Tedfud, Sorry for the delay in responding - I've been inundated with work for the beginning of the academic semester (argh!). Anyway, at last I am now reunited with my scores and can give you my answers to your questions. It seems that your questions 1, 2, and 4 basically ask about the same thing, just for different instruments. The short answer to these questions is that the notes in the flourishes naturally always agree with the chord at that point. But these flourishes are usually filled in with scale-wise motion, and that's where it gets complicated - the scale is not always that of the key the music is in at that point. Most of the time, these flourishes are just the scale of the key the music at that moment. The Superman march, for example, which starts in C major, has plenty of C major flourishes in the strings, winds, harp, and combinations of these. No surprise there. But at other times, you may have two flourishes at the same time that have different notes! In these cases, the flourishes don't really fit with each other, so they sound more like a musical effect or gesture but one that still sounds good because it contains the notes of the chord. Again to point to the Superman march, just before the main theme gets going when you have that gradual buildup of fourths in dotted rhythms, when you hear the cymbal crash with the rising arpeggio melody in trumpet and winds (basically when you hear melody come in), there are flourishes in some other winds, harp, and piano. But while the winds and piano have a rapid arpeggio that goes Eb-Ab-Db, Eb-Ab-Db, Eb-Ab, the harp has a scale that goes G-Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F-gliss-Ab (an Ab major scale). The chord at that point (from the bass up) is G-Ab-Db-Eb-Ab, so as you can see, the flourishes both contain most or all of these notes. This allows the flourishes to blend with the chord and makes it less important whether they are composed of a scale or arpeggio. The important thing is that they contain notes of the chord and therefore sound good. So in short, you could say that JW's flourishes, whether in winds, harp, piano, or what have you, tend to contain notes of the sounding chord but that they can be written as a scale or broken chord (arpeggio) or even both at the same time. Cool. Your questions 3 and 6 might best be answered as one. You mention the end of the Star Wars main theme - this is a great example for both questions. In question 6 you ask about bitonal/polytonal chords. When the tune finishes, the strings start scurrying upwards for a few bars. Right when the strings reach their high point, we hear those strange, outer-spacey sustained chords with the strings playing rapid broken chords repeatedly. This short passage, which is just as all goes dark as you mention, is made up of three different chords. All three of them maintain a C major chord in the upper parts while the lower parts change to different notes. Basically the first chord is a combination of a Db major chord in the lower parts with a C major chord in the upper parts. But the wind parts are scored so that an Ab from the Db chord is placed higher than the rest of that chord, and it is combined with C and E from the C major chord. So it ends up sounding like there's a chord of Ab-C-E in the winds - an augmented triad that tends to sound like outer space music. But the overall harmony at this point is essentially a bitonal chord of Db and C (the G from the C major chord is strangely missing from the winds - instead it's in the rapid string arpeggios and piano, which is basically playing the same thing as the strings). The horns and lower winds are in keeping with the lower parts and sound out notes of the Db chord. The second chord keeps the C major chord above while the lower parts change to an A major chord. So now the G and E from the C chord blend with the A major chord to sound like a dominant seventh chord. But now the C of the C chord clashes with the C# of the A major chord, so it again sounds very strange, like a combination of major and minor at the same time (actually this happens with the first chord as well, since there is both an E and F over the bass Db and so it sounds like Db major and minor at the same time). Here, the upper winds are now all sounding notes from the C chord, E and C, while the lower winds and horns again are playing the A chord of the lower parts. The third chord again keeps the C chord major chord above but now the lower parts change to an augmented triad, from the bass up, E-C-Ab. So here I think it sounds less bitonal (since an Ab augmented chord can't really be a key, whereas C major and Db major or C major and A major certainly are). Instead, I think it blends into one of your Mixolydian flat 6 chords (or what I've called in my earlier post above a chord from the "harmonic major" scale). The upper winds are now sounding all notes of the C major chord while the Ab is heard only in the lower parts of the bass clarinet, piano, and low strings. As you've said yourself, this chord is typical of outer space music in films, this being one of the best examples I'm sure. And actually, this third chord is kept the same as the music now softens to a hushed murmur, setting up for that beautifully mysterious piccolo melody just before all hell breaks loose with the overhead shot of the ships going by. Another thing I would point out here is that the mysterious feeling is in part created by sounding the "space" chord (C-E-G-Ab) in the vibraphone, harp (which he says to "let ring"), celeste, and very high violins, along with the soft sustained chords in the upper winds. For what it's worth, I'm reading a great book on Bernard Herrmann right now that describes many of his own bitonal chords in scores like Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Psycho, among others. It's by Graham Bruce and titled Bernard Herrmann: Film Music and Narrative. One of the ones that's talked about most is the "vertigo" chord from that film, a combination of an Eb minor chord in lower parts with D major in higher parts. Perhaps JW picked up something of this use of bitonal chords from Herrmann. Finally, as for question 5, it sounds like you've pretty much covered the topic of non-resolving chromatic chords. Because in a major key, if a chord is not a flat mediant, flat submediant, flat supertonic, or tritone away, it's likely closely related to the key. The only other chromatic chord I can think of that might be useful this way is the flat leading tone chord in major, so going to a B-flat major chord from a C major chord. But that tends to sound like a C Mixolydian mode rather than a strange chord in C major. Then again, I think it can be a good way to lead to other temporary keys on the "flat side" of the major key - like all the flat chords you mentioned. It may be more useful to think of JW's tonal writing in 3 different categories: 1) Pure triads and seventh chords - tend to be reserved for important statements of themes and main title music (virtually any of his main themes) 2) Triads and seventh chords with added dissonant notes - tend to be used in action sequences (I think there is lots of this in the final battle in Star Wars) 3) Bitonal chords - tend to be used at moments of great tension or expectation (like in the Star Wars music above, we seem to be holding our breath for something exciting to happen) That's about all I can say at the moment. I hope this helps!