Composers and Arrangers of Light Music
For more information about a particular composer and recommend
works, click on his name if it is underlined...Those names which are
not yet underlined are being researched, and information will be
posted as soon as the process is complete.
First we honor composer/arrangers who made major contributions to the field of Light Music and who are favorites of the authors of this Web Site:
Here are other composer/arrangers who have written particular distinctive pieces which became classics of the "Light Music" genre, listed in roughly chronological order of birth:
Ray Martin | Felix Arndt | Paul Weston | Robert Maxwell | Bernie Wayne | Milton Delugg
Louis Busch (Joe "Fingers" Carr) | Albert Harris | Frank DeVol | Andre Popp
Ernest Tomlinson | Bob Thompson | Richard Hayman
Following are "arranger/stylists", who were known for their strong individual styles applied to every piece. In realizing the arrangements for recordings they sometimes almost "re-composed" a piece. They were admired craftsmen, even though they were celebrated more for their distinctive arranging, performing, or producing styles, than for writing original compositions
Please note: we do not choose to honor here every pop music arranger working in the field, only those who in our opinion made a distinctively unique contribution to the art of arranging light music...
Les & Larry Elgart | Ray Conniff | Hugo Winterhalter | Bert Kaempfert
Here are some composer/arrangers of what used to be called "Mood Music" or "Cue Music", now called "Production Music." Usually it is sold as part of a Music Scoring Service or Production Music Library. "Library tracks" are licensed on a non-exclusive basis, for use as background cues, Main Titles, or End Credits Themes for radio, TV, and films. In the "Classic" days of film, radio and TV it was commissioned by European music publishers who had developed a recorded music division; or -- in the U.S. -- it was more often the result of a composer or music packager who wanted to re-cycle music composed for a different production.
Sometimes the original cue was "laundered" by having a few notes changed and the structure switched around, and then the whole thing re-recorded by a foreign orchestra, so it could be given a new title for the purpose of collecting performance royalties.
Often this music has multiple uses down through the years, or becomes associated with different programs in different countries. The tunes can be familiar and memorable, even if the composers' names are unknown. We honor those unsung heroes -- composers whose "Mood Music"was particularly memorable, and fits the style of Light Music as well. They are listed here in roughly chronological order of birth:
Joseph Mullendore | Raoul Kraushaar | Dave Kahn | Melvyn Lenard Gordon | Leon Klatzkin
Mahlon Merrick | Bernard "Bernie" Green | Stanley J. Wilson
Next are feature film composers whose melodic themes also became well known in the Light Music genre, sometimes in their original form and sometimes in arrangements by others:
George Duning | Alex North | David Raksin | Elmer Bernstein | John T. Williams
Certain Broadway Musical Theatre composers have written tunes so memorable, they became classics, when arranged in a Light Music style:
And finally, some more modern songwriters who wrote songs (including theme songs for TV and motion pictures) that crossed over into pop music as well, and become known to fans of Light Music through various media and recorded arrangements:
In the following list, we also give Honorable Mention to composers, arrangers, and conductors, who --
although they did not make our own "Hall of Fame list" for various reasons having to do with
time-frame, style, or subjective matters of taste -- have been suggested by various correspondents:
Alfredo Antonini | Burt Bacharach | Edward German | Frederic
Curzon | Alphonse D'Artega
Classic U.S. TV Series --
Old-Time U.S. Radio Series -- Theme List
What is A.S.C.A.P.?
The History of Production Music
Film & TV Studio -- Signature Logo List
The Music and Media Technology
Light Music and Theme Composer TimeLine
Music-related Links, Books, and Other Resources
For a Glossary of Music and Media Terms, click here