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Rey's Theme – John Williams' Best Theme Yet?

Rey's Theme – John Williams' Best Theme Yet?   

85 members have voted

  1. 1. Rey's Theme ? John Williams' Best Theme Yet?

    • YES! Sweeping, malleable, chameleon, fresh, beautiful, and perfect!
      26
    • NO! It's terrible!
      4
    • Maybe, it's too early to tell, but it keeps growing on me!
      37
    • I'm a Communist and believe all themes are equal, though Rey's Theme is more equal than other themes.
      13
    • I don't have any opinion yet
      4


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I think Rey's theme has a really adventurous and almost enchanting feel about it. I was hooked from the very first listen from the soundtrack which I listened to before seeing the film. Now I've seen the film (5 times) I still love the theme and can't wait to see where Williams takes it in the next one!? 

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Let's not equate "some" to the whole. Star Wars and JW have been famous for decades and now people are searching deep on the internet and on a JW forum to find people who like JW's music. Of course some love the theme. That's what sequels are all about: fans return, the hype returns, and new artists and directors continue to go unnoticed. It doesn't mean these hyped things will last anywhere as long as the memory of the originals which gave them success. Sometimes they do, but I doubt this is one of those cases.

 

Most people who know the catchy Star Wars themes don't know this theme, and they probably will not years down the road. That has nothing to do with whether or not it's good. I've tried them on Rey's Theme, The Force Theme, The Main Theme, The Imperial March, Yoda's Theme, Leia's Theme, etc. The first one is the only theme that none of them knew. Been listening to it for quite a while myself and I really even struggle to get it. It is a jumbled mix and match of elements happening sequentially with a lack of direction or a good melody. Pretty nice-sounding though, like most of JW's music. Definitely nothing ingenious about it though (especially nothing new from him.) There are several unmelodic pieces by Williams that are pretty iconic, unique and stand out. I utterly fail to see that with this one--to me it sounds quite ordinary, yet still lovely and wistful in style.

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Oh that's a surprise... All those themes you have mentioned, next to Rey's Theme, have been around for about 40 years now, being featured in 7 movies (with exceptions of course), countless games and other SW related stuff. It's only natural they are easily recognizable by anyone familiar with Star Wars universe.

 

Rey's Theme, on the other hand, has been with us for what? 5 months?

 

Just wait until Episodes 8 and 9 come out, Rey's Theme gets expanded and presented in even more arrangements... Then wait 10 more years and test your friends again.

Please post your results then. I am really looking forward to this.

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Yes, let's do that.

 

So you really mean to say that everyone knows incredibly old music more than they know new in-trend music? That's quite interesting.

 

Episode 7's score is 90% new music, right, that means barely anyone should know it, at least for another 5, 10 years after they stop watching the movie.

 

Imo Rey's Theme should technically be the most well-known by the majority who have seen Star Wars Episode 7, since the film just came out and is incredibly popular. Yet apparently the majority haven't the faintest idea of where it's from, and that sadly is the most interesting musical aspect of 7's score. As I pointed out, it's popularity isn't the whole issue (although I'm sure people would like to make it out to sound that way.) JW's career is based off of creating music that is highly catchy and inspirational. Start naming themes from scores of his that you can't hum.

 

Let's see how JW will fix it to make it better. I am truly hoping for a better score.

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Most people don't care about the music in movies, they don't listen to soundtracks outside of them. In case of the themes you mentioned people got used to them through the years because of countless repetitions in the games, movies etc.etc.

 

I bet your friends have seen Force Awakens one or two times, meaning they heard Rey's Theme probably like 10 times? Most of those times they were probably too focused on visuals and/or dialogue to consciously notice it. Let's just wait...

 

Also what facts did I not get quite on point?

 

EDIT: Nice editing skills, Cantus. Shame on you l0l

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5 minutes ago, zaddini said:

In case of the themes you mentioned people got used to them through the years because of countless repetitions in the games, movies etc.etc.

 

That's actually not the way it works, but I'll go into that later when I have time. Usually most people need to hear a theme but a few times to remember it.

