronto Globe and Mail and the Los Angeles Times. Jim served as the managing editor of Film Score Monthly Online ( and is currently writing a book on Charlie Chaplin's film music. For more information, visit


  1. Thomas Kiefner

    For over 50 years, from my very first purchase of Peter Gunn in 1959, film music has always been an important part of my life. It is the dialogue of film bringing joy, sorrow, laughter, and suspense when there aren’t spoken words. In recent years, due to illness, it has become a life saving force peaking my interest more than ever.

  2. Darren MacDonald

    Film music provides me with the immediate emotional content of the movie. With a symphony you need to wait minutes to get to the emotional heart of the piece, but the film composer has to have the ability to reach the audience’s heart and soul in a matter of seconds.

  3. I LIVE for movie music. Score or otherwise. I have 100+ soundtracks, and soundtracks only, in my music collection and always look forward to either expanding or upgrading my collection. Movie music to me helps convey the emotions of the character or key points in the film I’m watching. I just LOVE IT!!

  4. Film music restores memories lost from traumas. It centers me and enables me to better express myself in writing. I have ADD Depression and was a Battered Husband. Film music focuses my energy on meaningful places and times and heals me.

  5. All my life, am 48 now I have enjoyed film soundtracks. My very first copy was a used LP of Goldfinger that I listened to over and over in 1973 when the record was already 9 years old. It played great as I remember, no scratches! Since then soundtracks I’ve collected over the years convey and relate to my inner feelings. So much emotion and thought was given to soundtrack scores, particularly Vertigo, my favorite. As the years have gone by, I have switched from LP to CD’s but some old soundtrack LP’s I cherish since they are not on CD (yet!)
    Would love to see “The Great Race” on CD by FSM with all the extra’s what a wonderful movie with it’s wonderful scoring by H. Mancini especially the song “Under the Sweetheart Tree, ahhh :-)

  6. Mark melchiorre sr

    Film soundtracks bring the passion to the film it’s attached to and also brings the passion of music in me.

  7. It’s Westworld’s banjo/synthesizer fusion. It’s the orchestral blast transporting me to a galaxy far, far away. It’s Goldsmith and Goldenthal, Badalamenti and Barry, Arnold and Zimmer. Film music encompasses a range unknown to any other genre, speaks musical languages from around the globe. It’s the music of my soul.
    .-= That Neil Guy´s last blog ..Remember Me =-.

  8. David Aliano

    Film Music at its best conjures up a visual and aural image. Which can both excite and relax. Bring varied intrumentation, orchestration and cultural character. To me the best film music can stand on it’s own. Film music was my first contact with music at an early age and Istil love it.

  9. Music is the heart and soul of the movies. At least, until films were edited so rapidly that it became pretty much impossible to compose interesting themes. But these things are cyclical. I have faith.

  10. Corey Hodges

    Film music has been a part of my life for years. The hunt that film score aficionados like myself must embark upon to find our “holy grails” is something that must be admired and respected. We are the true fans of music, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

  11. To me, film score is the banquet hall of music. It is the natural extension of opera in a pop culture format, written in all idioms, and for all times. No other art form can boast that it is the culmination of so many arts distilled into a single result.

  12. Mike Skerritt

    Film music is more than a passion; it is a constant companion. It is always there, always exactly what I need it to be, and it knows me better than anyone. It asks for nothing in return but enchantment, excitement, grief, uplift, terror, amusement, dread, awe, and unbridled joy.

  13. Karen Cannon

    Film music lets me relive the magical moments of a film on my own time and terms. Often the music of a film can be experienced more intensely (without distraction) than if you actually hear it in the film itself.

  14. Film music is the heart and soul of the cinema. It is triumphant brass blast when the hero succeeds, the minor key woodwinds as the villain conquers, the swelling strings when romance blossoms – it is all these things in a unified listening experience. It encapsulates the highs and lows of my day in a single sitting.

  15. As a kid growing up in the late 70’s Film Music is what eventually lead me to classical and that eventually lead me to compose music. It has been the catalyst for everything musical in my life. What emotion, what excitement, what bliss!

  16. I’ve exercised to “Roll Tide”, worked to the heartbreaking theme of Schindler’s List, driven a car to the propulsive sound of “My First Bus Ride”, been inspired to greater heights by “Superman’s Theme”, and been lifted from the pangs of depression by “I Don’t Belong Here.” What a blessing!

  17. Excitement, Enthusiasm, Passion, Positive Vibe, a whole world of films and music that improves my life and give reason to me.

  18. barry bender

    As a life long film and music devotee, i believe the great film scores are often the “hidden part” of the movie and often the best part. As written by the master composers, filmusic became an american art music as surely as the concert music of its day.

  19. I grew up listening to soundtrack records. It’s wonderful to have resources like Screen Archives Entertainment, Film Score Monthly, Intrada and all the others. Thank you!

