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New Era University

College of Music

Hans Zimmer
Film Score Composer
Life and Works

Submitted by:
Jerome Van Lester S. Garcia

in partial Fulfillment of
the requirements for ML 13 Musicology

Submitted to:
Dr. Genesis Rivera

Background of the Study

Hans Zimmer is a film composer, award winning composer and also a record
producer. He is one of the most talented and finest Composer of today. He is wellknown for his composition for Hollywood blockbuster movies like Rainman, Lion
king, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Interstellar, Batman series and many
more. Hans Zimmer was one of the pioneers of synth programming and using
sampling techniques and samplers in the creation of film scores. He is known for
his hybrid sound (combining live orchestra and other instruments with samplers
and synthesizers), which he has been perfecting throughout his career that
contributed to his worldwide success. His arrangements are very unique and suited
to his film. As a composer, Hans explore different sounds/samples that are not
familiar. And contributed so well in the world of film scoring.

The purpose of this reseach is to explore the life of this great composer. How did
he became a well-known composer internationally, what is his ideasin creating
music. Because Hans Zimmer created music for almost 150 films already. Even
many of this make an awards and also, let's look into his world and see the
modernization of music through him.

Information that will come up to this research is based from works from the
internet, books, videos, news and from the composer himself.

Hans Florian Zimmer was

born on september 12, 1957
in Frankfurt am Main, Germany,the
largest city in the German state of
Hessen and the fifth-largest city in
Germany. As a young child, he
lived in Knigstein-Falkenstein, a
climatic spa and lies on the thickly
wooded slopes of the Taunus in Hesse, Germany.
As a young boy, Zimmer played the piano at home, but even though, he had piano lessons only
briefly as he disliked the discipline of this like formal lessons. His mother is a musician who is a
fan of Beethoven and His father is a engineer and a inventor. So as Hans grew up, he learned to
modify the piano that his Mother gasp in horror but his father would think that it was fantastic
when Hans attach a chainsaw and stuff like that to the piano.
Growing up in the 1950s and 60s in post-World War II Germany only made Hans's identity
harder for him to grapple with because the Zimmers are Jewish. Zimmers father died when he
was a young boy, and his mother rarely discussed her Jewish roots. He knows she escaped
Germany in 1939 and survived the war in England, but her silence about the family religion led
him to feel that it was, in a way, their secret. Quite honestly, I think my parents were always
wary of me telling the neighbors, Zimmer said. There was always still that cloud, and I felt
it.Hans Zimmer said. In an interview with the German television station ZDF in 2006, he
commented: "My father died when I was just a child, and I escaped somehow into the music and

music has been my best friend. When he is in his teenage years, He moved to London where he
attended the Hurtwood House school.
Zimmer began his career playing
keyboards and synthesizers in the 1970s,
with the band Krakatoa (Picture on the
left, Krakatoa 1.5 - David Poxon, Nigel
Glocker, Elana Harris, Hans Zimmer and
Roger Adams).

Then later worked with The Buggles, a new wave band

formed in London in 1977 with Trevor Horn, Geoff
Downes, and Bruce Woolley. Zimmer can be seen
briefly in The Buggles' music video for the 1979 song
"Video Killed the Radio Star".

After working with The Buggles, he started to work

for the Italian group Krisma, a new wave band
formed in 1976 with Maurizio Arcieri and Christina
Moser. He was a featured synthesist for Krismas

third album, Cathode Mamma. He has also worked with the band Helden (with Warren Cann
from Ultravox).
Both Zimmer (on keyboards) and Cann (on drums), were invited to be part of the Spanish
group Mecano for a live performance in Segovia (Spain) in 1984. Two songs from this concert
were included in the "Mecano: En Concierto" album released in 1985 only in Spain. In 1980
Zimmer co-produced a single, "History of the World, Part 1," with, and for, UK Punk band The
Damned, which was also included on their 1980 LP release, "The Black Album," and carried the
description of his efforts as "Over-Produced by Hans Zimmer."

England became a suitable place for Hans because he was been exposed on many kind of music.
Should it be rock band like the rolling stones, orchestras and John Williams's " Symphonic
Poem", which is very popular in the late 20th century. Hans Zimmer think that Williams is a
unique composer and he idolized him. Hans also exposed on creating commercials on high
caliber, so there is high education he absorbed that led him in composing.

The Start of his Career as a composer...

For Hans Zimmer, music/recording studio is a instrument. A instrument because of it has so
many uses, with his synthesizer, mixer, auxilator, and a filter when was beginning, he
successfully create music. Because of Hans is not a good performer in from of people, he
concentrate more on recording than playing on a live in front of the audience. Because of the
rapid improvement of technology, Hans used it to make and create great music.

