Jump to content


Photo

John Williams and Implicit Lyrics


  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#1 indy4

indy4

    Grand Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17675 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:59 AM

As far as I know, JW is the only composer that does this? Some examples of what I'm referring to:

- The the last 3 notes of the theme that opens the Superman March Concert Version-->SU-per Man!
- The first 3 notes of the Superman theme that we hear after the osinato build up-->SU-per Man!
- The first 4 notes of the Raiders March-->Innnn-di-an-aaaaaa
- 0:19 of "Harry's Wondrous World"-->Ha-rry-PO-ter, Ha-rry-PO-ter
- first 2 notes of main title from Star Wars-->Staaaaar-Waaaaars

Am I crazy, or are these legit?
For updates on a new CD/short film featuring brand new concert works by John Williams, Michael Giacchino, Alexandre Desplat, Randy Newman, Don Davis and Bruce Broughton, "like" this facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/MontageFilmComposers

#2 GoodMusician

GoodMusician

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2375 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida

Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:09 AM

Well, his music is definately operatic at times...and honestly, I sometimes put words to the music... the way it plays out reminds me of a chorus standing off to the side of a stage, murmuring to eachother about whats going on.

Another example of what you are saying is like the Solo horn opening to "Theme from Jurassic Park"

-Jur-ASS-ic PAAAAAARK!

:-p
Is it not sad that in this time, we are more surprised by acts of love than acts of hate?
-Me

#3 indy4

indy4

    Grand Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17675 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:10 AM

Oh, good one. That also works for the 4 note raptor motif.
For updates on a new CD/short film featuring brand new concert works by John Williams, Michael Giacchino, Alexandre Desplat, Randy Newman, Don Davis and Bruce Broughton, "like" this facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/MontageFilmComposers

#4 Wojo

Wojo

    Who?

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21079 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:27 AM

Am I crazy, or are these legit?


Make this a poll and we'll let you know.

#5 Kendal_Ozzel

Kendal_Ozzel

    Admiral

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2555 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Otisburg

Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:41 AM

The beginning of Snowy's Theme -- "Tintin tintin tintin tintin tintin TINTIN tintin tintin..."

#6 Incanus

Incanus

    The One True John Williams Believer, Keeper of the Faith

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Finland the fierce land of polar bears and penguins

Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:52 AM

The beginning of Snowy's Theme -- "Tintin tintin tintin tintin tintin TINTIN tintin tintin..."

:lol:

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#7 indy4

indy4

    Grand Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17675 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:54 AM

:lol:
For updates on a new CD/short film featuring brand new concert works by John Williams, Michael Giacchino, Alexandre Desplat, Randy Newman, Don Davis and Bruce Broughton, "like" this facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/MontageFilmComposers

#8 Incanus

Incanus

    The One True John Williams Believer, Keeper of the Faith

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Finland the fierce land of polar bears and penguins

Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:00 AM

I do not think these lyrics are a conscious thing on Williams' part.

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#9 indy4

indy4

    Grand Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17675 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:49 AM

Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park might be stretching it a bit, but I think Indiana Jones and especially Superman were intentional.
For updates on a new CD/short film featuring brand new concert works by John Williams, Michael Giacchino, Alexandre Desplat, Randy Newman, Don Davis and Bruce Broughton, "like" this facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/MontageFilmComposers

#10 Quintus

Quintus

    Grandiose Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 29682 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:16 AM

JJJJJJJJJJ JAWS JJ JAWS

:-\

#11 Josh500

Josh500

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 9682 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:29 AM

As far as I know, JW is the only composer that does this? Some examples of what I'm referring to:

- The the last 3 notes of the theme that opens the Superman March Concert Version-->SU-per Man!
- The first 3 notes of the Superman theme that we hear after the osinato build up-->SU-per Man!
- The first 4 notes of the Raiders March-->Innnn-di-an-aaaaaa
- 0:19 of "Harry's Wondrous World"-->Ha-rry-PO-ter, Ha-rry-PO-ter
- first 2 notes of main title from Star Wars-->Staaaaar-Waaaaars

Am I crazy, or are these legit?


ROTFLMAO

Yeah right!

In the Titanic score, didn't you hear the TI-TANIIIIC, TI-TANIIIIIIIIC! ? :P

#12 chuckster312

chuckster312

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3520 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:41 AM

Or how about in the beginning of the Suite - "MUU - LAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!!!!!!"

#13 Incanus

Incanus

    The One True John Williams Believer, Keeper of the Faith

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Finland the fierce land of polar bears and penguins

Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:43 AM

JJJJJJJJJJ JAWS JJ JAWS

:-\

Why are you stuttering my good man? Are you alright?

