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If it wasn't for John Williams, would you still be a fan of orchestral film scores?

If it wasn't for John Williams, would you still be a Flfan of orchestral film scores?   

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  1. 1. If it wasn't for John Williams, would you still be a fan of orchestral film scores?

    • Yes, definitely! After all, there are many other great composers besides JW.
    • Yes, probably, though probably not as big a fan.
    • Probably not. Hard to say, but I suspect I probably wouldn't be.
    • Definitely not! JW is the reason I started noticing and loving orchestral film scores in the first place.


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Which option comes closest for you, and why? 

 

Answer 4 for me. JW was the reason I started noticing film music in the first place. Without him, I'd definitely be just a casual and occasional listener of film scores (if that), but not a fan. I only very recently realised this. I own many scores from many different composers, but these days, when I do listen to film scores, I almost exclusively listen to JW... The others are simply forgotten, neglected, and abandoned. Kinda sad but true.

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Likely 3.

 

I might have been attracted to certain Goldsmith,Barry and Horrner scores of the late 70's and 80's but I'm not sure I would have become a general  film music fan like I am now. Williams is really the Pillar of my film music collection.

 

One thing for sure in the 2000's and later (Zimmer RCP era)I almost don't like anything  and would never have become a film music fan. I listen to new stuff by Giacchino, Silvestri, Desplat  and others by "default" because there's nothing else better coming out, or in the hope of salvaging a few tracks for compilations. Or  videogame scores. JNH's The Nutcracker,  Fantastic Beasts 2 and Danny Elfman's Dumbo are recent examples   showing how dismal, soulless and generic orchestral film music has become

 

I'm also listening right now to the Goldsmith scores in alphabetical order as I pointed out in another thread. Turns out I only like about 2 out of 5 scores he did and now I remember why I listened to a lot  of his scores only once or twice. And he's my second favorite behind Williams just to say

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Any decent score actually existing in the wake of the deficient splattering of enlightenment, such as Homeward Bound, would not be so capable without it. So, with all the crap out there, I'd probably go a no.

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Number 2. I've always loved movies and movie music and I was into the Back to the Future soundtracks before I really got into JW so a foundation was already there.  HP1 and Attack of the Clones are the first soundtracks of his that I really remember becoming obsessed with and he's been my favorite ever since then. I'm sure I'd still be into film scores but he's by far the most "completist" that I've ever gotten for a composer and I only casually follow new film music outside of him so a lot of my enthusiasm definitely funnels straight to Johnny Baby....rough illustration, filtering my iTunes by "soundtrack" brings up 5195 tracks and he has 1222, nobody else is even close. 

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6 hours ago, King Mark said:

I'm also listening right now to the Goldsmith scores in alphabetical order as I pointed out in another thread. Turns out I only like about 2 out of 5 scores he did and now I remember why I listened to a lot  of his scores only once or twice. And he's my second favorite behind Williams just to say

 

Same here, I'm with you on this one. 

 

I too have a pretty sizeable, albeit far from complete, JG collection. On rare occasions I do listen to JG, and yet, out of the 100 albums that I own, only a handful really impress me. Those are your usual suspects, like Basic Instinct, Poltergeist, Total Recall, Alien, The Russia House, and Air Force One. The rest are pretty much forgettable, at least IMHO. 

5 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

Number 2. I've always loved movies and movie music and I was into the Back to the Future soundtracks before I really got into JW so a foundation was already there.  

 

Yeah, BTTF was great, agreed! 

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Actually this is my list of Goldsmith scores I like to listen to in full

 

Alien

Baby Secret of the Lost Legend

Blue Max

Congo

Explorers

First Knight

Final Conflict

Ghost and the Darkness

Gremlins

Inchon

Legend

King Solomon's Mines

Logan's Run

The Mummy

Night Crossing

One Little Indian

Papillon

Patton

Poltergeist

Powder

Secret of Nihm

The Sand Pebbles

the Star Trek scores except Nemesis

Total Recall

Twilight Zone,the Movie

Under Fire

 

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Without Williams there would be no Silvestri, no JNH, no Giacchino, Burton would have a wacky, not really orchestral score for Batman, late Goldsmith scores would sound like earlier Goldsmith scores (so bye-bye to The Mummy), meanwhile Howard Shore would never compose The Lighting of the Beacons without The Asteroid Field, and Shore's general tendency for melodicity would not be as pronounced, because the bar would just be very low.