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2 minutes ago, Cantus Venti said:

 

That's actually not the way it works, but I'll go into that later when I have time. Usually most people need to hear a theme but a few times to remember it.

Oh please elaborate right now. You have time to edit your posts making me look like an idiot writing random stuff after all.

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1 hour ago, Cantus Venti said:

People are searching deep on the internet and on a JW forum to find people who like JW's music. 

 

Just to be clear, my cheeky post above with the Twitter reactions was merely the result of typing "Rey's Theme" into the search bar and copying/pasting links from some first page results. It took me about 2 minutes and I wouldn't call Twitter posts from the last week about a new Star Wars track diving into the obscure corners of the internet. 

 

1 hour ago, Cantus Venti said:

Most people who know the catchy Star Wars themes don't know this theme, and they probably will not years down the road. That has nothing to do with whether it's good or not. I've tried them on Rey's Theme, The Force Theme, The Main Theme, The Imperial March, Yoda's Theme, Leia's Theme, etc. The first one is the only theme that none of them knew. 

 

Who are "they" and what makes you believe "they" represent the majority? 

 

40 minutes ago, Cantus Venti said:

Yet apparently the majority haven't the faintest idea of where it's from

 

Based on what?

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8 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

 

Just to be clear, my cheeky post above with the Twitter reactions was merely the result of typing "Rey's Theme" into the search bar and copying/pasting links from some first page results. It took me about 2 minutes and I wouldn't call Twitter posts from the last week about a new Star Wars track diving into the obscure corners of the internet. 

 

So how is that any different from me going to a video of any song and taking a screenshot of individuals loving it/saying it's stuck in their head, and pass it off as anywhere near a large number of people, as you seemed to be implying in your response? That is called reaching deep, unless your response was just a bad joke you were trying to make, then I understand. We all know so many more people know and love original Star Wars music. The concept is not that hard to understand.

 

7 hours ago, Sharky said:

Actually, it is.

Nope. Most melodic motifs are remembered well by people after a couple repetitions, oftentimes just one is needed.

 

It is when you have really bad themes, that are randomly obscure in not following a logical pattern that need to be either repeated to an extreme or very closely listened to that people will quickly learn them, like Rey's Theme, which for fans' sake was remembered solely because fans like you payed close attention to the music. You don't remember it because it's catchy, but because you enjoy JW and decided to pay overly attention to the music, which most Star Wars fans who can hum the classic themes don't do. Memorable themes which follow through logically don't need this treatment whatsoever. News: you're going to keep remembering Rey's theme clearly and think it's one of the most catchy themes ever, as long as you keep humming it to yourself or analyze it. However not once you clear your mind for a while and step back out onto unbiased ground. I don't expect you to assume to know everything, sir, simply because you're teaching me stuff that I respect and enjoy likewise. Please go study this phenomenon yourself if you doubt this.

 

8 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

Who are "they" and what makes you believe "they" represent the majority? 

These people are a simple random sample of adults and kids of every age, and this simple random sample is what all statisticians believe represent the majority of people. I don't understand why anyone would even debate the fact that there is nothing closely as memorable in 7's new material as the previous 6. It's not up for debate. I'm giving you the facts since you're not clued into this reality.

 

We all know so much of Williams' respect goes towards his extreme catchiness and memorability. That in no way should mean this fact has to represent fully your subjective taste in why you like Williams. It is simply a well-known correlative figure.

 

All in all, I expect for one main reason that 8's ost will turn out to some degree better, but that has no bearing on the quality of 7's.

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6 hours ago, Cantus Venti said:

 

So how is that any different from me going to a video of any song and taking a screenshot of individuals loving it/saying it's stuck in their head, and pass it off as anywhere near a large number of people, as you seemed to be implying in your response? That is called reaching deep, unless your response was just a bad joke you were trying to make, then I understand. We all know so many more people know and love original Star Wars music. The concept is not that hard to understand.

 

Nope. Most melodic motifs are remembered well by people after a couple repetitions, oftentimes just one is needed.

