- Incidental music
Incidental music is
musicin a play, televisionprogram, radioprogram, video game, film or some other form not primarily musical. The term is less frequently applied to filmmusic, with such music being referred to instead as the " film score" or "soundtrack."
Incidental music is often "background" music, and adds atmosphere to the action. It may take the form of something as simple as a low, ominous tone suggesting an impending startling event, or, to enhance the depiction of a story-advancing sequence, such as its use in the film "The Insider". It may also include pieces which will provide the main interest for the audience, for example
overtures, or music played during scene changes, or at the end of an act, immediately preceding an interlude, such as in the classic television series "" (as well as in the other " Star Trek" television series). It may also be required in plays that have musicians performing on-stage.
The use of incidental music dates back at least as far as Greek drama. A number of classical
composers have written incidental music for various plays, with the more famous examples including Ludwig van Beethoven's "Egmont" music, Franz Schubert's " Rosamunde" music, Felix Mendelssohn's music for " A Midsummer Night's Dream", Georges Bizet's music for "L'Arlesienne", and Edvard Grieg's music for Henrik Ibsen's " Peer Gynt". Parts of all of these are often performed in concerts outside the context of the play.
Modern composers of stage music include John White. One of the best known incidental music composers for British television is
Howard Goodall, who wrote music for "The Gathering Storm", " Blackadder", and "Red Dwarf", as well as the film "Bean".
* [http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/foresters/for_webop.html "The Foresters" Web Opera] - Score by
Sir Arthur Sullivanfor a play by Lord Alfred Tennyson, with additional music arranged by persons unknown. Available online in an extremely complete state, down to the shortest trumpet fanfare, and thus an extremely useful example of Victorian incidental music.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.