 

Menken would still probably happen, and so would Randy Newman; Zimmer would still compose TLK... and then I think that I would be limited to worshipping Disney music and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. I cannot imagine how ever would I learn about golden & silver age composers. I guess I would notice Steiner anyway because of Gone With The Wind, but no-one else.

What a sad scenario!

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3 hours ago, King Mark said:

Actually this is my list of Goldsmith scores I like to listen to in full

 

Alien

Baby Secret of the Lost Legend

Blue Max

Congo

Explorers

First Knight

Final Conflict

Ghost and the Darkness

Gremlins

Inchon

Legend

King Solomon's Mines

Logan's Run

The Mummy

Night Crossing

One Little Indian

Papillon

Patton

Poltergeist

Powder

Secret of Nihm

The Sand Pebbles

the Star Trek scores except Nemesis

Total Recall

Twilight Zone,the Movie

Under Fire

 

 

Yeah, I own most of these... 

 

You forgot Hollow Man

 

 

And Malice

 

 

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Good question, I selected "Probably not".  It was through Williams that I discovered other film composers and classical music, etc.  I don't see that happening if this kind of music wasn't presented to me in such a way via Lucas/Spielberg/Williams in the early 1980s.

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6 minutes ago, MrScratch said:

Good question, I selected "Probably not".  It was through Williams that I discovered other film composers and classical music, etc.  I don't see that happening if this kind of music wasn't presented to me in such a way via Lucas/Spielberg/Williams in the early 1980s.

 

Yes, I feel the same way. 

 

Although classical music is, for me, a different story altogether. I used to play the piano since I was a little kid, so I've always loved Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart and so on. 

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I guess the question is whether we're also eliminating whatever influences Williams had on the larger industry. Either way, hard for me to say. Williams was definitely one of my first exposures to film music as a standalone listening experience - we had the Star Tracks album in the house and I got to experience the music of Star Wars, E.T., Superman, and so forth. Hadn't even seen any of those films yet. That was very formative for me, particularly because we also had Williams' recording of The Planets, and seeing the same guy's name on both beloved albums really drew my attention.

 

I'm gonna guess that I still would have been drawn to film music...if anything, Disney movies probably would have been the gateway drug for me. (In reality, they ended up being kind of secondary to Williams, but they still played a role.) I just think my interest wouldn't have been as strong; Williams is my favorite, after all.

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1 hour ago, SteveMc said:

Yes, I got into Horner before Williams, but Williams cemented my love for the artform.  But it all extended from my love for the classical world.

Same here, except in addition to Horner, Elfman was my gateway into film scores.

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3 hours ago, Datameister said:

I guess the question is whether we're also eliminating whatever influences Williams had on the larger industry.

 

Yeah I don’t know where to begin with that sort of speculation so it’s easier for me to say “What if Williams and his entire output was just plucked out of existence, would I still love film music as it is?” And for me the answer is clearly a resounding yes but it’d be a bigger damp on my listening habits and general curiosity than to do that with any other composer. 

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Didn't find the right vote option. 

I loved TV themes and some movie music as a kid. Then came John Williams, instant love. I realised that my love for his music grew and I lost the interest for all the other film music. 

Now it is still like that, JW is incredible and I actually hate other film music. 

 

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36 minutes ago, El Jefe said:

Yes, because my very first soundtrack wasn’t even by John Williams. I have always loved film and tv music before I even knew who John Williams was.

 

So whose was it? And which composers did you like? 

 

Nice pic of Nessie, BTW! 😅 

1 hour ago, Dzadza said:

definitely - although JW is my favorite, I "discovered" orchestral movie scores by watching Hitchcock movies and I fell in love with Bernard Herrmann's scores...

 

Yeah, he came before JW, and he was definitely great. 

 

Besides his famous works, I love his score to the "moon landing" (I forgot the name)... 

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14 hours ago, El Jefe said:

I like that one as well.

