mrbellamy

Yet another John Williams plagiarism video

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Besides a few accurate Stravinsky and Holst references in Star Wars, a lot of these examples are simply similarities in compositional techniques/styles thats common for a lot of composers. If you ask me, this is a pretty bad one, I've seen far better plagiarism videos. This even missed one of the biggest and most commonly pointed out Holst similarity. A lot of the similarities in this vid are pretty damn off, having only a similarity in the atmosphere.

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Yeah, I don't think this is a very good video. Some of the examples (i.e. "General Grevious" and "A New Beginning") are stretching it a lot. Even the segment of the Hanson symphony is not a very good selection - there are better examples of plagiarism later in the work.

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Isn't it more likely that these composers travelled to the future and stole from Williams. Shameless curs!

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I may be going mad, but I genuinly think this video is crazy! I mean the guy seems pretty convinced, but I just don't hear it at all. What do you guys think lol?

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This one's actually one of the better ones I've seen, though...

"In this video I'm going exercise my shoddy theories which could easily be applied to any music ever written to demonstrate nothing, prove absolute bugger all and waste five minutes of your life."

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I may be going mad, but I genuinly think this video is crazy! I mean the guy seems pretty convinced, but I just don't hear it at all. What do you guys think lol?

what I think...*ahem*

WHOEVER POSTED THIS IS A FIRST CLASS MORON

This one's actually one of the better ones I've seen, though...

Yeah, another crappy example of how people cannot comprehend that greatness derives from

respecting and moving forward from within the traditionalism of music which has been evolving

over thousands of years. Off course there will be similarities, John STUDIED the greats

and his music evolved through their legacy. He wasn't born in a cave neither self proclaimed

him self a composer by playing a few chords on the keyboard

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You guys are all delusional if you deny that John Williams stole ideas from other pieces. I adore the music of JW, but there are many times he has blatantly ripped off other pieces. The comparison video posted above is a pretty accurate depiction of a handful of those. I'm surprised at some of the ones that Weren't included to be honest. Love Theme from Superman/Strauss Death and Transfiguration for instance.

Johnny ripped off some famous classical pieces. Admit it! It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Many composers did the same. We don't have to get all defensive or blinkered about it. The only reason people make such a stink about John Williams doing it is that he's richer, more successful, and more famous than almost any other living composer. That makes him an easy target. Yes, he blatantly stole from other composers. Hey, at least he did it well! Moving on...

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The only time I've ever heard a piece of classical music that has shoked me in similarity to John Williams is at 1.14 of this video;

Even then I don't care because it totally fits with the rest of the track and it's awsome. The fact is the score that gets the most heat for 'plagiarism' is star wars and we all know that Lucas was pretty set on having something extremely close to the temp tracks. Like the Home Alone example, clearly meant to have a similarity. Most of the rest of the time it's just simmiliar orchestrations which in my opinion, only shows how incredible John Williams is. All the other 'rip-offs' in the video I posted above sound much worse than the original whilst John Williams sounds at the same level or, dare I say, sometimes better :P

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You guys are all delusional if you deny that John Williams stole ideas from other pieces. I adore the music of JW, but there are many times he has blatantly ripped off other pieces. The comparison video posted above is a pretty accurate depiction of a handful of those. I'm surprised at some of the ones that Weren't included to be honest. Love Theme from Superman/Strauss Death and Transfiguration for instance.

Johnny ripped off some famous classical pieces. Admit it! It's nothing to be embarrassed about. Many composers did the same. We don't have to get all defensive or blinkered about it. The only reason people make such a stink about John Williams doing it is that he's richer, more successful, and more famous than almost any other living composer. That makes him an easy target. Yes, he blatantly stole from other composers. Hey, at least he did it well! Moving on...

It's not that we're denying that Williams rips off some concert works, but that video wasn't IMO a very good representation of those rips. There are better examples that could have replaced the 3-4 examples that were really pushing it IMO.

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Precisely, Williams has had his own share of rips, but this video was really stretching it with most of the clips. So this video is actually a pretty bad plagiarism video. I found it very amusing that they missed some of the most obvious ones :P

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The basic point with these kind of show-off videos escapes me most of the time. What you wanna prove? Anyone with a decent musical knowledge is and will always be pretty much aware that Williams' film music is built on a ground made by others. And that could be said of the majority of film composers. Most of the times, the job of the film composer is to be a ventriloquist, because that's what they're asked. However, Williams showed in many occasions that he's been able to rise above these kind of limitations. His music speaks for itself.

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The point is that music snobs with an inferiority complex get to have their hilarious "in-joke" at the expense of a rich and famous musician who probably doesn't give a crap anyway, while conveniently ignoring the fact that almost every composer takes musical themes from other composers at some point. About six years ago I had the very great pleasure of meeting one of the most respected living concert composers, George Crumb, when he visited Kent State University. When discussing his piece for two pianos and percussion "Makrokosmos 3: Music for a Summer Evening", he was keen to point out the various chords, voicings, and melodies he'd taken from Mahler and Debussy. "When using the music of other composers," he said, "don't borrow, steal!" The point is that he used the music in a highly effective and original way, and in the context of his own music. For the most part, that's what John Williams does too. The difference with John Williams is that, given the huge time constraints of writing a 1-2 hour film score, he doesn't always get to hide the stolen passages very well. The most obvious one might be the score from The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, which contains an almost note-for-note reworking of Copland's "Hoe Down" from "Rodeo". Williams had only a week or two to compose the whole orchestral score, and that's what you get! What he achieved in such a short time was incredible. He literally wasn't given the time to be wholly original and so he did the only realistic thing he could in such a short time. I'd like to see those music snobs achieve a fraction of what Johnny did under such pressure. Besides, the "Hoe Down" parody is actually very clever.

