HomeAbout The Film Music Society
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The Film Music Society is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation that aims and endeavors
  • to increase awareness of the artistic, historical and commercial value of film and television music;
  • to preserve and restore film and television music scores, manuscripts, orchestrations, recordings and all related materials;
  • to research, document and disseminate the histories of film and television music, whether by oral means or by aural, written and/or digital media;
  • to publish scholarly and other journalistic works on subjects relating to film and television music;
  • to foster, encourage and cultivate new musical and journalistic works; and
  • to present and promote the film and television music contributions of past, present and future composers, arrangers and musicians.


The Film Music Society is a non-profit organization established by professionals in the film and music communities. The FMS promotes the preservation of film and television music in all of its manifestations, including published and unpublished scores, orchestrations, recordings and all related materials. It is the leading organization for film and television music preservation in the world, with members in eighteen countries.

The FMS educates the public about film and television music to increase recognition of the art and techniques of film scoring; coordinates the donation of film and TV music collections to institutional libraries for preservation and access; encourages the publication of serious writings on subjects relating to film and television music; sponsors and supports public events such as concerts, screenings and seminars; and acts as a center and distributor of information on film and television music.

During the early 1970s, when many major film studio executives had little sense of history and saw no use for the studios' historic motion picture and television libraries, thousands of music-related materials were destroyed to free up the studio lots' limited storage facilities. It was a time when there was no apparent commercial viability for classic movies and TV shows. And, certainly, the music that derived from these art forms had shown only some brief vitality on its own through occasional soundtrack albums.

One particular incident – that of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer discarding its rich collection of classic film music manuscripts, orchestrations, sketches and original recordings into a landfill just north of Los Angeles – compelled a group of caring people to meet on the subject, perchance to find a solution to the destruction. In 1974, at the home of film composer Fred Steiner, a meeting ensued with author/historian Tony Thomas, composer David Raksin, author/historian Clifford McCarty, Jon Newsom from the Music Division of the Library of Congress, record producer George Korngold, author/historian Rudy Behlmer and several other concerned experts, some of whom had been involved in rescuing film composers' estate materials and placing them with local university library collections.

The members of this ad-hoc committee saw a critical need for a concerted, large-scale effort toward seeking out film and TV music materials in danger of disposal, and to find suitable repositories for these materials. A few years later, a formal organization was established – The Society for the Preservation of Film Music – under a generous grant from film music patron Henry P. Adams. In 1982, the SPFM changed its legal status to a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving film and TV music. Much of the Society's efforts soon involved "consciousness raising" by promoting a great appreciation of film music through its publication activities. A quarterly journal, The Cue Sheet, was established to report news of the Society's activities, as well as for publication of film music-related articles, bibliographies and reviews.

Over the past ten years, the organization has increased its operations in the areas of audio restoration and book publications, and has begun an oral history project to preserve the facts, the opinions and the colorful stories of Hollywood's past as told first-hand by those who pioneered the fields of film and television music. The Society's conferences on preservation, Career Achievement Award dinners and special public events continue to grow in visibility and importance. Today, the FMS plays a critical role in film and television music preservation activities by surveying, analyzing, and proposing solutions to the problems involved in the preservation of film music materials. In the mid-1990s, the Society undertook one of the most ambitious projects in the history of preservation: preserving and cataloging the massive film music manuscript and orchestration archives at Paramount Pictures.

In September, 1997, the organization was renamed The Film Music Society. Since the Society's inception, the public has become more aware of the importance of film music, and the entertainment industry has recognized the need to care for this important legacy as part of America's cultural and artistic heritage.

2007– David Newman
2002–2007 Christopher Young
1996–2001 Elmer Bernstein
1992–1996 David Raksin
1989–1992 Herschel Burke Gilbert
1984–1989 William H. Rosar

2005– Marilee Bradford, Producing Director
2002–2005 Linda Danly, Director, The Film Music Center
1990–2002 Jeannie Pool, Executive Director
1989–1990 William H. Rosar, Executive Director

The Cue Sheet
The Film Music Society's Quarterly Journal

Articles, reviews, tributes, and essays by some of today's finest historians, journalists and music professionals
Free with Membership! Submissions | Index (pdf)
Special Features
2024 Board of Directors
and Advisory Board

FMS-published Works and Recommended Reading
The Film Music Society's Award Winners
Career Achievement, Film Music Preservation and Special Awards
FMS Public Service
Estate Preservation and Restoration—We can help!
An Appeal to Composers from Christopher Young
Preserve your music for future generations!
Site Credits
Partial funding for this web site was made possible by a generous grant from THE FILM MUSIC FOUNDATION.
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