  20. Film music initially emulates what it accompanies, but can magically take a life of its own. In essence, it encompasses all the possibilities of life and imagination, becoming pure in the process, and because of this is why I have such an appreciation of so many forms of music.

  21. It began with “The Wizard of Oz”, of course, at a very young age. Then, “Doctor Doolittle”. The music was my way of having the movie for my very own. I could close my eyes, and there it was! “Chinatown”, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”, lp after lp. Then came the soundtracks of films I’d never seen, and I’d close my eyes and let my imagination create to the music! I still have all the lps, and uncountable cds…each one a magical trip, a little zen journey as Kurt Vonnegut once said about short stories, as soon as the music begins!

  22. Film music is the way to see light even when you’re blind in the dark.

  23. Well, I’ve been very passionate about film music ever since I was born. I believe it was Star Wars that was the first score I ever heard and growing up to the like of Star Trek 2, Rambo, Conan, The Goonies, Cocoon, etc. through my childhood. Now that I’m an adult, I’m more passionate about seeing all of the scores of my youth and beyond come alive again.

  24. Jeffrey Sumey

    Music is the lifeblood of film. Each score is a musical mosaic of the film’s characters. Each character is brought to life, identified by his own unique musical motif. Music stirs the imagination, bringing to mind the classic scenes and allowing me to relive the adventure again and again.

  25. Erik van 't Holt

    There are many theories about the ‘pillars of life’. Some say there are 7, others mention 5 or only 3. Dont’t know who’s right but I do know one thing for sure; film music is one of my pillars.

  26. Film music is like a banana, except it’s neither curved nor yellow, and it never goes soggy.

  27. Martin Paternoster

    A good film score takes you on a ride through the emotional content of the film for which it was written. I find myself lost in the music.

  28. Andrew Derrett

    Film music is selfless music! It’s responsible for the audience’s emotions, it mostly goes by un-noticed and its form is dictated by what is on the screen. Film composers collaberate with directors who may know little about music. Would a “famous” composer put their ego aside to write film music?

  29. nikos bournias

    What does film music mean to me???it’s like asking a thirsty man in desert what does water mean to him..i survive by dreaming&film music keep filling my dreams like water fill the mouth of the thirsty…

  30. Film music serves as an auditory memory of the film itself. When I listen to a Bernard Herrman score (for example), it conjures up the images that appeared on the screen–be they a Giant Cyclops or a cross-dressing murderer.
    As a writer, I find film music works as a kind of stimulating background that keeps my mind on track while I work. Film music is best for this because it lacks, for the most part, singing voices which can interfere with the conception of dialogue and continuity. Film music, then, is an all-purpose entertainment–and perfect for folks like me.

  31. Film music to me…

    I can remember the first time my ears were opened to the incredible world of film music. It was 1970. My family went to the movie theater and watched “AIRPORT”. The audience could hear a pin drop at the start of the movie… A crowded airport terminal… then Alfred Newman’s classic, trend setting score began. I was hooked.

    Film music to me is the unsung hero of a movie. It can thrill us. Send shivers down your spine. You laugh. You cry. Film music is close to my heart. When I am meeting new people, I say my name… and the first thing I say for my interests… FILM MUSIC.

  32. It’s to imagine, while listening to something like Jerome Moross’ THE BIG COUNTRY, that film scoring originated as an afterthought, and not the emotional core of moviemaking. Those of us who listen constantly to soundtrack music certainly know why many thought the talkies would be a passing fad.

  33. Nathan Erickson

    When someone asks me about movie soundtracks I reply “oh no I listen to FILM scores, you know the music that makes a movie a movie?”. I couldn’t imagine any point in my life where film scores haven’t touched me in some way shape or form, emotionally, mentally and physically. I will forever be grateful for the music of my heart.

  34. Rolf Wehlitz

    In the age of 8 or 9, I always hum music themes from TV series like Star Trek, Waltons, Bonanaza, etc. With 14 I’ve bought my first records.
    After music like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Genesis, etc. I’ve discovered film music in a record store. My first soundtrack was a compilation with music from John Carpenter from zyx records. Really bad, because it was a very bad rerecording. After then, there come “Escape from New York” from Carpenter. At the same time, I saw movies like “Capricorn one”, “First Blood”, “Omen” and “Poltergeist” on TV/cinema.
    So I bought my first orchestral soundtrack: Jerry Goldsmith’s “First Blood”.
    Since then, I can’t enough from his music. In the following years I learn other composers and his music like John Williams, Christopher Young, Bernard Herrmann and so on.
    Music for music is so essential for my life. It’s my hobby – it’s my passion….and in it’s best times it’s like a dream…

  35. Elfman’s Milk means hope.
    Goldsmith’s Poltergeist means fear.
    Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso means love.
    Williams’ Schindler’s List means heartbreak.
    Rozsa’s El Cid means majesty.
    Herrmann’s Taxi Driver means depravity.
    Newman’s American Beauty means sadness.
    Copland’s Red Pony means elation.
    In short, film music means everything.

