To Kill a Mockingbird
Elmer Bernstein


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Elmer Bernstein's score falls 29 places this year

The Main Theme of 1962's To Kill a Mockingbird begins with a simple, childlike tune played on the piano, which is picked up by a flute, brilliantly reflecting the book's theme of a young girl innocently observing the racial politics of the American Deep South. Bernstein himself said that he wasted six weeks wondering how to tackle the score to the film and which subject matter — the Deep South, racism, the Depression — to tak inspiration from. Eventually he realised that while these weighty issues were important, it was mostly about how the children perceived them. "Once I got that, that led to the tentative one finger piano thing that children do when they are trying to pick out a tune. It gave me the bells and musical box effects and harps."