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note_blaster

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  1. Wow an interesting discussion - this chord progression has become a defining thing for John Williams - almost a signature. It picked up in the 80's and snowballed out of control to no it's almost everywhere in his stuff as shown by the clips above. Question is, where did this start and why? John Williams has been writing for a LONG time. I have a theory: Listen to his stuff in the 60's - wow, lots of great material but the cadences just aren't there like they are now. No bII V I (and related variances) but lots of jazz (Don't forget Johnny was a jazz trombone player) and very cool angular quartal and quintal 20th century stuff straight out of the Copeland playbook. What happened? What changed and impacted his music forever? John Williams is known for strong melodies full of deliberate and effective cadences. 1971 - Fiddler on the Roof. No he didn't WRITE it but he did the orchestration - go back and listen to the original and compare - he really worked this out and fixed chords and melodies here and there - really made it pop and it's incredible. Fiddler is BOTH a Jewish and Russian story utilizing lots of double harmonic scale - Harmonizing with this much chromatic material is TRICKY but relies on lots of these cadences. bII V I is VERY common in Russian classical stuff like end of the melody in Swan Lake. Listen to the end of "Far From the Home I Love" (From Fiddler) sounds like it's straight out of his stuff now! I can't find anything like this in John Williams material before 1971, can anyone else? I don't mind being wrong about this, it's just a theory and it really doesn't change anything one way or another but the previous arguments about the classification of the chords should be treated as double harmonic scale, not jazz and not modal even though it does exist in both.
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