Films about music

Howard Goodall’s 20th Century Greats – Bernard Herrmann – 2005

I’ve made 11 films with the composer Howard Goodall – subjects included the Beatles, Rhythm, Harmony and the great film composer Bernard Herrmann. Howard has a natural gift for explaining the complexities of musical composition. Often with music we know instinctively that a piece moves us but we don’t know why. We’re not aware of the techniques the composer has used to elicit this response. Howard, in film after film, explained in detail how composers go about their business in a manner that everyone could understand. Communicating highly technical information and making it easy to grasp is very difficult, Howard made it look effortless.

Nigel Kennedy’s Polish Adventure – 2010

This was a film tracing Nigel Kennedy’s re-location to Poland as he moved to Krakow with his Polish wife and put together a jazz group which ran alongside his career as a classical violinist. What was fascinating was discovering how jazz had became a symbol of political opposition in Iron Curtain countries. Its improvisational roots and free form structure meant it resisted being co-opted by the state authorities. This was a sequence shot in the workshop of a traditional violin maker on the Polish-Czech border.

Howard Goodall’s Story of Music – 2013

How Music Works – Rhythm – 2006


This is thrilling, absorbing and instructive to watch. A winner.THE OBSERVER

It’s an absorbing, fascinating programme. How Music Works is proper, copper-bottomed, quality television. GUARDIAN

Who’d have thought that what’s essentially a lesson could be so riveting. TIME OUT PICK OF THE WEEK

This is simply excellent. FINANCIAL TIMES

How Music Works was a positive credit to the telly. TIMES

How Music Works is brilliant. THE MAIL

Shot in the very atmospheric Chatham Dockyard, here’s 8 Howards playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 5. Beautifully filmed by one of the most talented camera people I ever worked with – the late Colin Case.

To see more music clips from my films check out this portfolio page:

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