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Music from the Movies

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Although the 91st Academy Awards ceremony took place more than a week ago, we wanted to highlight some of the more famous film music and film-related music we have in the NLS Music collection! A few years ago, I wrote a blog post on composer Nino Rota, who, in addition to his film scores (Godfather, Romeo and Juliet, and many others), wrote many wonderful vocal and instrumental pieces, as well as some operas.

In addition to Mr. Rota’s works in the collection, the NLS Music Section has many pieces of Henry Mancini. Mr. Mancini is best known as the composer of “Moon River”, the theme from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (in our collection for solo piano in braille at BRM20896), the theme from Days of Wine and Roses (in braille at BRM35016), and the theme from The Pink Panther (for piano in braille at BRM33037). Along with these, we also have Mancini’s own Sounds and Scores: A Practical Guide to Professional Orchestration (BRM35206)—a wonderful resource for the aspiring composer!

John Williams, perhaps best known for his film music to Star Wars, Jaws, and Indiana Jones, has some newer music in our collection: Music from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (BRM36178), available for piano in bar over bar format.

In addition to the above, we have scores from the following film composers available in braille:

  • Frank Churchill, who wrote music for Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (BRM06258)
  • Burt Bacharach, who wrote the song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (BRM24725), as well as many non-film pop music hits
  • James Horner, best known for his score for Titanic and the mega-hit song from that movie “My Heart Will Go On.” We have that song available for solo piano (BRM30021) as well as piano and voice in braille (BRM30015)
  • Max Steiner, who wrote the theme for Passage to Marseille, “Someday I’ll Meet You Again” (BRM21178)
  • Mike Batt who wrote the theme to Watership Down, sung by Art Garfunkel, ”Bright Eyes” (BRM25579)

In addition to the above braille materials, we have the following audio instructional materials from Bill Brown:


“Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (DBM02413)

“Dawn” from the movie Pride and Prejudice (DBM03716)

“Laura” from Laura (DBM03898)

“My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic (DBM01754)

“People” from the movie-musical Funny Girl (DBM03526)

“Somewhere My Love,” also known as “Lara’s theme,” from the movie Dr. Zhivago (DBM03742)

“A Summer Place,” the theme from the movie A Summer Place (DBM02603)

Theme from The Notebook (DBM03327)

Theme from The Pink Panther (DBM01756)

“There You’ll Be” from Pearl Harbor (DBM03330)

Alto Saxophone

Theme from Ice Castles (DBM02719)

“Over the Rainbow” from Wizard of Oz (DBM02728)


Theme from James Bond (DBM02958)

Two men using a movie camera indoors
Two men using a movie camera indoors. Photograph by the Detroit Publishing Co., between 1908 and 1920.

Lastly, here are some digital talking books that discuss musicians and music in the movies:

Tex Ritter (DBM00878): Biography of the Texas-born country-western singer and Hollywood cowboy. “High Noon,” “Old Shortie,” and “Lord Can a Drunk Get into Heaven” are among the songs heard.

You’ve Given Us More than You Know (DBM00563): Interview with Eddie Eliscue, author, playwright, actor, and lyricist of such songs as “Great Day” and “The Carioca,” the song made famous by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their first film collaboration Flying Down to Rio.

Queen of the Sentimental Love Song (DBM00341): Summarizes the film career of Jeanette McDonald from 1929 to 1949. Gives the background of her films, co-stars, and songs.

The Stage Door Canteen, 1941-1945 (DBM00805): The Stage Door Canteen in Hollywood was run by stars from competing movie studios for the service men of World War II. Musical selections include Carmen Miranda singing “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and Yvonne De Carlo singing “I’ll Be Thinking about You.”

You can bring a little bit of the magic of the movies home with you! Contact the Music Section at [email protected] or 1-800-424-8567 ext. 2.  Additionally, you also may be interested in our resource guide on audio description for movies and TV, which can be found here: Audio Description Resource Guide


  1. Fantastic.

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