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Sharky

Find Me The Classical Precedent for ______ Cue/Score

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Thought this would be a good idea of for a thread. Basically, the idea is for fans of a particular cue, score, chord or even 'sound' to ask if there's something similar in the classical tradition. It doesn't have to be John Williams.

 

I'll start with one of my favourite Williams themes - The Ark of the Covenant from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

 

The Miracle Of The Ark by John Williams on Grooveshark

 

Key features: Planing minor chords, block voicing, tritone relationships, half cadence to conclude the B section etc.

 

 

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This has always struck me as very like Herrmann, Williams, Goldsmith etc...more majors than minors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdyFe01NVU0

top stuff

also good old nicolaj Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was partial to the old root movement by 3rds back in 1881

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu4ssxtBj5Y

t

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There's a similar figure all over Mahler 2 as well. And Goldsmith's Star Trek V. And Hans' The Prince Of Egypt. I have a grand unifying theory about it.

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This one might be a little out of the wheelhouse for this thread, but if you use a broader definition of "classical" I'd love to know what Shore's western influences were on this cue.  I know his history with Bachir Attar, but I've always wondered about his other influences for The Cell.

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What is (are) the classical antecedent(s) of the following cue?

 

Goldenthal: Toccata & Dreamscapes by Dirk Brosse; London Symphony Orchestra on Grooveshark

 

I asked Marcus Paus, who has an extensive knowledge of 20th century concert music that puts mine to shame. 

 

Here's his post:

 

Good question! That's such an interesting cue; I remember being impressed by its level of ambition back when the album was released.

It's certainly a conglomerate of so many different types of late 20th Century techniques. I hear a lot of Corigliano, a bit of Penderecki, some Rouse in the percussion writing as well as the propulsive string writing, and certainly also more "film musical" fare (mostly a matter of musical rhetoric)... But it would be really hard to pinpoint exactly which pieces!

For Corigliano, I suspect perhaps something from "Three Hallucinations" (especially the film version of the psychedelic ritual scene). For Rouse, maybe "Passion Wheels" or "Gorgon"?

I'll have to contemplate a little more!

 

You're probably familiar with Penderecki and Corigliano, but Christopher Rouse is less well known. He's younger than Corgilano but older than Goldenthal - and Elliot would have been familiar with both composers as a student in the Manhattan School of Music in the late 70s.

 

Here's Gorgon. Unfortunately Passion Wheels isn't on Youtube or Grooveshark.

 

 

I'll also add that Goldenthal's use of brass mutes (especially jazz mutes) as quasi-electronic filters in this piece (and his early concert works), belongs to a tradition that goes back to John Cage, Luciano Berio and Jacob Druckman - who were exploring the relationship between electronic synthesis and acoustic instruments. Also, Goldenthal is a big admirer of Toru Takemitsu - I remember him saying that in an interview. That said, the major difference between the two is Takemitsu's music is generally introverted while Goldenthal's is more extroverted, although that's a simplification.

 

 

 

 

 

I'll add - that jazzy dotted rhythm figure for the muted trumpets at 1:13 in Toccata and Dreamscapes - reminds me of Karl Birger-Blomdahl's space (acid dropping) opera Aniara (1959). Very underrated composer.

... which also reminds me of Jerry Fielding's score for THE MECHANIC (1974). Strong Druckman influence here.

Shit. How could I forget Xenakis?

 

And of a bit of Corigliano, Don't tell me you don't hear a bit of ALIEN 3 in parts.

 

<iframe width="480" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KskXS9euKQY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Seems pretty Wagnerian in all but the language used.

Glad to see this thread reappear.



I'll add - that jazzy dotted rhythm figure for the muted trumpets at 1:13 in Toccata and Dreamscapes - reminds me of Karl Birger-Blomdahl's space (acid dropping) opera Aniara (1959). Very underrated composer.


Holy crap, I haven't heard this in years. Incidentally, that was at a concert after dropping acid. Fucking legendary stuff, this is.

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Well that's hard to say since there's nothing especially distinctive about it. Not meaning that it's uninteresting or anything, but just that it fits in with the general idiom of melodic post-silver age film music - Horner (I most associate that tritone movement at 0:38 with him), Silvestri, Broughton, etc. (depending on how you classify the "ages" of film music). Where does that come from? Star Wars' harmony is probably a huge source, and the other silver/golden age scores with classic themes, but, you know, modernized/simplified/somewhat more functional... some pop influence, definitely. That's always a part of Goldenthal's thematic writing, to my ears. And most 90s scores. I think that was when pop really seeped into film music.

1:00 - 1:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm66O75ax_w1111

Grasping at straws here, though. What do you hear in this that sets it apart from quintessential 90s melodicism?