 

Quick trivia question. What's the name of the Max Steiner piece from King Kong that several decades later, reportedly, served as an inspiration to JW for "The Long Grass" from The Lost World

 

I absolutely adore this piece! The one written by JW, I mean.

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6 minutes ago, Josh500 said:

What's the name of the Max Steiner piece from King Kong that several decades later, reportedly, served as an inspiration to JW for "The Long Grass" from The Lost World

 

The Island!

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1 of course. You either have a predilection towards something or not. One great artist can help but one great artist is rarely a conduit to an entire genre. Orchestral symphonic music is a genre not invented by Williams. Many others before him have practiced it. For a period time, it was the prevailing mode of music for civilized society. That it is rarer today does not negate these fundamental truths.

 

He's definitely a very great artist. But my enjoyment of orchestral music comes from what I seek in art - complexity, density and nuance. I seek "busyness" in the music I consume and Williams just happens to have that. 

 

I think even without Williams - the people disposed towards orchestral music would eventually discover it and begin to like it.

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3 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

For a period time, it was the prevailing mode of music for civilized society. That it is rarer today does not negate these fundamental truths.

 

It's rarer today because we live in less civilized times.

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19 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

1 of course. You either have a predilection towards something or not. One great artist can help but one great artist is rarely a conduit to an entire genre. Orchestral symphonic music is a genre not invented by Williams. Many others before him have practiced it. For a period time, it was the prevailing mode of music for civilized society. That it is rarer today does not negate these fundamental truths.

 

He's definitely a very great artist. But my enjoyment of orchestral music comes from what I seek in art - complexity, density and nuance. I seen "business" in the music I consume and Williams just happens to have that. 

 

I think even without Williams - the people disposed towards orchestral music would eventually discover it and begin to like it.

 

Again, I'm not talking about orchestral music in general. Nobody thinks that JW invented the symphonic orchestra. 

 

The title clearly states "orchestral film scores." And JW is clearly one of the greatest, if not the greatest, orchestral film music composers, who almost singlehandedly revived this genre in the 70's, long after the Golden Age of orchestral film scores had passed. 

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4 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

1 of course. You either have a predilection towards something or not. One great artist can help but one great artist is rarely a conduit to an entire genre. Orchestral symphonic music is a genre not invented by Williams. 

 

Yet in my case he may as well have done, since his Superman and Indiana Jones music is my very earliest memory of symphonic sound, which just happened to be music from films, which just happened to be written by Williams (I would later discover). JW was my incidental entry point into orchestral music. 

 

I was basically born in the optimal moment in time in order to have my life soundtracked by this man. Therefore, I'm essentially the human equivalent of a circumstellar habitable zone. 

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I'm into composers incidentally who use a lot of leimotif and fantasy-based, thematic sound. So that doesn't seem to include classical or early romantic, because the sound to me is quite plain and the melodies aren't that great for capturing any vague sense of wonder or adventure, like Beethoven or Schubert. Dvorak really started the whole fad, Mahler and Mussorgsky had some pretty listenable themes for fantasy, but the majority of classical composers seem to struggle to create solid leimotif and great themes. But turn to people like John Williams and Nobuo Uematsu, and you start getting into something really listenable, thematically evocative.

 

Without Williams, I'd probably just listen to other genres of music, because other film composers write really bad melodies, like the Batman theme, Back to the Future, or Korngold's stuff? I write way better melodies than they do. I mostly just like John Williams. (I even listen to stock ethnic and folk music, as there are some composers who write beautifully developed themes with just ethnic instruments. Like really amazing stuff that's hard to put any tag to.)

 

Beethoven and Bach definitely sound like more simplified mathematics-based to me, not really my cup of tea.

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8 hours ago, Borodin said:

I'm into composers incidentally who use a lot of leimotif and fantasy-based, thematic sound. So that doesn't seem to include classical or early romantic, because the sound to me is quite plain and the melodies aren't that great for capturing any vague sense of wonder or adventure, like Beethoven or Schubert. Dvorak really started the whole fad, Mahler and Mussorgsky had some pretty listenable themes for fantasy, but the majority of classical composers seem to struggle to create solid leimotif and great themes. But turn to people like John Williams and Nobuo Uematsu, and you start getting into something really listenable, thematically evocative.

