One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. In this episode, host Jim Morske introduces guest Elmer Bernstein, composer. After conducting his theme from "The Rat Race," Bernstein tells how music in a film can heighten the impact of various situations, whether dramatic, comedic, or suspenseful, in terms of emotion. He notes that music can also pace a film, using his score for "The Magnificent Seven" as an example. Bernstein goes on to explain how one decides where music will be used in a film and which scenes to score, always while coinciding with the director's demands. Bernstein demonstrates how he scored a scene from "Men in War" in which the protagonists are walking through a minefield. Showing Saul Bass's designs for the title sequence of "The Man With the Golden Arm," Bernstein tells how his jazz-influenced score worked in harmony with the art. Finally, he shows a sequence from the animated "Toccata for Toy Trains," for which he composed "a lighter score." Upon taking questions from the audience, the discussion includes: whether music can overcome a bad screenplay; why music should be used sparingly in a film; if critics pay more attention to a film's score than in the past; and Bernstein's next cinematic score, for the film "By Love Possessed." The show closes as Bernstein performs his love theme for "From the Terrace."

(This program contains technical problems. This represents the best copy of this program currently available to the Museum.)

Cataloging of this program was made possible by a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation.


  • DATE: July 30, 1961 Sunday 4:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:45
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:71203
  • GENRE: Music; Education/Information
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Music, popular (songs, etc.)
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965


  • Ned Cramer … Producer
  • Ethel Burns … Associate Producer
  • Neal Finn … Director
  • Elmer Bernstein … Composer, Conductor
  • Norman Paris … Conductor
  • CBS Orchestra, The … Symphony Orchestra
  • Jim Morske … Host
  • Elmer Bernstein … Guest
  • Saul Bass
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