skip to Main Content

Forums Forums General Discussion Question about Danny's scores/orchestration and rumor

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #99008

    Ok so I’m a big fan of Elfman and curious about a few things I read/heard.

    He’s mentioned in various interviews that people in the industry, at least back in the day, used to rumor that he didnt write his own scores and had ghostwriters? Or that Bartek wrote every note and melody score? Or maybe meant orchestrating/notating it? Because he had no formal training and came from a rock band, etc.

    I’m confused now as to what this was all about? I thought he wrote all his scores but I have no idea how the world of orchestrating/conducting/composing goes in terms of this stuff. Can someone help enlighten me?
    Are they saying he just is credited yet did nothing?

    Theres an in depth interview with danny about this from Movie Collector mag but it still confuses me as he says hes written every note yet supposedly he has other people helping on official publishing credit things, or so I read on this forum? I dont understand a anything about this stuff. Sorry. Hah



    Hope this question isnt of bother or create stir..just I dont understand any of it and out of the loop with this stuff and apparently it’s been an ongoing kind of topic for years, as it seems.

    Plus I got confused when danny said in some interviews compared to this one below by Bartek and was under assumption that i guess it later changed writing dynamic?


    This is probably the oldest thing that has attached itself to Elfman’s career, although it’s fortunately started to loosen over the last couple of decades.

    The argument that Elfman didn’t know how to orchestra or write for orchestra when he did his first films, is false. He doesn’t have a formal education in composition or orchestration, but is self-taught. He practiced by orchestrating Prokofiev, Duke Ellington and other composers long before he did any film scores.

    But he obviously needed some help with his first few scores, from PEE-WEE onward, so people like Bartek (who IS formally educated) and Shirley Walker were among his collaborators. As years have gone by, his grasp of orchestral composition and orchestration has obviously improved, to the extent that nobody (or very few) question that he actually writes his own material anymore.


    Thank you for answering!


    The Bartek interview was back when Elfman was able to write all of the music himself (bar exceptions like Nightbreed and Darkman, which openly name the tracks composed by Sheffer/Walker). Like most composers, Elfman gets help in for most gigs these days. He mentioned in an interview for The End of the Tour that one of the reasons he was so excited to score it was because he could do it all himself, but we’ve no real idea of how his system works.

    Can’t help but wonder if this is one of the reasons why he’s drawn more to the classical world these days.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Back To Top