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#14 BloodBoal

BloodBoal

    A Very Respectable Messenger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17444 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:50 AM

Is this thread JWFaners on drugs?

PrincessLeia_zps735e1986.png


#15 Incanus

Incanus

    The One True John Williams Believer, Keeper of the Faith

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18185 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Finland the fierce land of polar bears and penguins

Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:26 AM

Is this thread JWFaners on drugs?

Is this the "state the obvious" thread BloodBoal?

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#16 Josh500

Josh500

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 9682 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:29 AM

I also like how JW masterfully incorporates the word "Tintin" in almost every track...

For example, the "Theme from Tintin":

Tintin-ti-TIN-TIN! Tintin-TI-TINTINTI!!!

:lol:

#17 BloodBoal

BloodBoal

    A Very Respectable Messenger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17444 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:08 PM


Is this thread JWFaners on drugs?


Is this the "state the obvious" thread BloodBoal?


We've been down that road before, Finnish boy. "Never again", we said. So don't start it all over again!

But yes, it is another the "state the obvious" thread. Obviously.

PrincessLeia_zps735e1986.png


#18 Thor

Thor

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3888 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oslo, Norway

Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:18 PM

I've always thought the theme from SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL seems to say "It's Sun-day Night Foot-Ball!".

Not Williams, but I love Kaplans interpretation of the Silvestri theme from NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, which seems to say just that. Niiight at the Museeeeeeum. :)

#19 Omen II

Omen II

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1341 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:22 PM

Some examples of what I'm referring to:

- first 2 notes of main title from Star Wars-->Staaaaar-Waaaaars


Ever since I heard this on the radio about ten years ago, I've never quite been able to listen to the main titles of Star Wars without thinking of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4Q3AS3HOtw
His mouth is full of bees!

#20 TownerFan

TownerFan

    ...

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3838 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:22 PM

Actually this is a real technique ("Cantabile", i.e. singing) composers sometimes use to find the "hook" of the melody.

Williams himself explained it a bit when putting Rita Dove's words into music for the song cycle Seven for Luck.

#21 Morn

Morn

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8790 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:35 PM

Yes I've noticed this.
Also many of Williams 60s scores include a main title song, so it's probably a habit of his that comes from this.
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse." - Winston Churchill

#22 Jay

Jay

    Off the Chart

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 36150 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:42 PM

Am I crazy


Yes

or are these legit?


No

I do not think these lyrics are a conscious thing on Williams' part.


Yes

I think Indiana Jones and especially Superman were intentional.


No

#23 BloodBoal

BloodBoal

    A Very Respectable Messenger

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17444 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:54 PM

Superman is the only one that sounds possible. And even so, I have hard time believing that.

PrincessLeia_zps735e1986.png


#24 stewdog1

stewdog1

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2022 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Huntsville, Alabama

Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:59 PM

Superman is the only one that sounds possible. And even so, I have hard time believing that.


If I'm listening to it in the car, my 8 old year son and I will "sing" along to Superman.

#25 chuckster312

chuckster312

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3520 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:03 PM

E.T., Eeh - tih-tih-tih-tih - tiiiiiiihhhhh....

#26 Jeff

Jeff

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 709 posts

Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:10 PM

I have heard of a couple of examples of this happening. For example, I remember seeing a behind-the-scenes video where the composer of the X-Files theme said it was set to the imaginary lyrics, "X-Files is a show . . . with music by Mark Snow." That was probably a joke, though.

You could find this pattern in virtually any theme, though. ("Gone WIIITH the Wind, Gone WIIIIITH then Wind!")

#27 indy4

indy4

    Grand Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17675 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:57 PM

You could find this pattern in virtually any theme, though. ("Gone WIIITH the Wind, Gone WIIIIITH then Wind!")

I think the thing that separates this examples from Superman, Indiana Jones, or Harry Potter is the accented syllables. You wouldn't emphasize the word "with"if you said "Gone with the Wind," but the second note is clearly the dominant one of the musical phrase.

When you say "Harry Potter," for example, you would emphasize the "Po" in "Potter" more than any other syllable. When you say "Superman" you accent the first syllable the most, the third syllable the second most, the second syllable the least. The musical phrase does the same. When you say "Indiana" there's usually a bit of space between the first and second syllable.

The other thing that separates these examples from Gone with the Wind is that it makes sense for them to be proudly declaring a character name. Indy and Superman are both macho heroes who you might picture saying "I'm SUPERMAN!" Harry Potter is a name that often discussed in the wizarding world, even if he's not particularly macho in Sorcerer's Stone. That doesn't really apply to GWTW.

