Jump to content

library music


Recommended Posts

that's a tough one. i'd think that of all the musics discussed here that library music may well be the most polarizing. most dismiss it as mindless elevator pap. some can find the artistry in it.

generally speaking, library music is not only lifelessly rendered versions of 'you light up my life' and 'just the way you are'. it occupies a place on the periphery not far from, say, italian soundtrack music and the like.

sample to your heart's delight here...


Edited by etherbored
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm into it. I have a couple of 'Music De Wolfe' and 'KPM' compilations on vinyl (groovy) and also that Soft Machine session done for De Wolfe. Half of it you tended to hear on the TV back in the day when the test card was being transmited.

I even have a Stefan Grapelli that was issued by De Wolfe. :crazy:

Some of the cover art is pretty nifty too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow .. I was thinking about starting up such a topic! :tup

Due to various "sharity" sites (ooops do I dare make mention of such a thing w/o closing down the thread?) I sampled a heck of a lot of this genre over the past year and it has at times become obsessive. I've found that much is completely unavailable so the file sharers have been my only hope.

Truly would like to know more about it than just what I hear and like, please.

Here's a description from that great movie grooves site:

About library music

A lot of you will be familiar with library music, but for those that aren't, here's a little explanation; library music (also known as source or mood music) is music that is composed purely for the purpose of being used in movies, adverts, tv programmes etc.

Library music isn't composed for a particular movie or tv programme, but is composed with a style or mood in mind - for example; "love scene", "chase scene", "spooky scene", "spacey scene" etc.

Composers would be commisioned by music libraries to compose, perform and record these pieces of music. The composer would then sell the music to the music library who, in turn, would licence the music out to film and TV producers.

Using library music was a much cheaper option than having a composer score, perform and record an entire movie soundtrack or have a composer write and perform a peice of music for your TV documentary.

Music library records were not made available to the public, but were loaned out to producers and TV stations so that they had a 'ready catalogue' of music to use. If the TV programme producer wanted a funky little tune for his theme music, he would go to his selection of library music LPs, find "Funk Tracks Vols 1-10" (for example) and listen to each LP until he found the track he wanted to use. He would then contact the music library to arrange payment of the licensing fee.

In the 60s and 70s, a lot of library music was composed by some extremely talented composers and performed by equally talented session musicans (sometimes publishing/performing under a pseudonym). In the 80s and 90s, these library records soon started appearing in charity (thrift) shops where they could be bought for 50p each. As record collectors soon cottoned on to the fact that a lot of this music was absolutely brilliant then the trading of library music LPs grew and grew and rare library records now sell for silly money - sometimes just 'cos they've got one killer track on!

As library music got popular, record companies started releasing compilations of groovy, funky and weird library music and new compilations are being released all the time.

So basically to make some bucks these fantastic studio players from Europe and the UK just churned out scores of stuff to be used any way the end licensee wanted. Most of it mirrors the sounds in the groovier boogaloo based French & Italian soundtracks - none of that Morricone but more the Piccioni and Umiliani flavors - and those have become a side obsession as well.

I imagine any trip into brick and mortar Dusty would have these goods as accompanying soundtrack.

Looking thru some of my playlists I'll just call out a few of the more interesting artists I have found:

Johnny Hawksworth (wasn't he on BFT 7 :g )

Alan Hawkshaw

Jack Trombey

Malcolm Lockyer

Ambros Seelos

Jack Arel

Basil Kirchin

Yanko Nilovic

Keith Papworth

Paolo Renosto

Jack Dieval

Keith Mansfield

Francis Coppieters - and this guy was nuts!

and there were even "names" like Georges Arvanitas doing work for the Library genre.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard some KPM and de Wolfe library LPs through friends of mine who collect these albums to sample funk drums and loops, but personally, to me it's way too much trouble to separate the wheat from the chaff. Some of the stuff is quite nice, and lots of it... well, not really.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

surely you have 'the library music' book by jonny trunk? if not, it's highly recommended.

i'm fairly new to the genre and feel like i've topped out on what's available commercially (at least until new releases make the previously unavailable available).



ps: thanks for the roster, mwtga. are there comps for any of those composer/musicians?

Edited by etherbored
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree w/ the wheat / chaff remark as the sharity downloads left more for the wind than the hard drive.

I think the only way to get at it is to check the Movie Grooves site and see what you can find around the web - I took that Trunk Library quote from them but no I don't have that book which looks like a tasty design piece as well.

Dusty probably had all this at one time but more of it is harder to come by.

For more narrowed info HipWax has a page concerning Library.

:tup For a good list of comp reviews see this page at ScoreBaby!

Wish those music 'For DanceFloors' discs were easily gettable. That 'Setting the Scene' is a great place to start but not really available as I can tell. I also dig heavily the work from the group "i Marc 4" - basically the house band for all the crazy Italo soft core tracks. Antonello Vannucchi is a freekin organ / vibes g0d! They all reunite on a new disc from Daniele Luppi titled "Italian Story" - only have sampled a few from it and probably some chaff in that one just for authenticity.

Edited by Man with the Golden Arm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a Basil Kirchin I particularly enjoy:


Sort of a theme music score for a bleak/gritty 60s Northern European film-noir that never was. Side 2 has various tracks, some of which feature Tubby Hayes and Jimmy Page of Led Zep ( :blink: ).

Reissued by Trunk Records. I think the limited LP is sold out but the CD is very much available.

'Charcoal Sketches' is another interesting Kirchin disk that is worth picking up.

Available here. Trunk Records

'Viewer discretion advised' in the cooking section of the site ( :excited::g )

Edited by sidewinder
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those 'Super Sounds Of Bosworth' put out by Trunk Records and taken from the Bosworth Archive are great too.

I'll have to stick in an order for the 'Sven'. :rsmile:

those came along and promptly went oop before i began collecting. :rmad:

however, i have found some bosworth on other comps...

now that i'm on the trunk mailing list that won't happen again.

the sven is crazy delicious. you'll love it!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

i see he helped out on the OST to 'The Life Aquatic'.

yes, anderson and mothersbaugh lifted some vintage sven for the film. fortunately, those tracks are represented on the new trunk comp. you'll recognize them immediately.

i'm tellin' ya: tasty stuff.


ps: the cover to a soundtrack also represented:


Edited by etherbored
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

yeah, i enjoy that basil, too. 'charcoal sketches' is oop.

however, do check out the newly issued 'inner space - the lost film music of sven libaek'.



Just picked up the 'Sven'. I like it - particularly side 1, even though it would seem that the music is lifted from vinyl sources only. Anyone else have some high frequency distortion on side 2 of their vinyl copy ? :unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...