  36. Film music is the ultimate soundtrack to my life, one of my greatest passions. Makes me feel I can fly high in the sky…that I can sail away hundreds of miles effortlessly and that past, and future, are ever so present. This art carves the tapestry of my daily emotions…

  37. For me, no other music is as evocative and varied as film/TV scores. It all started 30+ years ago, through endless listenings of my parent’s Once Upon a Time in the West LP. Now, soundtracks accompany me everyday. I simply can’t live without that unique type of music.

  38. My blood when viewed under a microscope reveals the presence of black blood cells which appear in the shapes of musical notes. DNA testing further reveals an extra chromosome with sequences of genetic markers labeled Goldsmith, Herrmann, etc. Film music is in my blood and integral to who I am.

  39. Mike Meroney

    music and film can equally provoke a strong reaction of emotions.the trueness and heart that goes into a film is often times found simply in the music and that music can soar with or without the benefit of having visuals to go with it.

  40. I’ve been entranced with film scores since the 1950’s. It evokes from the depths of the human spirit all kinds of emotions whether it be fear, happiness, triumph, sadness, and so on. And there’s something magical about it that draws us into worlds we could not or dare not go.

  41. Steve Daniel aka the moontrekker

    its my soul, my passion and my life, next to my family of course.
    there is NOTHING in this world like film music and I love it beyound Words.

  42. Jos Graumans

    What a difficult question to answer while I thought it would be so very easy to do ! I loved film music since I first heard John Williams’ music for JAWS in 1975 and I became addicted to it right then. Whenever I play the theme from the film I still can feel what I felt then when I was in the theatre . Excited !
    I am lucky to have been there while all these great composers were there and composed all these great scores ! They made my life better than it already was !

  43. Film scores, since 1959, have provided me with all types of emotional experiences that were created by Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, John Barry, Jerry Goldsmith, and many others. Film scores have been a part of my life, and will always be there to bring me both happiness and sorrow.

  44. Robin Svensson

    We often forget that before home video, you could only revisit a film with the soundtrack. Hearing a great score can make an awful film seem beautiful in your memory. Film music has unique languages and styles unlike any other genre. It tells a story, conveys emotions and sets moods.

  45. David Gaumann

    Joy! Tears! Sadness! Happiness! Dreams! Evasion! That’s everything I like about soundtracks!

  46. So much has been said so far, but Film Music adds color to a life full of gray. One is not truly awake without it. It is the sustenance of a fulfilled life.

  47. A good film (or TV) score is all the music in the world rolled into one. No other genre can take any sound ever made by man and create something new and exciting and enduring for the express purpose of conveying raw emotion and the human condition.

  48. Dale Cornibe

    George Lucas said that sound is half the film experience. Well, I say music is half the sound. It’s the yearning for home in The Wizard of Oz. It’s the power of the Force in Star Wars. It’s the triumphant run in Forrest Gump. Without music, films are dead.

  49. Michael Hall

    Since I was eleven (now 44) listening to everything from Saturday Night Fever and Star Wars to discovering Ennio Morricone as an adult (my Morricone collection is 150+ currently) soundtracks have been a huge inspiration and constant pleasure. My musical & non-musical world would be lacking without them.

  50. Jonathan Hammond

    Imagine PSYCHO without Bernard Herrmann or E.T. without John Williams.

    Film music provides an essential emotional element to movies and transports us to another time and place. In a culinary sense, the movie is the steak and potatoes while the score is the mouth-watering gravy which enhances the overall flavour.

  51. Paul Bologiannis

    Music. Power to give Life to Film. As God gives his Creation Power through His Spirit, Composers give Power to Directors Creations, Film. Lives without God’s Spirit are Lives without Love, and Films without Music are Films without Love. The Breath of Film. Power. Life. Creation. Love. Breath. Film. Music.

  52. Pointer Wang

    A film music is an expand image in brain. The music will play automatically Whatever you saw in eyes. It make our view colorful and funny.

  53. There are many different aspects to making a film and the one thing that really gets me involved in a film is the music. Music to me is what makes the film good and alive that’s why I believe that to be the art of a film. It gives off all certain kinds of emotions and feelings that you would not have if there were not any music because you wouldn’t know how to feel.

  54. My next door neighbor who was a few years older than I, had the “Jaws” LP-I panicked thinking that it was going to be a recording of people being munched by a shark-but he insisted it was music. He played it and I was blown away for life!

  55. Film music hardly ever makes it onto my MP3 player. I have to be ready for it. Prepared to close my eyes, to listen to all the emotions, to what the composer has to tell. Because that’s what the great composers are: storytellers. And that’s what makes film music unique.