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Everyone plagiarises, its difficult not to in some circumstances. I have to admit though, the Stravinsky/Star Wars example in this video is too similar. I don't know how John Williams got away with that!

If the copyright is outdated, you can use it and not be counted as having stolen it. Still, for something that close , stravinsky should have been credited. Its the same with " carnival of the animals " in beauty and the beast. A lot of people think the brilliant prologue music was by menken, it isn't but no one knows that because Saint seans is not credited. Personally even if the work is out of print so that copyright is not an issue, I think the composer should be given credit.

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Its the same with " carnival of the animals " in beauty and the beast. A lot of people think the brilliant prologue music was by menken, it isn't but no one knows that because Saint seans is not credited. Personally even if the work is out of print so that copyright is not an issue, I think the composer should be given credit.

Wow, can't believe I never noticed the Carnival of the Animals/Beauty and the Beast similarity. They're definitely similar, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that Saint-Saens wrote the prologue theme.

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The original video is nonsense. There are a few points to consider.

  1. Film music by its nature is supposed to illicit predictable emotions based on musical vernacular. For instance, during silent film era, the accompanist had a book of techniques to represent situations such as an approaching rail road represented by an augmented fourth; a tremolo for the nervous situation, a heroic theme using dominant intervals, etc. If someone uses the established vocabulary, that doesn’t make them a plagiarist, but rather a composer who is studied in technique that illicits a response to a general audience.
  2. Similarly, space music will have a Lydian and sometimes polytonal quality ala Stravinsky or Holsts’s Neptune. So to illicit the feeling of space, composers will replicate music that makes an audience visualize space as has been done before. Again, this doesn't make them a plagiarist but someone who studies musical devises of the past.
  3. Remember, ultimately, film composing is a business where the composer is in the service of a musically less educated director who wants the composer to mimic a temp score. Composers who resist this are frequently replaced. We know Star Wars was temped requiring JW to infuse his music with another style.

I think it is unfair to propose Williams is an imposter or a plagiarist because he uses established vocabulary to elicit emotion in an audience. He has continually shown himself to be a master of his technique to a level that very few composers in any genre have mastered. To me, saying his music sounds like someone else’s is like finding a pattern in something random – it’s bound to happen by sheer coincidence. It’s like the ancient people saying the random stars look like Perseus or a bird or whatever.

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While often I think your points are true, I also think it's a little insulting to suggest that film music only meant to imitate other music. It certainly uses elements of concert music to achieve some of its accessibility, but that doesn't mean one can't be innovative AND traditional at the same time.

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That is why I never could have liked Star Wars that much.

SW is homage rather then plagiarism. Hasnt JW acknowledged his inpirations for that one?

I've always seen the score of the original Star Wars as a superb example of musical post-modernism. As the film itself is the result of more or less brazen stealings/homages from a variety of motion pictures and mythic stories, Williams' music acknowledges a similar "familiar" past in terms of musical language, referencing both old film scores (Korngold, Waxman, etc.) and works from the classical symphonic repertoire. It's music meant to evoke something we may already know. What is astounding is that Williams' own fingerprints are all over it nevertheless.

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That is why I never could have liked Star Wars that much.

SW is homage rather then plagiarism. Hasnt JW acknowledged his inpirations for that one?

Maybe he has but still I think he went too far with SW. Perhaps he didn't know what kind of phenomenon it

will be and went little bit back with the sequels.

That R.Strauss homage in Superman he mentioned somewhere.

I've always seen the score of the original Star Wars as a superb example of musical post-modernism. As the film itself is the result of more or less brazen stealings/homages from a variety of motion pictures and mythic stories, Williams' music acknowledges a similar "familiar" past in terms of musical language, referencing both old film scores (Korngold, Waxman, etc.) and works from the classical symphonic repertoire. It's music meant to evoke something we may already know. What is astounding is that Williams' own fingerprints are all over it nevertheless.

I agree with all of this but still say that in SW he went little too far...only couple of inches.

It doesn't change the fact that he is the best composer ever for me and I love SW music.

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The only time I've ever heard a piece of classical music that has shoked me in similarity to John Williams is at 1.14 of this video;

Whoever made that video is extremely ignorant. Elfman didn't "rip off" the Riddick theme. He created a new version/interpretation of Fiedel's theme. Oh and the "beat" he refers to regarding The Ghost and the Darkness/Dinosaur is actually a rhythm. People always get those two mixed up.

As far as the Horner "rip-offs" go... In these instances he was referencing himself! He's got every right to!

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