 

It is when you have really bad themes, that are randomly obscure in not following a logical pattern that need to be either repeated to an extreme or very closely listened to that people will quickly learn them, like Rey's Theme, which for fans' sake was remembered solely because fans like you payed close attention to the music. You don't remember it because it's catchy, but because you enjoy JW and decided to pay overly attention to the music, which most Star Wars fans who can hum the classic themes don't do. Memorable themes which follow through logically don't need this treatment whatsoever. News: you're going to keep remembering Rey's theme clearly and think it's one of the most catchy themes ever, as long as you keep humming it to yourself or analyze it. However not once you clear your mind for a while and step back out onto unbiased ground. I don't expect you to assume to know everything, sir, simply because you're teaching me stuff that I respect and enjoy likewise. Please go study this phenomenon yourself if you doubt this.

 

These people are a simple random sample of adults and kids of every age, and this simple random sample is what all statisticians believe represent the majority of people. I don't understand why anyone would even debate the fact that there is nothing closely as memorable in 7's new material as the previous 6. It's not up for debate. I'm giving you the facts since you're not clued into this reality.

 

We all know so much of Williams' respect goes towards his extreme catchiness and memorability. That in no way should mean this fact has to represent fully your subjective taste in why you like Williams. It is simply a well-known correlative figure.

 

All in all, I expect for one main reason that 8's ost will turn out to some degree better, but that has no bearing on the quality of 7's.

 

This is a phenomenon I have studied extensively actually, funded by various grants and with some of the top musical minds in the world.  It is *your* thinking that is incorrect. 

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Cantus, you seem to be discounting the profound impact repeated exposure to these themes through various media in one's formative years, can have on memorability. We know that foreign languages and musical instruments are easier to learn in childhood--why should themes be any different, especially when coupled with early memories of the films? I could be wrong, of course. I'm no neuroscientist nor do I pretend to be.

 

What I would like though, is for you to come off your high horse and explain to us why you are so confident in your claims. Have you find a number of peer reviewed studies that support them (rather than going off anecdotal evidence like the rest of us)? If so, that's fine. But don't fool yourself that this all just "common sense." That is plain arrogance.

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2 hours ago, Sharky said:

But don't fool yourself that this all just "common sense." That is plain arrogance.

 

It is incredibly common sense. I don't expect everyone to hold that common sense, ie. Star Wars fans obsessing over a new trend in music. An up-and-down a third motif is a very unmemorable and indistinct sound, in fact one would simply call this an arpeggio, or background tone, which he uses in many movies. But it is her second "theme" that is even moreso unmemorably structured, and for two reasons: The first call (A C ↓E, A ↑D E.) has no standout rhythm and ends on a terribly weak and indistinct sound, the D E, sounding like so many of the weaker and unrhythmic melodies he's more casually tied into the inaccessible and ignored depths of film sfx.To even hint that this is that one of JW's most catchy constructions imo, a tremendous lie to oneself. You can argue that you love the music, but to say that this is one of his most memorable and catchy melodies is not at all backed by the evidence, it is an appeal to one's subjective emotion state. Secondly, the rest of the melody is a total blur, one of the most indistinct "themes" there are. Yes, I agree, it has only been a few months. Let's see how this theme stands many years from now as "memorability" goes in the least.

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15 minutes ago, Cantus Venti said:

 

It is incredibly common sense. I don't expect everyone to hold that common sense, ie. Star Wars fans obsessing over a new trend in music. An up-and-down a third motif is a very unmemorable and indistinct sound, in fact one would simply call this an arpeggio, or background tone, which he uses in many movies. But it is her second "theme" that is even moreso unmemorably structured, and for two reasons: The first call (A C ↓E, A ↑D E.) has no standout rhythm and ends on a terribly weak and indistinct sound, the D E, sounding like so many of the weaker and unrhythmic melodies he's more casually tied into the inaccessible and ignored depths of film sfx.To even hint that this is that one of JW's most catchy constructions imo, a tremendous lie to oneself. You can argue that you love the music, but please don't try and argue that this is one of his most memorable and "catchy." Secondly, the rest of the melody is a total blur, one of the most indistinct "themes" there are. Yes, I agree, it has only been a few months. Let's see how this theme stands many years from now as "memorability" goes in the least.

