Disney composer on the secret to a great film song

11-time GRAMMY winner Alan Menken, the composer behind the remake of Beauty And The Beast, reveals his one-word criteria for writing memorable film music
  • Alan Menken attends a Beauty And The Beast screening
    Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com
    GRAMMY winner Alan Menken at a New York screening of Beauty And The Beast on March 13
March 17, 2017 -- 7:00 am PDT

What is the must-have ingredient for the film music of a GRAMMY-winning composer? According to Alan Menken, it has to be "hummable."

The 11-time GRAMMY winner has built an impressive career out of composing memorable music for Disney blockbusters such as Beauty And The Beast (1991), The Little Mermaid (1989) and Aladdin (1992). A new generation will have the opportunity to hum along to the music of the former with the new live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast, starring Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Ewan McGregor, now in theaters. The adaptation, which has sparked controversy due to a brief gay kissing scene, features new recordings of the 1991 film's original songs as well as new songs penned by Menken, including one written for Celine Dion, "How Does A Moment Last Forever."

Besides ticking the hummable meter, what other criteria is key to a great film song? "[It] should elicit an emotion, of happiness, or of celebration, or of sadness, or of sorrow, or of love, or of laughter," Menken told NPR.  

Did you know? 3 GRAMMY facts about Beauty And The Beast

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