Bruce Broughton

American composer

Bruce Broughton (March 8, 1945) is an American orchestral composer of television, film, and video game scores and concert works.


  • Film music is always and only accompaniment. Whether it’s loud or occasionally important in itself, it’s what it is because of where it is — how it’s placed in the film. In a film score, the composer literally measures every note, because it has to be synchronized with the picture. The film strictly determines every element of a film score. The only reason music exists in film is to help tell a story. No one hires a composer for a film to write pretty flute lines. I generally don’t get concerned about this, but I’ll admit to getting irritated or disappointed at times on how the music is used after I’ve composed it. In the United States, all film composers work under a condition called ‘Work for Hire’. Aesthetically, it can be soul-sucking.
  • Being a composer, although I think it’s an incredible job, it’s not special. There are a lot of people who are composers. There are a lot of people who think they’re composers. There are a lot of people who are songwriters. There are a lot of people who have a musical idea. There are more now probably than there were when I began. There’s more opportunity, I think, for composers than there was back then, but there are many more composers now. So, you’re not special. You’ve got to find some way of getting hired. And I think the more you can refine your objectives, the better you are. The best advice I got about this when I was just starting was, “Ignore all of my advice and do anything you can think of”. And as I said, just get started. Just start.
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