 

I’m afraid you’re missing a big piece of brain. Or something. 

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Your analysis of the feminine cadence is accurate and Williams writes incredibly well, I can't argue that. This melodic cadence with its orchestration is beautiful, but still significantly more uncrafty than people will be admitting in this thread for a time. Instead, the point is moreso me wondering if anyone actually listens to any of his other stuff. The popular praise this soundtrack currently has is indicative of hype in trend, not subjective taste where his entire repertoire is unbiasedly concerned, and that is due to this film's large flow of support and especially how good the film is. The music quality is significantly amplified by people's sentiments of the film, but you could have put all kinds of good music to this film and much of it would have worked out equally, and I firmly believe that. There are lots more notable and haunting themes, both out there and which could have been constructed.

 

People should like this music and there are clear reasons to. But it is not one of his best and it won't be considered so a bit later. I'm quite confident in this--too used to these trends and studying in the specific literary field of theme myself.

 

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Perhaps you expected a different, broader or simpler theme. But that's the thing with character themes: They're supposed to reflect characters, and as such, I think what Williams wrote is just about as perfect a musical depiction of Rey's character as I can imagine. 

 

I would apply this logic to the whole soundtrack, because the 90% of new material is incredibly unmemorable. People are experiencing the effects of rote memorization. There are but a couple stand-out parts.

 

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(I also think the undulating minor third intro motif is about as catchy a hook as anything the Star Wars scores have offered)

 

It's really much too simple for the 99% of audience to take home imo. Anyone could've written something better than that particular part. The character is ****ing amazing, and people enjoy this theme when pictured with the character, because it is the only theme now which is to be imagined. Perhaps people like imagining Williams' own bond with this character when listening to this music. She was so well-received that she will be a much larger portion of the next film than initially planned.

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10 hours ago, Cantus Venti said:

So how is that any different from me going to a video of any song and taking a screenshot of individuals loving it/saying it's stuck in their head, and pass it off as anywhere near a large number of people, as you seemed to be implying in your response? That is called reaching deep, unless your response was just a bad joke you were trying to make, then I understand.

 

You said you're not hearing anybody humming or remembering it. I merely linked to five listeners outside of this website who tweeted positively about it in the last few days and a hundred or so others in agreement. That's it.

 

It is rather meaningless! Much like your condescending claims that you cracked the case through objective academic study (or at least a high school statistics project) and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt the inferiority of Rey's Theme and lack of public interest in this music relative to his previous work at the same point in their releases.

 

If you stopped at "I don't like Rey's Theme and doubt it will be remembered years from now," fine by me. I don't even care about your incredulity over people enjoying this as much as anything Williams has ever written. Quit presenting yourself as an authority with nothing to show for it. The content of your posts is not convincing, despite your passionate rhetoric.

 

1 hour ago, Cantus Venti said:

It is incredibly common sense. I don't expect everyone to hold that common sense, ie. Star Wars fans obsessing over a new trend in music. An up-and-down a third motif is a very unmemorable and indistinct sound, in fact one would simply call this an arpeggio, or background tone, which he uses in many movies. But it is her second "theme" that is even moreso unmemorably structured, and for two reasons: The first call (A C ↓E, A ↑D E.) has no standout rhythm and ends on a terribly weak and indistinct sound, the D E, sounding like so many of the weaker and unrhythmic melodies he's more casually tied into the inaccessible and ignored depths of film sfx.To even hint that this is that one of JW's most catchy constructions imo, a tremendous lie to oneself. You can argue that you love the music, but to say that this is one of his most memorable and catchy melodies is not at all backed by the evidence, it is an appeal to one's subjective emotion state. Secondly, the rest of the melody is a total blur, one of the most indistinct "themes" there are. Yes, I agree, it has only been a few months. Let's see how this theme stands many years from now as "memorability" goes in the least.

 

I actually agree that those first six notes do not immediately call attention to themselves as a thematic idea. It's the responding six that always catch my ear and complete that initial phrase. To me Rey's is a call-and-response theme, it needs both halves to make me go "That's a tune!". In that way, maybe not the most efficient theme he's ever written, when many of his others can get away a little easier with 6 or 7 notes.

