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Posts posted by Ludwig

  1. YIM4oJ.jpg


    Film Music Notes is happy to announce the launch of a new course, Associations of Harmony in Film Themes at the super-sale price of $89 with the use of this coupon code: LEQ2F271SS. After Jan. 3rd, the price will go to the launch price of $99 (full regular price is $109).

    By studying many of the greatest themes to come out of Hollywood, this three-lesson course will teach you the most common harmonic progressions in Hollywood film music and the emotional and musical associations they tend to have. Learn how to use harmony to evoke the perfect emotions in your themes!

    Find out more on the course page, where you can watch a preview, see the course contents, and enroll in the course.

    But hurry, the super-sale ends Jan. 3rd!

  2. 19 hours ago, Jay said:

    Does anybody want to talk about the NEW THEMES in this score?


    Sure, I'm game.


    So about the Sad Theme, one thing about it is that in the suite, it gets combined in counterpoint with the main theme at 6:26, kind of like Williams' Rey's theme + Force theme combination in the end credits of TFA. Okay, so Giacchino does change the notes of the main theme after its first motif, but what the hey, I still like it.


    What I found really striking was the Mysterious Theme - it has exactly the same harmony as the main theme all the way through. You could play the main theme over the chords of the Mysterious Theme and get the same thing. As Jay points out as well, the Mysterious Theme leads into the main theme each time. I would add that this happens yet a third time in the suite starting with the Mysterious Theme at 7:01 then the main theme at 7:19. So the two themes are inextricably intertwined. I don't know anything about the plot of the film, but maybe the Mysterious Theme has something to do with Spidey's identity, that he's questioning who he is, who Spider-Man is, or maybe there's another Spidey? Who knows. But the two themes here are definitely connected to the point where they are in one respect the same. Eager to find out what it means.

  3. 13 hours ago, Sweeping Strings said:

    Could've sworn that there was a court case that finally judged Norman to be the composer and Barry the arranger.  


    Yes, it came up as a result of an interview David Arnold did with Barry before Arnold scored his first Bond film. Barry claimed that he was the composer of the Bond theme. This wasn't the first time he had made such a claim publicly, but The Sunday Times ran a story sensationalizing it. This caused Norman to sue because he his royalties on the theme, according to Burlingame, is often in the hundreds of thousands of pounds each year, and Norman claimed that the Times "rubbished my career".


    Anyway, long story short, yes @Sweeping Strings is right. After a very detailed trial, a jury decided in favor of Norman, who remains officially credited for composing the theme to this day. Barry always was considered the arranger, though he wasn't officially credited as such, only his band was credited with the performance.

  4. On 6/1/2021 at 3:11 AM, GerateWohl said:

    By the way, did anybody ever count how many movies there are starting with a helicopter perspective on a camera ride across a water surface? It is so common. Quantum of solace starts that way. Leon, I think, as well. And thousands others.

    I think, no movie with Williams music opened that way, luckily.


    Well, he did do this scene, though:



    Talk about cliché, I mean how many times have we seen a helicopter taking people to an island to see dinosaurs for the first time, all the while scored by the most glorious, awe-inspiring fanfare you can imagine, one that roots itself firmly into the history of film music as the centerpiece of one of the most memorable scenes ever to come out of Hollywood? Actually, on second thought...

  5. 16 hours ago, InTheCity said:

    So I guess thats a no, well you are still treading on "his good will" without compensating him. I'd be careful legally


    The avoidance of this issue is all clarified in the course description. The Lesson 1 preview on the website demonstrates how this is all put together.


    On 4/5/2021 at 7:04 AM, Ludwig said:

    Please Note:


    To avoid copyright infringement, this course contains no score excerpts or audio from John Williams' film scores. Students are directed to find and listen to soundtrack excerpts while the course content consists of:



    1. Music theory connecting the techniques to be discussed


    2. Analysis describing the techniques behind Williams excerpts


    3. Composition tutorials applying the techniques to original compositions, and


    4. Composition exercises comprising abstract scales, chords, and original music



  6. 2 minutes ago, crumbs said:

    This makes sense. I'm sure I'd seen Approaching the Emperor on a list somewhere, though it's absent from the partial cue list thread and Falstaff's breakdown (likely because it was the same cue renamed from Emperor to Nursery).


    Yes, "Emperor" in the sketch was changed to "Nursery" in a later version. So that one is the same cue, it just got slightly renamed.

  7. 25 minutes ago, crumbs said:

    So if we have Approaching the Emperor #2 from the prototype edit of reel 8, does that mean there was an Approaching the Emperor #1 at some stage? Maybe an early version of the scene in reel 1, later retitled Approaching the Nursery?


    An early sketch of the Approaching the Nursery cue was originally titled Approaching the Emperor. So yes, the #2 seems to refer to the Approaching the Throne cue rather than a revision of the same cue.

  8. I'd say that in ANH, the figure in the accompaniment that comes in before the theme is based on the Force theme itself, a kind of outline of it that even uses the same notes: A-Bb-D (see the boxes I've drawn in the music below). Williams also transposes the figure so it has a version that ends on G (the tonic) as well, so it doesn't get too repetitive.


    It isn't unheard of for Williams to do this in his golden-era Star Wars scores, either. What @Falstaft calls Heroic Descending Tetrachords, which generally ushers in Luke's Theme, is a faster version of the same figure from the B section of the same theme. And in "The Asteroid Field", the entrance of Vader's Theme comes with a triplet figure in the strings that's again a faster version of the same Vader theme.


    I know Williams loves classical concert music and knows a good deal of it, but I would probably say that, once the references to any other works have been established beforehand either by a temp track or instructions from the director / music editor etc., that he works by developing the material he already has. And that's what I'd say is probably going on here: basically compress the Force theme's first phrase into fewer notes and allow the theme's big entrance to be led up to by a form of itself. What could be more appropriate?





  9. 6 hours ago, Fabulin said:

    What was the story with Alfred Newman's fanfare again? Wasn't it Williams who suggested breaking it out of the museum? It wouldn't surprise me if he talked with Lionel about it, and it ended up opening the film because it itself was also (back in the days) inspired by Korngold, and Williams thought it would have enhanced the opening of the film. Maybe Lionel Newman suggested to Williams that there was a similar Fox property written by his brother that could be used in the first place?


    The liner notes from the 1997 Special Edition of A New Hope's soundtrack says of Newman's fanfare,


    it was George Lucas' inspired creative stroke to reintroduce it when Fox released Star Wars in 1977.


    And I think that makes the most sense. Lucas had already drawn together influences from old serials, samurai films, westerns, and sci-fi, and he knew he wanted the music to be like the old Hollywood scores of the 30s and 40s, so it fits neatly with that whole creative vision.

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