  56. Christmas Morning. That New Car Smell. Chocolate. Movie scores are all this and more. A companion while I work, a background when I read, the main course when I relax, thanks to the diversity of the movie score genre. It’s the music for our age. Calming, exhilarating, spirited, gratifying.

  57. The ability to be universal, yet at the same time personal. It connects to human emotions without necessarily using words, but feelings and movements. This means it’s open to all listeners. In the same way, the music can connect on an entirely personal level due to the music’s sincerity.

  58. Dave Gilstram

    Film music heightens the human experience and deepens its impact; and with or without the narrative it enhances. can reach the heart of how it feels to be alive.

  59. Fun, relax, no problems, impressions, imagination, shivers, emotion… So many things to try to explain what film music means for me. Perhaps its complete world is another point to consider: you can discuss with others, you can join with other people, you can enjoy it on cinemas, you can enjoy it in your car, in your bed, in your chair, you can collect, you can compare… In everywhere, and with anybody, film music is there.

  60. Peter Schmidt

    Film music is the fearful look of my Grandmother as the Arc was opened before Indiana, or my mother gleaming as a rainbow warmed Kermit, or my teary sister as Chief tossed the sink out the institution window. Above all else film music relishes my memory with images of family.

  61. An artist’s calling is to offer up a glimpse of their imagination to others and inspire others to use their own imaginations as well. A film may last 90 minutes, but the score lingers, providing a segue between the film’s ideas and my own imagination’s adventure beyond the end credits.

  62. To me, film music is much more than cinematic accompaniment. It’s the soundtrack of my life. A friend to celebrate my triumphs, and mourn my losses. At times it gives such sweet expression to even the tenderest of emotions one can’t help but give pause to simply feel, and experience.

  63. Enrique Ramos

    Keep your HDTV! After years of listening to a soundtrack/score, I subconsciously tend to create scenes and images of the movie. After seeing the movie again, I realize the ‘movie’ in my mind was a richer experience. “Have you seen the movie?” “Yeah, but the soundrack’s much better.”

  64. My life is a blur of memories punctuated by soundtracks. From Jonny Quest to Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer through Batman on to Stripes and the Raiders March in college. Up to the present with music from Lord of the Rings memories become vivid when associated with a soundtrack.

  65. The incredible thing about a soundtrack is that it inexorably ties the music to the images on the screen. Listening to a good soundtrack can replay an entire film in your mind – not just images, but also every emotion and memory – the highest definition playback of all.

  66. Film music is transforming. It means being able to relax, close my eyes and be transported to another place, another time, even another world. It inspires my imagination. With my eyes open, film music can set a mood for quiet reflection, for celebration, for inspiration, even for frenetic creativity.

  67. Film music is my anchor- the one that reminds me of my past.
    The one that titillates my brain.
    The one that restores me – that brings me comfort and joy.
    Film music is love – an irrational and inexplicable experience that has become
    a ritual and a true friend.

  68. Experiencing the vibrant sensation of film scores in all its spine tingling forms is the equivalence of multiple orgasms for thy ears.

  69. I am an indie filmmaker, and simply put, I would rather have a great musical score than great actors. Williams and Tiomkin have done more for my life than Brando and Streep.

  70. In an age before VHS tape, DVDs & Blu-Ray, my love of film music was rooted in my desire to recollect the moment of watching a film and to emotionally reattach myself to the total cinematic experience by simply listening to a film’s soundtrack. Whether it was Dinitri Tiomkin, Alex North, or John Barry, music became a treasured memory of what had transpired on the screen.

  71. Frank Raitter

    I started listening to film music with soundtracks such as Jaws and Rollerball. It was a way to re-experience the films in the days before video and dvds. Over the years, my passion for soundtrack has grown into an appreciation of the artistry behind the music and how to listen more intently. It is a aid in times of stress and I cannot picture a life without it.

  72. Film music to me is as important as the acting or the sets in a film. A truly great score can be pulled from a film and the scene still appear vividly in my memory with just the composers well created score. Give me a movie with a great score over one built with special effects any day.

  73. bill kendrick

    Movie soundtracks allow the pleasure of re-experiencing one’s favorite film scenes in the mind’s eye, the music unencumbered by sound effects and dialogue. Over the years I have incorporated film music into my daily yoga practice, finding the endless variety of soundscapes only serve to enhance my overall experience.

  74. Film Music means the world to me….literally! I have connected with people around the world discussing film music. It can energize me when I am tired, make me happy when I am sad, and so much more. My life would be much poorer without film music in my life!

  75. The comments are now closed.

    Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest. I appreciate your sharing of what this special art form means in your lives.

    Look for an announcement of the winner sometime next week.

    Thanks again for making this celebration of the birthday of this blog such a wonderful experience.


Comments are closed.