In the 1980s, Zimmer partnered with Stanley Myers(Left

picture), a prolific film composer who wrote the scores for over
sixty films. Zimmer and Myers cofounded the Londonbased
Lillie Yard recording studio. Together, Myers and Zimmer
worked on fusing the traditional orchestral sound with
electronic instruments. Some of the films on which Zimmer
and Myers worked are:

Moonlighting (1982),
Success is the Best Revenge (1984),
Insignificance (1985),
My Beautiful Launderette (1985).

Zimmer's first solo score was Terminal Exposure for director Nico Mastorakis in 1987, for which
he also wrote the songs. Zimmer acted as score producer for the 1987 film The Last Emperor,
which won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

A Turning Point...
A turning point in Zimmer's career occurred with the 1988
film Rain Man. Hollywood director Barry Levinson was
looking for someone to score Rain Man, and his wife heard the
soundtrack CD of the anti-Apartheid drama A World Apart, for

which Zimmer had composed the music. Levinson was impressed by Zimmer's work, and hired
him to score Rain Man.

LeavingWallbrook- On the Road
Hans creative mind used sounds that are not like a symphonic music but rather native
instruments from africa. Also in this soundtrack it is sound as cinematic with the sound of bass
drums, lots of drums. Zimmer explained that "It was a road movie, and road movies usually have
jangly guitars or a bunch of strings. I kept thinking don't be bigger than the characters. Try to
keep it contained. The Raymond character doesn't actually know where he is. The world is so
different to him. He might as well be on Mars. So, why don't we just invent our own world music
for a world that doesn't really exist?".

The Power of One

The Power of One is an intriguing story of a
young English boy named Peekay and his
passion for changing the world. Because of this
film, Zimmer travelled to Africa in order to
use African choirs and drums in the recording
of the score.

The Rain Maker
Hans successfully create a score that is more dramatic but multi emotion, With a male soloist,
Male chorus in acapella at the beginning of the track. Then later came the drums, then back to
the chorus and now mixed chorus. Hans came to an idea of african music but more melodious
rather than just rhythm. At the very end, it create of a joyous music, as the melody and the
instruments became joyful.

Because of wonderful works of Hans Zimmer to the film "The Power of Love", Disney
Animation Studios approached Zimmer to compose the score for the film The Lion King. But
also Hans Zimmer got a police record in Africa because of "doing 'subversive' movies".

The Lion King

Is a 1994 American animated epic musical film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation.The
story takes place in a kingdom of lions in Africa,
and was influenced by William
Shakespeare's Hamlet. Its original songs were
written by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim
Rice, and original scores were written by Hans
This was to be Hans's first score for an animated
film. Zimmer said that he had wanted to go to
South Africa to record parts of the soundtrack, but because of his record there it was unabled.

Disney studio bosses expressed fears that Zimmer would be killed if he went to South Africa, so
the recording of the choirs was organized during a visit by Lebo Morake (known as The Voice
and Spirit of The Lion King and is a South African producer and composer most famous for
arranging and performing music for The Lion King movies and stage productions.)


"Circle of Life"
Is a song from Disney's 1994 animated
film The Lion King. Composed by Elton John,
with lyrics by Tim Rice and score by Hans
Zimmer. It was Hans idea to create an opening of a call" Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba"(
Here comes a lion, Father) with the voice of Lebo M., creating of a call that tells that the story
will start, and start in a different world, leading us to africa. The beginning of the music also
suggesting us that this story is not just any story, but giving us an idea this this will be a great
story. The music create a beautiful song with rithmic chant of african choirs, and it give a spirit
of the nature, of the jungle. The Circle of life is about living and dying and carrying on on our
life. The idea of this score, is that it has to be not sound like a american, but rather a african

"This Land"

Another track from the Lion king is the "This Land", created by Hans Zimmer. This music is for
the coming back of the lion king(Simba), so Hans created it as like celebrating the return of
someone thats been felt from a dark past. A strong and uprising melody of the strings and
continue as the choir sings.

Zimmer won numerous awards for his work on The Lion King, including an Academy
Award for Best Original Score, a Golden Globe, and two Grammys. In 1997, the score was
adapted into a Broadway musical version which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1998.