 

On the other hand, it's not exactly hard to find in this score. I'm as skeptical of your ongoing struggles with it as you are over our enthusiasm. It seems to me like you're trying to apply a sort of Western/European ideal of melodic construction while ignoring what a pentatonic figure might be bringing that's unique to the glossary, and what these "softer," slightly lurking or meandering qualities may be communicating for the character and the narrative.

 

And that said, I have always found those first six notes to be an incredibly dramatic rising figure from the moment I first heard that climactic Ways of the Force excerpt in the 60 Minutes special, blasted on horns with high suspended strings. It never occurred to me that it was the beginning of the film's central melody, but I certainly recognized gravitas.

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1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

 

 

1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

proven beyond a shadow of a doubt the inferiority of Rey's Theme and lack of public interest in this music relative to his previous work at the same point in their releases.

 

Well, proven to a large degree a lack of viewer awareness of this music, if you can even call it awareness. More like unknowable for how indistinct in emphasis the majority of TFA's music is. Not sure where the other ideas come from.

 

1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

 

 

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I actually agree that those first six notes do not immediately call attention to themselves as a thematic idea. It's the responding six that always catch my ear and complete that initial phrase.

 

To me, the only good melodic construct of the film's score begins with those 6 notes, as well as the (overly-reused) bell idea. Everything else within Rey's theme is rather dead and indistinguishible from typical overused film score motifs and patterns, like the responding 6 notes imo. Not eventful or original at all, it takes off of all kinds of bad OSTs from modern scorers.

 

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It seems to me like you're trying to apply a sort of Western/European ideal of melodic construction while ignoring what a pentatonic figure might be bringing that's unique to the glossary,

 

The fundamental misinterpretation stems from the fact that I see value in these 6 notes. I already posted about the theme being really well composed and beautiful. My point in this thread was pointing out the likely hype of all this, and just how little of great music there is in this theme, which then was responded by people saying "I'm not saying it's the best theme actually, or perhaps even one of JW's top themes" despite the poll pretending to be serious.

 

1 hour ago, mrbellamy said:

The content of your posts is not convincing, despite your passionate rhetoric.

 

Likewise, although I am not at all convinced by your suppositions and conjectures, I am happy to read them and entertain your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

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4 hours ago, Cantus Venti said:

The first call (A C ↓E, A ↑D E.) has no standout rhythm and ends on a terribly weak and indistinct sound, the D E, sounding like so many of the weaker and unrhythmic melodies he's more casually tied into the inaccessible and ignored depths of film sfx.To even hint that this is that one of JW's most catchy constructions imo, a tremendous lie to oneself.

 

34 minutes ago, Cantus Venti said:

To me, the only good melodic construct of the film's score begins with those 6 notes

 

The fundamental misinterpretation stems from the fact that I see value in these 6 notes. I already posted about the theme being really well composed and beautiful. 

 

You're contradicting yourself (no doubt another wild misinterpretation on my part!) so you can have the last word on this, fella.

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4 hours ago, Cantus Venti said:

It is incredibly common sense. I don't expect everyone to hold that common sense, ie. Star Wars fans obsessing over a new trend in music. An up-and-down a third motif is a very unmemorable and indistinct sound, in fact one would simply call this an arpeggio, or background tone, which he uses in many movies.

 

 

An arpeggio? WTF? It's an ostinato accompaniment. If you're going to spout musical terminology with the haughty schoolmarm tone you going for, at least get your definitions straight. Then your posts in this thread might be less objectionable. Otherwise frankly, you come off as a pompous idiot.

 

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But it is her second "theme" that is even moreso unmemorably structured, and for two reasons: The first call (A C ↓E, A ↑D E.) has no standout rhythm and ends on a terribly weak and indistinct sound, the D E, sounding like so many of the weaker and unrhythmic melodies he's more casually tied into the inaccessible and ignored depths of film sfx.

