The Life of a Maestro

The Life of a MaestroJerry Goldsmith is a composer who has produced music for dozens of films such as Logan’s Runs, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Poltergeist, Alien, Basic Instinct, the Rambo films, and the Stark Trek movies. Jerry Goldsmith was born in 1929 and was introduced to the possibility of a music career when he started playing piano as a child. When Goldsmith was 13 he took piano lessons with well known pianist Jakob Gimpel and from that point on he became dedicated to a lifelong career in music.

Jerry Goldsmith’s Early Years

In the 1950s Goldsmith began his work at CBS as a typist and later in the network’s music section. It was during this time that he started writing music for shows such as CBS Radio Workshop, Frontier Gentleman and many other shows. Goldsmith also produced music scores for the program The Twilight Zone. After the 1960s Goldsmith left CBS in order to pursue greater opportunities and one of those big breaks was when he produced the score for the movie Planet of the Apes. In 1970 Goldsmith produced the music score for the movie Patton. During this time he started receiving Academy Award nominations for his music scores. For the music score for Planet of the Apes, Goldsmith got innovative by using what is known as echoplex, which is when a composer utilizes an orchestra to create beautiful sounds.

The 1970s

During this decade Jerry Goldsmith experienced a minor drought of sorts, as it relates to producing movies and he went into producing music for some TV shows in addition to movie film scores. Goldsmith wrote some scores for the TV shows The Waltons and other TV programs. However, when the 70s ended, Goldsmith started to slowly make resurgence with movie music scores that would propel him to legendary status over the next few years. Some notable films he wrote magical music scores between the 70s and 80s include The Wind and The Lion, Chinatown, and the Great Train Robbery.

The 1990s until His Passing Away

In the 1990s Jerry Goldsmith continued his music career with more success and this was seen in the score he wrote for the movie Total Recall. Goldsmith was also successful in writing the score for Basic Instinct and he went on to write scores for the Star Trek movies, Air Force One, and LA Confidential. Jerry Goldsmith passed away in 2004.

Some Thoughts from Jerry Goldsmith Regarding His Work

Jerry Goldsmith has also expressed his thoughts on how he chose his scores for different films. He said in an interview with the Washington Post that he doesn’t obtain ideas for the music scores from the scripts and instead he sees the script as a blueprint from which he develops totally different ideas. Goldsmith also mentioned that while he has written scores for plenty of science fiction movies, he enjoys writing music more for movies that pertain to relationships

Awards That Goldsmith Received

Jerry Goldsmith has received several awards over the years for his music scores and they include an Academy Award for the movie The Omen in 1977, and Emmy Award in 1973 for The Red Pony Bell Family Theater, an Emmy Award for the music he produced for the movie Babe in 1976, and an Emmy for Star Trek Voyager in 1995.

Goldsmith’s Usage of Interesting Instruments

Jerry Goldsmith has also been known for his use of interesting instruments for his film scores. For the movie Alien he used a Jewish horn called the shofar and steel drums while for the movie Congo he employed the use of traditional Native American melodies. For the movie The Ghost and The Darkness, Goldsmith used a combination of Irish folk music with African rhythms.

Jerry Goldsmith Was Also a Conductor

Jerry Goldsmith was not only a producer of music movie scores but he also worked as a conductor of a variety of musical pieces for concerts. In 1957 Jerry Goldsmith created a piece called The Thunder of Imperial Names and in 1969 he was invited to write a cantata based on a literary piece called Christus Apollo, which was written by Ray Bradbury.

Jerry Goldsmith’s Popularity

While Jerry Goldsmith’s work over the years was recognized by many insiders in the film industry, he still did not get the widespread recognition as others in this line of work such as John Williams. But despite this, Jerry Goldsmith has continued to maintain a strong level of success and the music that he wrote for movies still resonates with movie fans everywhere.

What Influenced Jerry Goldsmith’s Music Scores?