You could say the same about Star Wars, since the yellow text is proudly declaring "Star Wars" in the beginning, but I think that's difficult to prove given that the rhythm isn't very unique and the world is only 2 syllables.
For updates on a new CD/short film featuring brand new concert works by John Williams, Michael Giacchino, Alexandre Desplat, Randy Newman, Don Davis and Bruce Broughton, "like" this facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/MontageFilmComposers

#28 Morn

Morn

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8790 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:34 AM

You could say the same about Star Wars, since the yellow text is proudly declaring "Star Wars" in the beginning, but I think that's difficult to prove given that the rhythm isn't very unique and the world is only 2 syllables.


If you listen to the alternate takes on the Star Wars main title in the Binary Sunset (Alternate) track, earlier versions began the main title without a single chord, but two notes that clearly sound like the verbal phrasing of 'Star Wars'.
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse." - Winston Churchill

#29 KK.

KK.

    Rich in Fish!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8767 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:53 AM

How bout we try Hook?
Hook, Hook, Hook hookhookhookhook Hook hookhookhookhook Hook
Hook, Hook, Hook hookhookhookhook Hook hookhookhookhook Hook....you get the point....

In all seriousness, I think Williams has only used the technique for Superman, not the many other films listed here. The Superman thing (as many of you know) have been pointed out by someone else in a interview (that I don't remember well)...

#30 Kendal_Ozzel

Kendal_Ozzel

    Admiral

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2555 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Otisburg

Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:59 AM

Yeah, Dick Donner talks about it on the commentary track for Superman: The Movie. It's been a while since I listened to it, but as I recall he talks about how he realized the theme was saying "SUP-ER-MAN!" the first time he heard it, and that he pointed it out, but (I think) Williams said he didn't do it intentionally.

I need to revisit that commentary track. It's really great.

#31 Michael

Michael

    Really?

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2410 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Argentina

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:06 AM

Oh, Chariots of Fire...
If you start taking yourself seriously, then you’re in deep trouble! - Jerry Goldsmith

#32 KingPin

KingPin

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 720 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SoCal

Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:48 AM

I read somewhere that Richard Rodney Bennett used the technique to compose the opening piano piece in his score to Murder on the Orient Express.

#33 mrbellamy

mrbellamy

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1695 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:07 AM

Hedwig's Theme: "HAR-ry POT-ter AND the...". After that it doesn't work, but I've thought that.

And then of course there's...http://www.jwfan.com...showtopic=21002

#34 Marcus

Marcus

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 982 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oslo/Berlin

Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:34 PM

This technique is for real, as some members have already pointed out. It was prevalent in Golde Age scores by Steiner (who did this a lot!), Korngold and others, and I'm wondering a little whether this technique might actually be endogenous to film music! I certainly can't recall encountering it in any other genre. And it makes sense in a way: It is really a matter of sonic "branding". The Steiner Gone With the Wind-example is a very good one, but there are countless others. Korngold would actually at times more or less set to music an entire opening crawl, as in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Whether or not Williams does this consciously, I couldn't say, but I don't see why not, as this is a practice he is certainly very familiar with, and it would be completely in tune with his hommage-approach to a score such as Star Wars. And the later practice of theming a score on a main title song is sort of related to this, I suppose.

#35 davros72

davros72

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 680 posts

Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:49 PM

I recall in the commentary on the Brazil laserdisc, someone (probably Terry Gilliam, I'm guessing, it's been a long time) said that Michael Kamen deliberately scored the fanfare for Robert De Niro's character Harry Tuttle so that it sounded like someone could sing "Harry Tuttle!" along with it. Most notably in the scene where Tuttle jumps down some sort of zip line kinda thing when leaving Lowry's place.

So I'd say it's not unique to JW. :)

#36 Wojo

Wojo

    Who?

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21079 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:03 PM

If you look for something long enough and want to find it badly enough, you will.

#37 airmanjerm

airmanjerm

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 454 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX

Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

I don't know why, but every time I see this thread pop up I accidentally mis-read it as "John Williams and EXPLICIT Lyrics," two things that really couldn't be much further apart.

#38 Wojo

Wojo

    Who?

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21079 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:35 PM

R2-D2 had his share of explicit lyrics in each movie, but we'll never know because they were always bleeped out.

#39 Jay

Jay

    Off the Chart

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 36150 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:07 PM

:lol:

#40 KK.

KK.

    Rich in Fish!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8767 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:46 PM

So I'd say it's not unique to JW. :)


To add on to this point, there is a feature on the Blu-ray release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes that talks about Doyle's score. Apparently for the cue "Cookies", the whole rhythm was based off the phrase "I gotta cookie for ya". It was really fun watching Doyle get a kick out of that!

http://t.co/esSq5b53




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users