Crimson Tide
Zimmer's score for Tony Scott's 1995
film Crimson Tide won a Grammy Award
for the main theme, which makes heavy
use of synthesizers in place of traditional
orchestral instruments. Hans Zimmer one
said that, the use of synthesizer is not
imitating a orchestra, because orchestra is
a different world and also Hans said that
atleast you dont need a one hundred people in your room but just his instrument. Hans is trying
to do is to create the emotion that a orchestra can do.
The Main Theme

The score is very dramatic in the opening with the main melody in the trumpet backing up by the
strings and then later the drums came in, and it became cinematic in effect. And there is a
changing in the mood of the score, with the male chorus singing some chants in different parts.
Then again orchestra came in, and later that, a chorus singing a song from some like classical
period or like a song for a worship service and it ended with a "Amen".

Year 2000
In the 2000s, Hans composed numerous composition for blockbuster films. Some of this is the

The Gladiator
The original soundtrack to Ridley Scott's
Gladiator features an original score composed
by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer and
Golden Globe nominee and former Dead Can
Dance member Lisa Gerrard. The duo's
dramatic music incorporates traditional
orchestral elements, ancient and indigenous
instruments, and Gerrard's haunting vocals to
create a timeless and evocative backdrop for
Scott's tale of an avenging gladiator in ancient Rome.
Ridley Scott transports Hollywood to second-century Rome in the rousing historical epic
Gladiator . Maximus (Russell Crowe), a Roman general, finds himself caught up in the battle for

the throne when the Emperor chooses him over his son Commodus. When Maximus discovers
that his family has been slaughtered he allows himself to be captured and thrown into the
gladiator games in a bid to save not only himself but the future of the very empire that he loves
and honours.
The album won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and was also nominated for the
Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Score ("Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music").
The score was also nominated for the Grammy award, Online Film Critics Society Award,
Chicago Film Critics Association Award 2001, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
Films, USA 2001, ARIA Music Award 2001, BAFTA Award 2001.The original soundtrack album
was a huge success for Universal and Decca, selling platinum in sales and prompting multiple
album releases in the future. The Gladiator score goes as one of the most important in the
modern age of soundtracks, bringing recognition to the genre of soundtrack music to the masses
and has influenced many young composers of our generation.
As Zimmer states in his interview about Gladiators score with Ian Lace fir the Film Music on
the Web: I have to say that I did not want to turn into a musical anthropologist, to research
ancient Roman music. But at the same time I wanted to have a sound that was not contemporary
to today. Zimmer made a conscious choice of creating a sound for this movie, which would
transfer the viewer of the film to the Roman times.
With the extensive use of the German medieval instrument the gamshorn, which plays the
Progeny theme , the more then 3000 year old Armenian instrument Duduk, played by master
duduk player Djivan Gasparyan, a very rare dulcimer-like hammered string instrument Yang
Ching, performed by Lisa Gerrard, Lisas beautiful eternal-ethnic like vocals with a combination
of solo cello, trumpet, orchestra, ethnic Arabic percussions, synth percussions and synth

apreggiators, pads and stabs, Zimmer achieved in creating a very fresh sound that evokes the
past, yet is very modern and emotional. Zimmer point out in his interview with Ian Lace: World
music has become the "in-thing" just now but I believe I have contrasted that sound fairly well
with the use of such an enormous orchestra. I've always wanted to write for Djivan Gasparyan. I
think he is one of the most amazing musicians in the world. He creates a sound that has a lonely
yet haunting quality and is thousands of years old - ageless.
Gladiators score is pure of emotion and drama and it engulfs the viewer into the picture and, in
my opinion, blends perfectly with the way the film is shot and the colors of the picture.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Hans Zimmer is the composer that has
contributed throughout the whole series of
Pirates of the Caribbean. Therefore, this
makes him the man that is all-knowing
about his scores. During interviews,
Zimmer has described what he aimed to
achieve with the score and its role in the
movie. He believes that he could provide
the audience with a livid memory of the film. The process of perfecting this vehicle, as explained
by many of Zimmers collaborators, such as Lorne Balfe, Bob Badami and Bruce Fowler, was a
very time-consuming process that required heaps of concentration and many long nights.
However, since only three weeks were spent on the development of the soundtrack for the Black
Pearl, Zimmer expected this one to be of lesser importance in his career.

Characterisation is commonly shown through the film music. The title of the
soundtrack is actually named after the character in some instances. For
example, there are songs named Will And Elisabeth, Jack Sparrow,
Barbarossa Is Hungry, Davy Jones, etc. These titles indicate that the
music is meant to illustrate the moods of these characters. There are also
indirect links to characters, such as a leitmotif that is always played when
Jack makes his humorous entrances. The same leitmotif is always played
when Jack is introduced in the films, thus stressing the importance of these
few notes and adds a whole new level of understanding to the character.

In this research we will find how a composer think, how he act on certain jobs,
how he orchestrate his scores. In this research, Hans life is so creative and