How do you put music into categories?
Broad sweeping statements trying to group similar styles together? How can ‘vocal’ be a category – it could apply to anything with any singing in it!
It’s always bothered me slightly that iTunes classifies music in a slightly odd way. If I want to find all the Christian music in my library I have to search for Christian, Worship, Religious or Gospel. Texas, one of the least offensive and most mainstream of bands, is listed as Alternative.
Downloading iTunes 9 last night, I was immediately enraptured by the new genius mix feature – I like my eclectic musical taste to be played effortlessly – but noticed that its basis is in classifications. This is how I’ve ended up with four Soundtrack mixes (out of a total of 12).
Doing some comparing with a friend, who had no soundtrack mixes, we mused over the strangeness of classifications. I also felt a need to defend my soundtrack heavy library. My issue is that, despite my love of musicals, not everything classed as ‘soundtrack’ is that kind of soundtrack. There’s quite a large number of film scores that really, if you’re looking at genres could be classed as classical.
The Simpsons Movie? Largely classical by the wonderful Hans Zimmer.
Carrie? Mostly classical and hugely haunting, with beautiful flute solos.
O Brother Where Art Thou? Awesome vocal score.
Pleasantville? An inspired classical theme with classic tracks alongside it. (Plus, it contains the song I’ve decided will be the first dance at my hypothetical wedding.)
I could go on. Of course, being the good music student that I am, I also know that ‘classical’ can be sub-divided in any number of ways, and if applied strictly only applies to music composed between 1750 & 1825 (approximately), falling between the Baroque and Romantic periods…
You know what, I’m clearly just miffed that I had no classical mix amongst my 12 (my friend had a couple), which I think reflects badly on my music collection and supposed intelligence. I’ll get over it.
But, it means I can share a favourite clip from a favourite movie – The Holiday – in which Jack Black’s character highlights the best in movie scores. Love it, particularly the Dustin Hoffman (ok, I may have got it wrong first time…) cameo. A friend of mine has a similar passion, which is probably how I ended up with so many soundtracks in the first place.


  1. Of course, you meant Dustin Hoffman…

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