Jerry Goldsmith was heavily influenced by modernism and other influences including early 20th century classical music, Impressionism, avant-garde style of music, and the use of instruments found in other countries. It is this diverse group of influences that is heard a lot in his music scores, and this is what made Jerry Goldsmith stand out from other film music composers.

Personal Life

Jerry Goldsmith has been married twice and he has six children. One of his sons, Joel Goldsmith, was an influential film music producer in his own right and he collaborated with Jerry on the Star Trek films. Joel Goldsmith was also a video game music producer.


Film music has changed since the early 20th century when the film industry was just becoming popular all over the country. The rise of diverse cultural influences and advanced technology has blended well with film music over the past 40 or so years, and Jerry Goldsmith played a huge role in it. He opened the door for new generations of film music composers and even animators who create sound effects for animated movies. Thanks to Jerry Goldsmith film composers have wider choices regarding how they can make great music and more film composers are taking bold risks in experimentation. Jerry Goldsmith has made it possible for movies to become memorable not just by the well written script and clever acting, but also for the music that accompanies it.

Health Benefits of Classical Music

Health Benefits of Classical MusicDid you know that classical music has a neat effect on babies? You should put classical music on in the baby’s nursery as your baby sleeps, so that your baby will relax, because, according to a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, classical music helps the baby maintain a  regular heart rate and he’s less agitated. In addition to this, classical music keeps the baby’s mood happy as he plays in the crib or relaxes. Other studies have shown that listening to classical music helps people recover from injuries and other illnesses.

Your Cognitive Skills Improve

Another health benefit of classical music is that it improves your cognitive skills and according to some studies that used Mozart’s music as an experiment, researchers concluded that when people listen to classical music are more likely to use the right and left sides of the brain, and this led to better memory among those persons.

Classical Music Benefits You Physically

There are also some physical benefits to listening to classical music. According to some musical studies, classical music can increase your metabolism rate and the rhythms in the music also eliminates low energy levels in the body – this means that you’ll have a better motivation to get creative with your work.

Your Language Skills Improve

When some people listen to classical music according to Professor George Lazanov, a person may develop stronger language skills. In an experiment Lazanov had, his students study French vocabulary terms while listening to Baroque era classical music and as a result those students gained a 80% accuracy level in their understanding of French.

Even Alzheimer’s Patients Benefit From Classical Music

If you’re caring for an Alzheimer’s patient, you should give him music therapy because there was a study in which two sets of nursing home residents participated in a memory test. With the first group of residents classical music was played and with the other group no music was played. The study then concluded that the group who listened to the music fared better with the test.

You Build Better Analytical Skills

Everyone needs strong analytical skills and you can gain these skills by listening to classical music, since it is a genre that requires some active listening. When analyzing classical music you’ll need to understand something about the composers, the time periods in which the pieces, and research the theory of classical music.


Classical music has a variety of health benefits and this may inspire you to purchase and listen to classical music on a regular basis. You want to buy a variety of classical CDs so you can enjoy and learn about the many facets of classical music. The best time to listen to classical music is at night before bedtime after you take a shower. If you have a young baby you can put classical music on for him to help him relax. Finally, you want to play the music at a soft level to keep you from being distracted in your work.

The Magic Flow of Music

The Magic Flow of MusicThere is something about music that affects your brain and productivity in a positive way. According to Dr. Amit Sood of the Mayo Clinic, listening to music while you work promotes the release of dopamine in the brain, and this leads to a pleasant feeling all over and less stress at work. In a study from researcher Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, she states that those who put music on, while working, tend to finish work more quickly than those who do not work while listening to music.  For some workers, listening to music while working makes the task or entire day go faster. And for other workers, music in the office helps them focus on the tasks.

Music Relaxes the Mind

When a stressed person listens to music, it relaxes the person’s mind and the stress goes away after a time. The kind of music you listen to may also be a factor in how well you relax, because, according to some medical studies, classical, jazz and other kinds of soft music will relieve stress in people and make the day go better for them.