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Probably an obvious one. I've heard a lot of people mentioning the influence of Carmina Burana on Conan, The Barbarian, but I guess people tend to do that with any score piece featuring this sort of choir. But they tend to mention the influence of O Fortuna (that's what most people associate Carmina Burana anyway), when in fact it is the second track of this work that is a clear influence on Riders of Doom.

Specially starting at the 2:13 mark:

Compare with, specially at the 00:34 mark

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Anyone know the classical precursors for this lovely EG cue?

Ah, yes. Sphere. An instance where the music outperforms the film itself.

Anyway, sounds like Goldenthal was borrowing Debussy's pet technique of background string ostinatos (first movement of La Mer) and Saint-Saens impressionistic coloring choices (for instrumentation).

That, and some Wagnerian brass overlays coupled with some harmonic doubling in the strings to convey an almost child-like sense of wonder and size of the ocean.

...

I don't know. I'm just far more versed in 19th century music than 20th century. That's just me. Maybe Goldenthal being a student of Copland and Corigliano had an influence on him.

Who knows? I sure don't.

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Well that's hard to say since there's nothing especially distinctive about it.  Not meaning that it's uninteresting or anything, but just that it fits in with the general idiom of melodic post-silver age film music - Horner (I most associate that tritone movement at 0:38 with him), Silvestri, Broughton, etc. (depending on how you classify the "ages" of film music).  Where does that come from?  Star Wars' harmony is probably a huge source, and the other silver/golden age scores with classic themes, but, you know, modernized/simplified/somewhat more functional... some pop influence, definitely.  That's always a part of Goldenthal's thematic writing, to my ears.  And most 90s scores.  I think that was when pop really seeped into film music.

 

1:00 - 1:30

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm66O75ax_w1111

 

Grasping at straws here, though.  What do you hear in this that sets it apart from quintessential 90s melodicism?

 

For some reason, harmonically this cue reminds me of a lot of John Barry - the only bit that doesn't is what you mentioned - the tritone thing (Bm - F) that sounds like 90s sci-fi a la James Newton Horner. The closest Barry cue I can think of is his theme for THE DAY OF THE LOCUST (1974) - the only clip of it on the web I can find is from a scene in the film.

 

 

I think it's that darkly romantic Cm > Bbm (in 'The Gift' - C#m > Bm) - something about the way it outlines the raised 6th in the melody. In the EG cue the A# on the C#m is unexpected, we're no longer in A major. I also find the G# (Major 7th) incredibly powerful, the one right before the plunge to C#m at 0:27, it's like an anticipation.

 

Maybe Frank Lehman's use of Neo-Riemannian Theory is more appropriate - a series of transformations rather than a chord progression. If so...

 

The Gift:

 

                        (A)    L    (C#m)     L   (A)     L   (C#m)    T10   (Bm)    T6P   (F)    PLP    (C#m/E > C#m)                                 

                                                               

Or maybe not...

 

Edit: BTW your second video is showing.

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Ah sorry, it was a cue from Silvestri's The Abyss. Not sure why it didn't work.

I like that way of looking at it though. At least makes for more interesting discussion than just calling it a standard progression.

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What about these lyrical, expressionist string adagios in Alex North's writing. They seem to be fourth species counterpoint, either atonal or highly chromatic.

 

Especially from the 2 minute mark onwards, but I also love the quasi-religious passage at the beginning.

 

 

Love that resolution to the CMaj7 chord at 1:15 - beautiful but haunting. Any concert works that sound like this?

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Wonderful piece, is that serial?

Essentially. Good read: http://www.laphil.com/philpedia/music/inscape-aaron-copland

And another: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33147/m2/1/high_res_d/thesis.pdf

It also brings to mind the fugue from this - densely chromatic without being serial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkwdJJPT97Q

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It's an aleatoric mix of choral effects such as whispering, chanting and sprechstimme (between singing and speaking - a sort of moaning - look it up). You can it hear it all over Jerry's OMEN trilogy, and in parts of Johnny's TOD.

 

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It's an aleatoric mix of choral effects such as whispering, chanting and sprechstimme (between singing and speaking - a sort of moaning - look it up). You can it hear it all over Jerry's OMEN trilogy, and in parts of Johnny's TOD.

That's a really cool piece. I love Lutoslawski, but somehow I'd never heard this one before.

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I hear more of a jazz influence there, TBH. Not specifically in the orchestration but more the sense of harmony and rhythm. Bruns was a big jazzhead, so look to Duke Ellington, the Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaborations, Stan Kenton, and masters of exotica like Henry Mancini, John Barry. and Les Baxter.

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This thread would be more fun if we followed a DNA chain back through the same and eventually different composers, instead of making leaps from "modern" to "classical."

So i.e. take a John Williams idea, and trace it back through his career, then the nearest composers, and go back and back! A family tree if you will!


