The Book

Behind the Scenes! The Sound of Horror – the importance of film music
Quotes – sample segments from each chapter Review quotes from 1st Edition
Musique Fantastique frontispiece (small)
Expanded view of frontispiece
Expanded Table of Contents index

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What They’re Saying

Comments on Musique Fantastique 2nd Edition

“The full four-volume work bodes to be of major importance, but this first volume already constitutes a most impressive overview of the genre’s most seminal period.  Whether read straight through or dipped into as desired, MUSIQUE FANTASTIQUE earns its place in every fantastic film library by fleshing out the lives, careers, and works of dozens of key contributors who lent glory to the genre’s most iconic years and images, many of whom have never rated mention even in its most comprehensive histories.”
-Tim Lucas/Video Watchdog #177

This book is about the power of imagination – the quest of writers and filmmakers to imagine new realities and break new ground, and the efforts of composers to provide a soundtrack for these explorations. Randall Larson has written a remarkable and passionately researched account of these musical efforts. It should be a fascinating read for anyone interested in film, as it provides an endless source of insight and inspiration for people working in the field. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait for the subsequent volumes to be published.
-Paul Haslinger, composer, Underworld: Awakening, Death Race, After.Life

This book is just great! In its musical and historical aspects, it is a must for very film music lover and composer – and should be also a must reading for producers and directors!
-Elia Cmiral, composer, Wrong Turn, Pulse (series), Piranha 3DD

I grew up on these films, and yet still found revealing insights on every page about my favorite composers and scores. Best of all, Larson is careful not to let the detail overwhelm the reader — “Musique Fantastique” is a brisk and fun read. There’s something here for everyone, from the casual fan, to aspiring musicians, to film buffs, to veteran composers. You’ll never watch (or listen to) your favorite genre films the same way again!
-Bear McCreary, composer, Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, Black Sails

When I was first learning about the wealth of fabulous music written for fantastic films of the past, the first edition of Randall Larson’s “Musique Fantastique” was my number one reference source.  Long after I forged my own niche in the field of such music as a soundtrack producer and writer, “Musique Fantastique” remained the most essential film music volume on my bookshelf.  As impressively one-of-a-kind as that initial edition was, this greatly-expanded and revised second edition redefines “comprehensive” regarding this remarkable and important genre of music, and for many generations to come it will no doubt entertain and illuminate even more than its predecessor did.  And I shall be returning to it again and again long into the fantastic future.
-David Schecter, soundtrack producer, Monstrous Movie Music

It turns out I don’t know everything about film music (I thought I did), but Randall Larson seemingly does. He not only shows an encyclopedic knowledge of the many composers involved in writing music for horror and fantasy films (not just the famous ones), but he also gives us a feeling of the studios, the music departments, and the music supervisors whose job it was to put music on the huge amount of films that were being made at the time. Larson also has a knack for being able to describe music with words… I could hear the deep strings, the bells and timps, and the wow of the Theremin. “Musique Fantastique” is a book for anyone with a deep love of film music.
-Craig Safan, composer, The Last Starfighter, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4

This book is an amazing feat!  To condense the naturally elusive realm of the history of genre film scoring into an intelligible, tangible overview not only is an invaluable tool for composers, but sheds light on the culture of society as a whole.  Music is one of the best mirrors of the emotional state of the times in which it was produced and this book gives an insight into an area that has long been overlooked.  This book then, serves both as a specific resource manual for those interested in researching a favorite score or composer, as well as a colorful linear narrative, the likes of which I have not seen before.  Well done Randall!
-Marco Beltrami, composer, Scream (series), Terminator 3, World War Z

Musique Fantastique 2nd Edition – Contents 

Volume 1: Beginnings And The First Golden Age (1900-1959)
The Sound of the Silents
The Universal Monster Music Factory
Fantasies of the ‘30s & ‘40s
Sci-Fi Films of the ‘50s
The Monster Music of Japan
Music for Television, Part 1
Individual Chapters on: Miklós Rózsa, Roy Webb, Dimitri Tiomkin

Volume 2: Post Classical Cinema and Music Beyond Hollywood (The 1960s)
The Mysterious Worlds of Bernard Herrmann
AIP and Low Budget Sci-Fi Music of the ’60s
Horrors from Hammer and Others: British Film Music of the ’60s and ‘70s
Monster Music in Mexico, South America, and the Philippines
European Film Score Stylisms from Spain to Serbia
Italian Film Music Innovations: From Sword & Sandal to Grue & Giallo
Music for Animated Science Fiction & Fantasy

Volume 3: The Symphonic Resurgence and the Rise of the Machines (1970-1989)
The Versatility of Jerry Goldsmith
The Rise of Electronic Film Music
John Williams and the Resurgence of the Symphonic Score
Fantastic Film Music in the 70s and 80s
Music for J-Horror, Fantastic Kung-Fu, and Indonesian Genre Cinema
Post Apocalyptic Film Music Down Under
Horror & Fantasy Music from Bollywood
Fantasy Television Music of the ‘90s and Beyond

Volume 4: The Turning of a New Millennium (1990-2010)
The Hybrid Horror & Fantasy Music of the ‘90s
Science Fiction & Synthesis
New Styles for the New Millennium: The 2000s
The World Beat: New Composers for the New Millennium
New Directions in Fantastic Film Music

Click here for expanded table of contents

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