Piece of the Week: At the Movies with Hans Zimmer

At the Movies with Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer, the German-born and Los Angeles-based composer, has written the soundtracks to more movies than you have ever seen, or at least that’s how it seems when you look at his IMDb credits list. After starting his career as a keyboard player in new-wave bands, Zimmer got his big break composing the soundtrack to Barry Levinson’s film Rain Man and never looked back. Though he is known for his innovative use of synthesizers in film soundtracks, Zimmer is equally adept at composing heroic and beautiful themes for traditional orchestra and band instruments. This piece, arranged for Alfred Publishing Co. by composer and educator Justin Williams, brings together the main themes from three of Zimmer’s most recent action-movie soundtracks: The Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises, and Inception. Arranged for intermediate-level concert band, this piece is sure to grab audiences and students alike.

Audio Sample:

Audio provided by Alfred Music Publishing Co., Inc.

Composition Notes:

At the Movies With Hans Zimmer is not as much a medley of tunes as it is a “soundtrack collection” of Zimmer’s moods and familiar ambiance. Incorporating selections from Man of Steel, Inception, and The Dark Knight Rises, the piece is a tour de force of dramatic and emotional cinematic textures.

Click here for additional information on this piece from Alfred Publishing.

Composer Biography:

German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood’s most innovative musical talents, having first enjoyed success in the world of pop music as a member of The Buggles. For nearly three decades Zimmer has composed music for over 100 films, including many critically acclaimed film scores. Zimmer is best known for composing the scores to blockbuster action movies, including Batman: The Dark Knight, Inception, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and most recently Divergent. His works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. He has received four Grammy awards, two Golden Globes, a Classical BRIT award, and an Academy award.

Arranger Biography:

Justin Williams recieved a Bachelor of Arts degree with special honors in Political Science and a minor in music from Jacksonville, Alabama. He also recieved the Master of Arts in History from JSU. He has studied arranging and composition privately with Dr. William Jerryl Davis, Mr. Patrick Roszell, and Robert W. Smith. Justin serves as arranger and program consultant for over thirty high school band programs across the country. He is staff arranger for the Jacksonville State University “Marching Southerners” and University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s “Pride of Acadiana” Marching Band. Always in demand as a writer, Justin’s arrangements have been performed in numerous bowl game and BCS championship game halftime productions, as well as the Rose Bowl Parade. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Lord Mayor’s New Year’s Day Parade in London, England. When not arranging and composing, he teaches history and political science at Central Alabama Community College in Talladega, Alabama. Justin is currently staff arranger for the Belwin Division of Alfred Music Publishing in Los Angeles, California.

Click here for more information on Justin Williams

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If you are an educator, musician, composer or student with a suggestion for a “piece of the week” blog post, you can email your suggestion to Griffin at [email protected]. Please let me know the name of the piece, composer, publisher, and why this piece is special to you.

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