Not only did Max Steiner not like the song, he thought that it was not appropriate for the film. Nevertheless, as every film buff knows, ―As Time Goes By‖ stayed in the film Casablanca, and the song has almost become emblematic of the film itself. However, it is but one song in a very musical film that proved challenging for veteran film composer Max Steiner. It was not the amount of material that he had to compose (as with Gone with the Wind), but rather the music that was already built into the drama that he had to incorporate into a meaningful score. Steiner, one of the most thoughtful of film composers, masterfully wove the diegetic music (music that functions as part of the story and that the characters onscreen can hear) and nondiegetic music (music that functions outside of the story that the characters do not hear) of Casablanca into an evocative score that illuminates and connects the political and romantic conflicts in the film.
"Max Steiner and the Music of Casablanca,"
The Hilltop Review: Vol. 6
, Article 12.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/hilltopreview/vol6/iss1/12