For example: 2:48-2:55 of Hedwig's Theme sounds incredibly similar to 5:40-5:46 of Finale & End Credits from The Last Crusade!

The next earliest iteration of this basic idea (let's call it THE JOHN WILLIAMS BRIDGE) I can think of is in the Jane Eyre Theme around 2:00 in on piano. The rolling, ornamented, romantic...bridgey music.

If I had to go looking for a classical root, I'd probably look at the Russians...Tchaikovsky maybe?

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Damn, that's crazy that once film music sounded like that. You do hear some Varese in the Straw Dogs:

and Copland in the Watership Down (like around 2:00).

Basically, I think you are hearing alot of quasi European influences. Copland being French/Stravinsky/Boulanger protege mixed with Americana and Varese being French/American.

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Damn, that's crazy that once film music sounded like that. You do hear some Varese in the Straw Dogs:

and Copland in the Watership Down (like around 2:00).

Basically, I think you are hearing alot of quasi European influences. Copland being French/Stravinsky/Boulanger protege mixed with Americana and Varese being French/American.

Thanks for that. I think you're right, it's a kind of cross-pollination of American and European aesthetics. You could probably even find Ives in some of the cues I posted.

I heard some of Kurt Weill's 1st Symphony on the radio today, so I decided to check out his first two symphonies later, and they immediately reminded me of STRAW DOGS, WATERSHIP DOWN, Rosenman etc.

Also, I think Fielding stated in an interview that he was influenced by Stravinsky's History of a Soldier, so there's that too. The Stravinsky-Weill link is the Stravinsky piece greatly influence Weill when he saw it Frankfurt, and it helped inform his objective but sincere approach to drama at the time. Weill's mentor Busoni is also worth looking at too - he employed a fair bit of quartal harmony in his later works.

Another similar wind chorale I've found is Tippet's Praeludium for brass, bells and percussion.

I've heard someone compare STRAW DOGS to Alun Hoddinott, although I'm not familiar with his work.

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Love that Tippett piece.

This sort of language is in a way what's at the core of my own music. I feel like there is one seminal piece that I heard when I was really young that represents it well, but I can't recall what it was.

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I am very fond of Hoddinott. There is definitely a french flavor in his music ala Dutilleux. Question - what do you think of Boulez? (not as a person but as a composer).

Grey, I love Tippett too - there was an oratorio I loved listening too back in college but can't find it. The Mask of time. I think it was about a black hole, it's affect on time, and a father daughter thing. Seriously, I have been looking for that since forever and no luck. I am surprised he isn't more popular but he too reminds me of Hoddinott.

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Oh wait, duh! This is it. Especially the chorale that ends it. Sounded especially rich on vinyl.

And of course "those chords"...

I'm a lover of most French composers, especially Dutilleux. Boulez's output, when it stays in that same sensual French neighborhood, is appealing to me as well. I haven't heard of that Tippett piece but it does sound interesting.

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I am very fond of Hoddinott. There is definitely a french flavor in his music ala Dutilleux.

Great to hear. I'm a Dutilleux fan as well. What Hoddoinott pieces would you recommend to listen to first?

Question - what do you think of Boulez? (not as a person but as a composer).

Like TGP I like his more sensual works. Cummings ist der dichter is probably my favourite.

Grey, I love Tippett too - there was an oratorio I loved listening too back in college but can't find it. The Mask of time. I think it was about a black hole, it's affect on time, and a father daughter thing. Seriously, I have been looking for that since forever and no luck. I am surprised he isn't more popular but he too reminds me of Hoddinott.

INTERSTELLARish much? ;)

Oh wait, duh! This is it. Especially the chorale that ends it. Sounded especially rich on vinyl.

It says 'video not available.' :(

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I am very fond of Hoddinott. There is definitely a french flavor in his music ala Dutilleux.

Great to hear. I'm a Dutilleux fan as well. What Hoddoinott pieces would you recommend to listen to first?

Question - what do you think of Boulez? (not as a person but as a composer).

Like TGP I like his more sensual works. Cummings ist der dichter is probably my favourite.

Grey, I love Tippett too - there was an oratorio I loved listening too back in college but can't find it. The Mask of time. I think it was about a black hole, it's affect on time, and a father daughter thing. Seriously, I have been looking for that since forever and no luck. I am surprised he isn't more popular but he too reminds me of Hoddinott.

INTERSTELLARish much? ;)

Oh wait, duh! This is it. Especially the chorale that ends it. Sounded especially rich on vinyl.

It says 'video not available.' :(

I think Hoddinott's Chandos CD is an excellent place to start. You'll hear some French/English style...it is quite beautiful, elegant, enigmatic, and dramatic. This is the link: https://www.chandos.net/Details06.asp?CNumber=CHAN%208762

If you like that, you'll like the late John McCabe, and the late Arthur Butterworth (Vaughan Williams mixed with Sibelius).

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