When Close Encounters of the Third Kind was released, in 1977, I was nine, and I went to see it five or six times. In retrospect, it was probably John Williams's dazzling, polystylistic score that mesmerized me most; this was my introduction to the sounds of the twentieth century. Williams deserves praise not only for writing a pile of splendid scores — Close Encounters remains, I think, his finest work — but for sustaining the tradition of orchestral film music at a time when synthesizers and pop-song montages threatened to put it out of business. As I noticed when I wrote about Michael Giacchino for The New Yorker a couple of years ago, many people in the Hollywood music community feel that Williams saved their jobs. Happy birthday!