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ScoreKeeper Says Goodbye To FORBIDDEN PLANET Co-Composer Bebe Barron...

ScoreKeeper here to honor the loss of one of the most imaginative musical minds the world of film music has ever known. Bebe Barron was a music synthesis pioneer and a lightening bolt in the film music world. Her milestone score to the sci-fi classic FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956), co-created with her engineer husband Louis, represents the pinnacle of both innovation and creativity in diegetic music. Credited as the first completely electronic film score in cinematic history, FORBIDDEN PLANET allowed Bebe to further her creative exploration of electronic mediums and apply them to film using narrative scoring techniques. Bebe Barron passed away on April 20th, 2008, in Los Angeles, California. It’s quite possible that FORBBIDEN PLANET could have been just another formulaic addition to the sci-fi pantheon of the 1950’s. Instead it stands apart from the pack as film rich in character, color and with a genuine sense of other-worldliness difficult to find in other films. This is due in large part to Bebe and Louis Barron’s music. In 2005, an intensive study and analysis of Bebe’s work on FORBIDDEN PLANET was published as part of the Scarecrow Film Score Guide series. LOUIS AND BEBE BARRON’S FORBIDDEN PLANET was authored by James Wierzbicki and stands as one of the most extensive and authoritative analytical studies on this score to date. There was never a score quite like FORBIDDEN PLANET before it and there has never been a score quite like it since. For this the cinematic community will be eternally grateful. On behalf of Ain’t It Cool News I’d like to extend our condolences to Barron’s family and remind them we are honored to have the music she left behind. Thank you Bebe for taking us to FORBIDDEN PLANET!

Readers Talkback
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  • May 29, 2008, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Scorekeeper is a curse!

    by LordPorkington

    Please don't mention John Williams or Danny Elfman. Back on topic though, I shall watch Forbidden Planet this weekend as it's been gathering dust on my shelf for quite some time. RIP Mrs Barron.

  • May 29, 2008, 8:32 a.m. CST

    thats 3 composers

    by cheifchirpa3000

    2 moe directors to go. r.i.p.

  • May 29, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST

    I think there is a documentary PBS showed

    by EriamJH

    ...that featured this amazing couple and the history of the score? Truly creepy, and summarizes the 1950s "cutting edge of technology" and was often imitated.

  • May 29, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    And you thought "Scorekeeper" was a music reference...

    by palimpsest

    It's like s/he's Death's accountant or something... That aside, thanks for these articles. It's only right that these industry figures and (musical innovators in Barron's case) get some mention on their passing.

  • May 29, 2008, 9:15 a.m. CST

    this happens in THREES?!

    by ArcadianDS

    What other unknown random name guy who scored something in a movie is going to die next?!<p> The memoriam tribute at the National Unknown Guys Who Doodle Notes On Staff Paper Awards Ceremony will be a tough one to watch this year.

  • May 29, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST

    I think Scorekeeper is knocking these guys off...

    by Sledge Hammer

    "it puts the lotion on it's skin or else it gets an obituary again"

  • May 29, 2008, 9:46 a.m. CST

    John Williams just sent to an Undisclosed

    by Samuel Fulmer

    location along with Dick Cheney.

  • May 29, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Danny Elfman hires brigade of

    by Samuel Fulmer


  • May 29, 2008, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Seriously, armed guards need to be employed!!!

    by Gabba-UK

    and all good composers taken into police protection!!! Three of them? WTF!!! FBI needs to get a tail on Scorekeeper ASA fucking P!!!

  • May 29, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Eesh, SK

    by I am the most horrible

    I hope you get a good long break from the RIPs Scorekeeper. ...after this one: RIP Barron, much obliged for the music.

  • May 29, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    It's been said that the triumvirate ...

    by TheCap

    ... of captain, first officer and ship's doctor that Star Trek so heavily relies upon was prototypes by the same trioka in Forbidden Planet. Now we lose both musical geniuses who were critical to the success of these classic sci-fi entities. Horrifically sad .. may they both enjoy a well-deserved eternal rest.

  • May 29, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Yet Justin Timberlake still lives

    by Trazadone

  • May 29, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST

    I might be wrong

    by saintaugust

    but shouldn't it be "non-diegetic?"

  • May 29, 2008, 2:55 p.m. CST

    No, seriously. Please stop this.

    by BiggusDickus

    'Co-composer'? Where do you draw the line with this? 'Eighth Stormtrooper From The Left In Episode IV No Longer With Us'? Ridiculous.<P>Also, can't believe no-one's got a 'decomposing composer' gag in yet...

  • May 29, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Somebody snackcaked the sumbitch....

    by 2for2true

    fargin' iceholes...

  • May 29, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    by eggart

    What a sorry audience.

  • May 29, 2008, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Who's Killing Off All The Composers???

    by Media Messiah

    It's a conspiracy!!! Somebody is knocking-off all of the great film and tv composers!!! Who's next...John Williams???

  • May 29, 2008, 7:25 p.m. CST

    RIP Harvey Korman

    by I am the most horrible


  • May 29, 2008, 7:35 p.m. CST

    I 2nd that emotion Nos. Jones

    by I am the most horrible


  • May 29, 2008, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Indeed. I weep for all my music composing bastard children

    by YouAreAllMyBastardChildren

    The great Musician in the sky gladly welcomes them home.

  • May 29, 2008, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Don't be morons and show some respect. His tributes are great

    by Proman1984

    There are a lot of film composers out there, a lot more than people realize.

  • May 30, 2008, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Forbidden Planet score: one of the greatest in cinema history

    by JacksParasites

    It was even discussed in my graduate class on music in film. Nothing quite like it. Sure, latest sci-fi films might have tried to copy it but they never got it right. He will be missed.

  • May 30, 2008, 2:55 a.m. CST

    i love that score

    by Prossor

    those bweoops and twangs only created electrically are stuff of legends... really eerie stuff. Also check out 1955's This Island Earth credits opening with similar electronic music.

  • May 30, 2008, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Eerie because the score sounded...

    by Zompar Usilon

    like the actual "voice" of planet Saturn. You may check this out. You can't deny the similarities.

  • May 30, 2008, 4:25 a.m. CST

    Nosferatu Jones

    by BiggusDickus

    Point taken, though your righteous indignation is a source of much amusement. Getting all sniffy about an off-the-cuff comment I made regarding someone you've never met simply because one aspect of their work touched your life on the three or four occasions you encountered it is priceless, dear boy.<p>You remind me of those interminable fools who leave flowers at crime scenes, despite having never even seen the murdered people in question. All that faux regret mock angush and none of them can even recall the last time they bought their own mothers a bunch. Laughable.<p>Anyway, since I touched a nerve in your shallow little world, please allow me to do so again. In the words of Eric Idle: "They're decomposing composers, there's nothing much anyone can do. You can still hear Beethoven, but Beethoven cannot hear you."<p>Foam on, lowbrow person...

  • May 30, 2008, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Bebe Barron died on April 20

    by donnarumsfeld

    No curse of threes here...