Review: Omni Music Publishing Batman (1989) Sheet Music Collection

Before I begin my review,  I would like to thank Paul (ral) for giving me this opportunity to share my views and opinions regarding the release of this book.  I would also like to thank Omni Music Publishing for making this review possible, and finally, I would like to give a sincere "Thank You" to Danny Elfman, for He is the very reason why I got into film scoring.

Omni's Batman Score Cover

Omni's Full Score release of Danny Elfman's BATMAN, is truly a sight to behold.  Every single Note, Instrument, and Cue is presented here. 

The book's exclusive interview with Danny, is partially taken from the Beyond Batman (Nocturnal Overtures: The Music of BATMAN) segment.  Inside the book there is a contents page which features all 49 original cues, plus 6 bonus cues that were omitted from the final cut of the film.  These omitted cues include

5M4  Morning After
6M1  Board Meeting
9M2  Vicki Hides Film
10M1  The Truth
11M1A  "...Or Their Sons"
11M5  Joker Flies To Gotham

There is also an instrument list page. Each individual cue features detailed descriptions of key moments in the scene.  This is a wonderful feature to be included.  Especially, for those who have difficulty with sight reading.  The score itself is massive.  I can only imagine how difficult the tasks must have been to assemble this book together.  I literally get chills when I'm sight reading the score while listening to the music.  It creates a whole new viewing/ listening experience.  A good example of this would be when reading, "Descent Into Mystery."  The book's first page includes both Latin and English translations for the Choir's lyrics.  For the first time ever, I was able to see what the Choir had been chanting when Batman is driving Vicki toward the Batcave. 

The translation reads as follows:

      Latin                                        English

bis sunto! latent!             let them be twofold; they are hiding.
bis sunto, pacto              let them be twofold:
parati solo!                     furnished by their pledge alone!
hic sunto: latent!             let them be here; they are hiding

adsunto more                 they shall arrive in the
portent magno!              great manner of an omen!

  As for reading and following the score, there are several instruments playing in the backround that one would never have noticed if he/she just listened to the recording by itself.  This experience applies to all the cues in the book.

  Another interesting discovery was La-La Land records mistake about "Joker's Muzak" (unused cue).  In their liner notes they say that, "Joker's Muzak" was to be played on the henchman's boombox, during his scene in Vicki's apartment, but was replaced by Beautiful Dreamer.  This is incorrect.  The cue has nothing to do with the Joker.  Instead, it has more to do with the relationship between Bruce and Vicki.  The correct name of this cue is 10M1 The Truth.  According to the cue's scene description, the music is to begin a second after Alfred suggests to Bruce that he should try telling Vicki, "The Truth" and it ends when Bruce pushes Vicki on the chair.   I'm suprised that no one at La La Land figured this out, considering that the music sounds more in relation to Bruce and Vicki's Love Theme, than it does to any of Joker's Themes.  There is no cue named, "Joker's Muzak" to be found in the book.

  Though this book is expertly engraved, carefully reproduced, and edited from the original handwritten manuscript.  There have been a few minor mistakes that have appeared here and there, nothing big.  Examples: On page 3 of 1M1 Main Title there is a transposition issue with the trumpets, horns, and clarinets on the opening C# Major chord on Bar 12.  Basically they are not transposed, so the chord is wrong.  On page 207 10M1 "The Truth" the harp begins on Bar 3. When in fact, it should begin on Bar 2.  Understand, that these mistakes are very very minor and don't take away from the entirety of the score.       

  As a self educated musician and composer myself, the release of this book is a dream come true.  I can't praise it enough.  I strongly recommend buying a copy.  It's totally worth the purchase price of $85.00.  In fact, I'm shocked at how reasonbly low the price is.  I expected the price to be anywhere between $500 to $1,000 dollars.  A book like this should not be exclusive to just those who have been trained in music or who are musically gifted.  Instead, It should be for everyone that is truly both, an Elfman fan and a Batman fan.  I believe that this book should be as important to own as the cd itself.  It is an essential collector's edition to all the hardcore Batman fans and should be considered more important to own, than any number of Batman related products.  Such as movie props, comics, toys, costumes,games, etc. etc. etc. . . Why?  Because unlike other Batman related products like: an action figure that will sit and collect dust, or some Batman cowl that will never fit, or some comic book that is always getting reissued.  This particular Batman related product is special.  It is a rare genuine masterpiece of both, Batman's history and Film Music history, and it's here for you.




Full track listing and an option to buy are on the Omni Music website -
It is priced at $85.

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