Soundtracks. Cinema music. Top scores

From the earliest days of the movies, films have traditionally used music to heighten the drama of the action on screen The first cinemas came equipped with a piano or an organ, and the silent films in the 1920s had live musical accompaniment. The pianist or organist had to watch the screen closely all the time to make sure that the music he or she was playing matched the action of the film. With the arrival of sound, it became possible to put music as well as dialogue onto a film's soundtrack. It is difficult to think of a single film made since then without some sort of background music. Film musicals were spectacularly popular from the 1950s to the 1960s, with extravagant screen productions of popular stage musicals such as Oklahoma (1955) and My Fair Lady (1964) involving hundreds of singers and dancers. Although it became less popular at the end of the 20th century, the film musical has recently been revived through box-office successes such as Moulin Rouge (2001) with Nicole Kidman, and Chicago (2005) with Renée Zellweger. Film music has also become popular away from the cinema, Many soundtracks become best-selling records, and film scores are now studied seriously and played by classical orchestras and radio stations. The most acclaimed and popular film music in recent years has often been the scores of epic or science-fiction films such as Star Wars (1977), ET (1982), Gladiator (2000) and The Lord of the Rings (2001), many of which have been composed by American composer John Williams. 
John Williams was born in New York, but studied music at the University of California at Los Angeles. He trained as a classical pianist, and also worked as a jazz musician before entering the film industry. Williams has composed the music for nearly 80 films, and has won five Oscars for his scores. He has written scores for several of the most famous films of recent years, including laws, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jurassic Park, plus the Indiana Jones and the Harry Potter series. He is also an orchestral conductor and he has written several classical orchestral pieces.

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