Music Editing 101 – Scource

In a previous post I told you there are four types of music cues in a film or TV show: score, source, montage, and musical production number. After I spotted this week’s episode I realized I forgot to include one other type: scource (pronounced skorss). The name comes from score + source = scource.

A scource cue is source music (it’s coming from the scene and the characters hear or interact with it) that also acts like score because it makes some type of story point for the audience. Sometimes it starts out as source and becomes score, sometimes it’s the other way around. I just saw a really good example of scource in the movie THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. The scene is at dinner and Annette Bening’s character starts singing a Joni Mitchell song. It’s obviously source because it’s in the scene, but it works as score because of the moody way she sings it and the lyrics of the song speak to her frame of mind at the moment and reveals a bit of backstory about her childhood and her current relationship with her partner, played by Julianne Moore.

In the current episode of THE SIMPSONS we have a string quartet playing a source cue that becomes score as the scene unfolds. I can’t reveal any more about the scene then that for now. When you watch, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

4 thoughts on “Music Editing 101 – Scource

  1. I remember a few of examples of funny “scource” cues used as telephone “on hold music” on the show . . .

    In the episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” featuring Michael Jackson, the “on hold” music for the phone system at the mental hospital played Patsy Cline’s famous ballad, “Crazy.”

    In “Homer Alone,” Homer desparately searches for Maggie and hears “Baby, Come Back” on the phone.

    In “Saturdays of Thunder,” Homer calls the National Fatherhood Institute. The music he hears on hold is Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.”

    Finally, in the “Clown Without Pity” segment of Treehouse of Horror III, the Krusty doll is attacking Homer. Marge calls the number on the Krusty doll box (“1-800-DONT-SUE”) and the music she hears on hold is “Everybody Loves a Clown.”

  2. That is totally interesting. It’s the kind of thing that we lay people are aware of (sort of) but don’t know the name of. I’m going to start using “scourse” in common conversation!!

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