Music Inspires You to Be More Creative

Another benefit of music on the brain is that it inspires you to be more creative. This is especially true if the songs have positive messages that encourage you to do well in life or to overcome tough challenges you may face in life. For example, a study was done during the 50s and 60s that mentioned the benefits of Baroque era music on the success of students in school, and according to the study the children who listened to Baroque music were able to retain what they learned in school.

What Music Does For Reading Comprehension

According to a study that was conducted in Downey California, a group of first graders who engaged in music education were reading at a higher grade level than the first graders who did not receive music education in addition to their classroom studies. The National Education Center for Statistics stated that those who study music are likely to get excellent grades in school and they do well on standardized tests.

Music Is Also Therapeutic

The field of music therapy is gaining popularity in psychology and this is because music has a therapeutic effect on the brain. This is because as when a depressed or even angry person listens to soothing music for hours, it releases dopamine in the brain and this causes positive feelings in the person’s brain.


Music has calming effects on people and this is why it is used by psychologists and teachers. When you listen to music you become less depressed and you’ll become more motivated to create new things during the day. You should be careful with the kinds of music you listen to, because certain styles of music do not promote productivity and in fact certain kinds of music could make you feel worse about your situation. Finally, teach your kids the benefits of good music for their brain development.

Total Recall Soundtrack & Movie Overview

Total Recall Soundtrack OverviewArnold Schwarzenegger may be well known for the time he spent as Governor of California, but many young people today don’t realize he was also one of the biggest action movie stars of the 80s and 90s. He played many iconic roles, in many famous movies, like the Terminator series, Last Action Hero, True Lies and one of my favorites, Total Recall. That last one is a science fiction gem as far as I’m concerned, but the movie did get mixed reviews back when it came out.

Total Recall also had a great soundtrack, which is generally a rarity for action movies, both back then and even today. Jerry Goldsmith, the man behind the music, is a kind of legend in the soundtrack industry, having worked at making scores for several films for nearly 40 years of his life. That’s a long time to be doing any particular thing, but the fact that he spent so much time making movie music is an indicator that you, the viewer (or listener, more accurately) can expect a great soundtrack if you see his name.

Goldsmith’s talent is apparent, and the Total Recall soundtrack itself was right around 40 minutes in the original release of the movie. A deluxe edition of the soundtrack, released in 2000, nearly doubled the length of the soundtrack to a total of 74 minutes by adding cues cut out from the original soundtrack, which was shortened to weave seamlessly into the feature length film.

These days, electronica in music is amazingly common, but back around 1990, it was a big deal that Goldsmith was able to bring together live, orchestral sounds and mingle them with electronic elements to create music that was powerful and memorable, unique and interesting. This is apparent even from the beginning of the movie, where the opening track hits viewers with varied metal percussion that brings to mind the score from Anvil of Crom. This tune, incidentally, was a song from another popular Schwarzenegger movie, Conan.

Anyone who keeps up with Goldsmith knows that he’s done orchestral work for many other movies, like Gremlins 2. Fortunately, the super-cute piece he usually includes in his scores isn’t really present in Total Recall. The soundtrack is fast and furious at times, though it does die down to barely audible and suspenseful at other times. Also unlike some of Goldsmith’s other work, Total Recall’s soundtrack is dominated by the live instrumental work, while the electronic keyboards and other elements play a strictly supportive role, never stealing the show.

Total Recall is a movie about false memories being implanted in a person’s mind, which then make that person believe he’s done things he hasn’t. That kind of implant technology would require an enormous data space, but thanks to advanced data centers, which are always improving, there is a very real possibility that what was once a fictional concept in a movie from the 90s could become a very real occurrence.

I think it’s an interesting point to mention. Just imagine how much easier it would be to learn something, how much more quickly one could complete years of education if the information was just fed into their brain like in the movie. It’s fascinating.