 

Why is the 4-5 appoggiatura a "terribly weak and indistinct sound?" No mention of the theme's modality?

 

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one of his most memorable and catchy melodies is not at all backed by the evidence

 

giphy.gif

 

 

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it is an appeal to one's subjective emotion state.

 

What fuck is that when it's at home? Are you posting through Babelfish? You string these words together to give your posts a thin veneer of credibility, but they are so vague and ill-defined that they mean nothing.

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The whole "fans aren't humming it" is completely silly imo. First of all I doubt thats true. Secondly, I became a Williams fan in the 90's, before the Internet. I never met anyone who knew or cared about film music or hummed it in my precence. 

Still didn't change the fact that the mustwas awesome.

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@Sharky, the two notes aren't resolved to lead to any sense of unique distinction or memorability. 4-5 is a very vaguely looming appoggiatura that in of itself demonstrates no rhythmic connectivity to the rest of a melodic structure. It could if the melody was truly developed, but instead this theme goes on to a rather reused and typical melodic progression (especially a missing thereof) I've heard from lots of scorers, and essentially just sounds like chords being played. Let's however stop talking about 4-5 as though it's highly interesting. They're two notes; they need an actual structure to form a distinct and memorable melody if people are going to discern them as something other than "scattered notes." Scattered notes are exactly how they come across to most individuals, or else they would be making a mental connection and remembering the melody.

 

Anyone could have composed this melody, it is so mundane and inconclusive. John Williams makes it sound beautiful.

 

2 hours ago, Sharky said:

An arpeggio? WTF? It's an ostinato accompaniment. If you're going to spout musical terminology with the haughty schoolmarm tone you going for, at least get your definitions straight. Then your posts in this thread might be less objectionable. Otherwise frankly, you come off as a pompous idiot.

 

Also, arpeggios are progressions of notes from breaking chords. I'm sure you know exactly what that is. Also are there attempts to offend(?) Let's stay on the actual topic of the thread.

 

E - A - C - A

A

E - A - C - A

 

This arpeggiatic concept captures this whole motif in a nutshell. (Genius!)

 

2 hours ago, Stefancos said:

The whole "fans aren't humming it" is completely silly imo. First of all I doubt thats true. Secondly, I became a Williams fan in the 90's, before the Internet. I never met anyone who knew or cared about film music or hummed it in my precence. 

Still didn't change the fact that the mustwas awesome.

 

Have you ever tried to investigate why John Williams is famous?

 

2 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

You're contradicting yourself (no doubt another wild misinterpretation on my part!) so you can have the last word on this, fella.

 

"The theme is not even close to Williams' best, but it is very beautiful" is not a contradiction.

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30 minutes ago, Cantus Venti said:

@Sharky, those notes aren't resolved in that theme to lead to any sense of unique distinction or memorability.

 

It serves as a peak in the melody's contour, which like the Force Theme, it rises and falls twice--once in the antecedent and the second time in the consequent, where that same peak is exceeded.

 

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Anyone could have composed this melody.

 

Only Williams and possibly Morricone. It has the later's intervallic hallmarks and modal borrowing.

 

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Also, an arpeggio is a broken chord. I'm sure you know exactly what that is.

 

Yes, an arpeggio is another word for a broken chord. But by principle, an arpeggio descends and ascends outlining a triad--it doesn't pivot back and forth between two rhythmically distinct dyadic "cells" on the tonic and dominant, as with Rey's theme.

 

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Sounds like someone is getting offended.

 

Not offended. Just irritated yet mildly amused by your brazen ignorance and pomposity.

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Understood. I do believe it is a fact that it won't be considered by the majority as one of his all time greats. This soundtrack across media statistics sites is already very low-rated by users in comparison to Star Wars 1-6, with additionally clear indicators of what JW's fans enjoy. Just know that I am free to make that prediction if I so choose, as well as find the logical reason why that is true. No need to feel offended by that.

 

Maybe Williams will alter this theme in his upcoming work, but judging by the whole score, I don't see a lot of intention from him or production, other than reusing Star Wars's melodic work.

