"TV is the closest thing we have to a cultural heritage. Television is so emotional. It is the only medium that simultaneously can stimulate 2 senses – hearing and sight," it was said. On television, "music clues viewers to scene." Bob Israel wrote music for television. Eugene Cines believed, "Background music, to be of the greatest value, should be 'seen' and not heard." 'Seen' was said to mean "the audience isn't distracted from the dramatic action" because "music for television is a supporting player, not a star."
Bob's music "set a mood, attract attention and heighten the emotional impact of a program." Elmer Bernstein observed, "Music is a romantic art. It's an art of shades and sounds, and it's an emotional art, it deals with feelings rather than intellect. But the making of it is an intellectual exercise. And therefore it can be done in any surroundings." In 1981, Score Productions, Inc. supplied original music for 55 television episodes each week. Bob recalled, "The producer (of 'Texas') wanted a very melodic score. So what I did, I created 25 basic melodies. then out of those melodies all the background music developed. The melodies were very folk oriented, folk-rock, I would say."
Judy Collins remarked, "Music is the most extraordinary medium. It’s the only thing that goes right to both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, bypassing our rational functions, affecting us in a very deep way. It’s a tremendously powerful tool, a powerful healing force. Music really is a necessity. People don’t realize they need music in their lives." Bob learned "how to subtly – but effectively – combine music with pictures and dialog" working at Talent Associates in the music division. However one soap watcher had made the comment, "Why does the background music have to be so loud during soap operas and other shows? I wear a hearing aid and it makes it very difficult to understand what is being said because the background music drowns things out."
Bob insisted, "Many viewers are unconscious of the fact that there is music with shows...But if you took that music away from the opening, they'd feel that there is something wrong with the show; it doesn’t have a kind of emphatic beginning. It's as if you're coming into the middle of something. Thematic music, in contrast to background music, gives a show a bracket. It gives it an identification on the audio level. It also enhances the opening of a show and makes it seem important. It creates the feeling of the beginning of something. Just as the closing credits, which usually are a reprise of the opening, help to create the feeling that it’s the conclusion, that something's happened, that it's the end of an event."
Bob confessed, "I had a yearning to connect with people through music – to know that language, to be able to communicate with them in that way – because I felt it was better than words…If the music is not going to be around for a long time, the fault is the machine, the television machine. The machine eats music like it's going out of style. If it serves a utilitarian purpose and serves it well, I’m satisfied."
"Creating thematic music for television, a feature film, anything in this idiom – you've got to put together something that happen quickly, and be memorable," Bob made known. "So that if the viewer is out of the room he will hear those sounds and say, 'That's the show. I want to see it, so let's get back in and look at it.' It's the only way to grab them. Music."
Bob said he did most of his music writing on the weekend, "I wrote 6 pieces and discarded 2 of them. The piece that we're about to record was the last thing I thought of, and it came to me on Sunday night as I was about to have dinner. It's a strange process. I could be into a project, and I could be talking to you, or taking a walk or listening to a piece of music and this thing will be forming in my head. I'll sit down at the piano and I'll see if my instincts are right. If they are, and I'm lucky, I can knock it off, in terms of the melody, in an hour. The 'World News Tonight' theme I wrote in 45 minutes."