Fanning out from the Fanfare
Max Steiner’s Theme for Warner Bros.
Keywords:Max Steiner, corpus study, fanfare, film music
In 1937, Max Steiner created a fanfare for Warner Bros. to accompany the appearance of the WB shield at the beginning of each film. The fanfare made its first appearance in Tovarich, using bits and pieces from the opening themes of A Star is Born and First Lady. The C major setting of the fanfare in Gold is Where You Find It (1938) became the “canonical” version to which Steiner most frequently referred. From 1937 to 1951 it was used by Steiner and other Warner Bros. composers to open nearly every film. After 1951, Steiner began using the fanfare much less frequently, with its final appearance occurring in Battle Cry (1955).
Behlmer, Rudy. 1973. Warner Brothers: 50 years of film music. Liner notes. Warner Bros.
Lehman, Frank. 2018. Hollywood harmony: musical wonder and the sound of cinema. New York: Oxford University Press.
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