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2 hours ago, Cantus Venti said:

@Sharky, the two notes aren't resolved to lead to any sense of unique distinction or memorability. 4-5 is a very vaguely looming appoggiatura that in of itself demonstrates no rhythmic connectivity to the rest of a melodic structure. It could if the melody was truly developed, but instead this theme goes on to a rather reused and typical melodic progression (especially a missing thereof) I've heard from lots of scorers, and essentially just sounds like chords being played. Let's however stop talking about 4-5 as though it's highly interesting. They're two notes; they need an actual structure to form a distinct and memorable melody if people are going to discern them as something other than "scattered notes." Scattered notes are exactly how they come across to most individuals, or else they would be making a mental connection and remembering the melody.

 

Anyone could have composed this melody, it is so mundane and inconclusive. John Williams makes it sound beautiful.

 

 

Also, arpeggios are progressions of notes from breaking chords. I'm sure you know exactly what that is. Also are there attempts to offend(?) Let's stay on the actual topic of the thread.

 

E - A - C - A

A

E - A - C - A

 

This arpeggiatic concept captures this whole motif in a nutshell. (Genius!)

 

 

Have you ever tried to investigate why John Williams is famous?

 

 

"The theme is not even close to Williams' best, but it is very beautiful" is not a contradiction.

 

The site tells me that you quoted me here, but it's gone. 

 

Thought better of trying to argue?  Wise decision. 

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I do find the very first statement of those six opening notes of the melody to be rather indistinct and musically 'muddy', but I don't put it down to the notes themselves, which I quite like. The way he orchestrated it is to blame, it's mildly frustrating to me how the lead instruments playing the main line are almost muffled out by the harmonic accompaniment due to it all being fairly low register at once. What main instrument is actually used here, it sounds awkwardly brassy with reeds? I wish he'd perhaps gone with cellos, or a subtle flute for that opener to her melody. Of course, once the strings take over later it absolutely soars. 

 

A slight nitpick of mine. 

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This may be down to the fact that - as the pentatonic construction of the whole first half suggests - Williams himself doesn't find his earlier sing-along stylings of i. e. 'Yoda's Theme' challenging enough and tries for something a bit more complicated. It's wholly by design.

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3 hours ago, Quintus said:

I do find the very first statement of those six opening notes of the melody to be rather indistinct and musically 'muddy', but I don't put it down to the notes themselves, which I quite like. The way he orchestrated it is to blame, it's mildly frustrating to me how the lead instruments playing the main line are almost muffled out by the harmonic accompaniment due to it all being fairly low register at once. What main instrument is actually used here, it sounds awkwardly brassy with reeds? I wish he'd perhaps gone with cellos, or a subtle flute for that opener to her melody. Of course, once the strings take over later it absolutely soars. 

 

A slight nitpick of mine. 

 

 

Based off of the Hal Leonard score: It's four horns + bassoon + violas (tremolo) + two clarinets doubling an octave higher. The instruments you can hear most prominently in the tracks are the horns with the clarinets (an octave higher), the clarinets contributing to a slightly 'nasal' tone.

 

What's quite interesting is the trombones which come in on the third beat, when the melody drops down to the E - they play a chord pitched above the horns at that point (i.e. above the main melodic line), hence covering the melody and contributing to a slightly muddy texture. Another element contributing to the thick texture in the beginning is the violins and trumpet, which are playing tremolo passages (hence creating a sort of "dirty" sound), and which are also positioned pretty much so that they cover the pitches in the melody, hence obscuring it even further.

 

Personally, I think that this is Williams trying to build up the music to an inevitable 'release' of Rey's main motif, with Rey's theme only beginning to achieve real prominence when the octave strings come in at about ~1:40. Everything before that, including the initial statement at 0:33, is a sort of pre-echo. But unlike, say, Princess Leia's theme, which achieves this pre-echo effect through a quiet but sparse texture in the beginning (with a solo horn against undulating violins), Williams employs a much thicker texture in the beginning of Rey's theme.

 

Looking at the score though, it is definitely clear that a lot of thought was put into the orchestration. I can only echo other members on this thread in saying that it's a beautifully sculpted piece of music!

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