30 January 2013 6:10 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

From its very beginnings as a genre, Western film has trafficked in the iconic, in the larger-than-life imagery of the tall tale and the never-ending, expansive wilderness that forms the crucial backbone to these stories. More than perhaps any other genre, Westerns deal in types, with their characters standing in for the Other, the Immigrant, the Hero, and the Villain (in their black hat), telling universal stories of camaraderie and isolation, of running from and fighting for civilization, and morality tested by the harshest circumstances. The conventions of the genre run the gamut, from performance (heroes must be taciturn!) to costuming and scenery (gotta have a tumbleweed), and one of the most important elements to any Western is its score.

Most Westerns, particularly those from the heyday of the genre, feature orchestral scores. Given the American frontier setting, most scores tend to feature a number of specific characteristics which have »

- Kate Kulzick

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