 

Without Williams, I'd probably just listen to other genres of music, because other film composers write really bad melodies, like the Batman theme, Back to the Future, or Korngold's stuff? I write way better melodies than they do. I mostly just like John Williams. (I even listen to stock ethnic and folk music, as there are some composers who write beautifully developed themes with just ethnic instruments. Like really amazing stuff that's hard to put any tag to.)

 

Beethoven and Bach definitely sound like more simplified mathematics-based to me, not really my cup of tea.

 

I think people here might challenge you to show your work if you make such a claim. Not me though!

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9 hours ago, Borodin said:

I'm into composers incidentally who use a lot of leimotif and fantasy-based, thematic sound. So that doesn't seem to include classical or early romantic, because the sound to me is quite plain and the melodies aren't that great for capturing any vague sense of wonder or adventure, like Beethoven or Schubert. Dvorak really started the whole fad, Mahler and Mussorgsky had some pretty listenable themes for fantasy, but the majority of classical composers seem to struggle to create solid leimotif and great themes. But turn to people like John Williams and Nobuo Uematsu, and you start getting into something really listenable, thematically evocative.

 

 

That's just you, I'm sure. It's no coincidence or luck that Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, etc. are loved by millions and are continued to be performed and listened to around the world to this day.... 

 

Also, some people like to confuse and mix up classical music with film scores, apparently because they're both performed by the orchestra. The similarity ends there, though. These are completely different genres. Really, that's like comparing country music with rap music, because both genres happen to make use of, say, the guitar and the drums!

 

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1 hour ago, Josh500 said:

That's just you.

 

First of all, it's not just me at all. Pretty much anyone who are big fans of any composer, not just Williams or Uematsu, will put their favorite composers first. Secondly, there's nothing to group-think when it comes to art. The ones you listed (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven) are popular because they're incredibly more easy to understand and mathematically predictable, an almost scientific base structure that has very little to do with the meaning of art or aesthetic nowadays. Classical utilizes structures we almost always can predict when listening to, especially if slowed-down, so people who don't really study aesthetics who will mind a simpler more math-based sound (which so happens to be a lot of people), will not understand that soundtrack and contemporary are entirely different facets of creation, where art truly begins anew and explores the unknown of tonality and orchestration. You can't compare science with today's art, it's not something you can effectively do, because the mathematical variations found within Beethoven are objectively-rooted knowledge, especially within the limited context of classical, while new tonality is much more novel and interesting to someone seeking art and exploration.

 

There are endless people more into the variety of artistic and thematic music out there every year, we have so much variety that explores whole new standards of beautiful tonalities, that many people don't find the need to cling to more structured and predictable genres. Listening to them tends to get old for a lot of people. I don't need to speak for everyone, but there are plenty of people who hear Beethoven for a bit, and get it fairly quickly, there's no point to keep listening. Not many people even try to compose like these composers, it's more just a historical study.

 

2 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 

I think people here might challenge you to show your work if you make such a claim. Not me though!

 

Yeah, it's a real challenge to prove you can write better melodies than Batman LOL, or even Forrest Gump for that matter.

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57 minutes ago, Josh500 said:

Also, some people like to confuse and mix up classical music with film scores, apparently because they're both performed by the orchestra. The similarity ends there, though. These are completely different genres. Really, that's like comparing country music with rap music, because both genres happen to make use of, say, the guitar and the drums!

 

I think you're misunderstanding a bit here, as the wider meaning of "classical music" is music that is played by a classical ensemble, such as a symphony orchestra, a quartet, a piano/violin duo and so on. 

 

10 hours ago, Borodin said:

Without Williams, I'd probably just listen to other genres of music, because other film composers write really bad melodies, like the Batman theme, Back to the Future, or Korngold's stuff? I write way better melodies than they do. 

 

I guess the difference between you and these composers is that their music isn't imaginary.

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21 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I guess the difference between you and these composers is that their music isn't imaginary.

 

If you're implying silence is better than most of this music, I would agree with you. But I never said the music I write is imaginary. I simply said I don't even have to brag: film music is generally terrible.

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