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The OFFICIAL John Williams Plagiarism List


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I mean, come on, James Horner is too easy.

If this is successful, we can move on to Jerry Goldsmith.

So let's begin...

"Journey to the Line" - from Thin Red Line by Hans Zimmer can be found again in "Anakin's Betrayal" in Revenge of the Sith

Stealing from Zimmer of all people...tsk tsk tsk.

I'm giving up my life to participate in this great cause, so please help me!

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He used a passage from AotC in CoS, but that's understandible due to the tight schedule.

Other than that, he uses "The Land Race" in "Immigration and Building."

It includes every bit of quoting and "inspiration" from own or others scores you can think of, honey.

Okay, sweetie pie.

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King's Row in Star Wars (though it still doesn't sound like a lift to me)

The Planets and Le sacre du printemps, also in Star Wars

Shostakovich's Hamlet in The Desert Chase (not quite, but it's very reminiscent of a motif from the Shostakovich score)

The Patriot in American Journey

And I have at least two ready for the Goldsmith thread. :lol:

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Holiday Flight from Home Alone is also a Stravinsky knock-off.

Don't you mean Tchaikovsky?

"Somewhere in My Memory" and the Neverland theme both have a relationship akin to "Marion's Theme"/"Han Solo and the Princess."

There's a phrase from the opening of "Prologue" (what theme is that?) that is used in "Hedwig's Theme" and another from the same Hook theme that appears in "Across the Stars."

None of this detracts from my enjoyment of any of the mentioned pieces.

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The theme used for John Wayne's character in The Cowboys is similar to Leaving Home from Superman.

Ludlow's Demise from The Lost World appears in Quidditch Match from SS and Anderton's Great Escape from Minority Report.

When we get to Goldsmith you can see the Horner thread for the US Marshall theme/motif appearing in quite a few scores.

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Eat this Blumenkohl:

Have a cherry, No ticket, Hook lament, Gilderoy Lockart

The cowboys love(?) theme, Men of the yorktown march, Superman's Kent theme

Ludlows demise, tavinton's trap, martin vs tavington, Quidditch match, Andertons great escape, etc

The land race: Immigration and building

Make me Rainbows: In the moonlight

Alliance assembly: The Stegosaurs

One theme from CMIYC and one theme from The terminal

damn, most of these were post as i was writing...

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Holiday Flight from Home Alone is also a Stravinsky knock-off.

Don't you mean Tchaikovsky?

"Somewhere in My Memory" and the Neverland theme both have a relationship akin to "Marion's Theme"/"Han Solo and the Princess."

There's a phrase from the opening of "Prologue" (what theme is that?) that is used in "Hedwig's Theme" and another from the same Hook theme that appears in "Across the Stars."

None of this detracts from my enjoyment of any of the mentioned pieces.

Where is the Hook theme that appears in Across the Stars?

Colin Thomson

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Where is the Hook theme that appears in Across the Stars?

The theme heard at the beginning of "Prologue" (called oddly enough the Prologue theme). It's structurally very, very similar to "Across the Stars".

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Where is the Hook theme that appears in Across the Stars?

The theme heard at the beginning of "Prologue" (called oddly enough the Prologue theme). It's structurally very, very similar to "Across the Stars".

Oh, right. With the triplets, and then sequencing them lower, and really most of the melodic intervals in the beginning melody. Interesting. I don't think I would have caught that. Nice find.

Colin Thomson

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Images sounds just like The Planets and Rite of Spring. Schindler's list is a knockoff of Swan Lake. Seven Years in Tibet is a lift from Stars and Stripes forever. I figured these were as good examples as any here.

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Williams had a good melodic idea and felt like revisiting it. Or maybe he wasn't even conscious of the similarity (does he even remember Hook or perform it in concert?). After reading about how much some classical composers borrowed from themselves, I feel less bothered by things like this. Horner takes it too far, though. He doesn't just reuse melodies, he reuses entire orchestrated cues.

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A lot of the cues mentioned here just sound very similiar. That isn't so shocking. I mean, JW's scored more than 50 films, obviously he's going to revisit some styles if the films call for that. The only thing I would call plagarism by JW is when he lifts excact melodies or cues from other films, and that is very rare. For example, I note the obvious similarities between "Gilderoy Lockhart" and "No Ticket," but I wouldn't call that plagarism. Just an extremely similiar style of music.

Having said that, I do recognize that JW does plagarise from himself sometimes. The two examples I gave earlier (CoS and AotC/FaA and AJ) are prime examples of JW plagarising, because he lifts a melody straight from another piece of work. But I'm afraid that for me, saying something sounds similiar to another thing doesn't quite count as plagarism, because with all the billions of pieces of music written in the history of the world, you could probably find a similiar sounding cue for every cue JW has written.

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Images sounds just like The Planets and Rite of Spring. Schindler's list is a knockoff of Swan Lake. Seven Years in Tibet is a lift from Stars and Stripes forever. I figured these were as good examples as any here.

:mellow:

Most sensible post in this thread so far!

Seriously, does anyone really think Williams would plagiarize Zimmer? I seriously doubt Williams has consciously listened to any piece of music more or less written by Hans Zimmer.

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I wonder who coined the phrase "self-plagiarism"?

I imagine it was coined by someone who didn't actually know what plagiarism meant.

It's like calling a vacation an act of "self-kidnapping." :mellow:

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Images sounds just like The Planets and Rite of Spring. Schindler's list is a knockoff of Swan Lake. Seven Years in Tibet is a lift from Stars and Stripes forever. I figured these were as good examples as any here.

:)

:mellow:

I thought this thread was dumb until I read your post - my confidence in humanity is restored!

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Seriously, does anyone really think Williams would plagiarize Zimmer?
The scene could have quite easily been temped with the Zimmer piece. If Spielberg requested a cue similar to it, it's not strange the outcome sounds quite like it.

Well, I think the fact that Williams has been using that and similar/derived melodic and harmonic material as part of his general palette for over 25 years is what makes that particular example laughable to some of us.

It origins are most definitely to be found in the realm of the classical repertoire much like the example Kevin provided.

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I found that cue to be rather un-Williams. Although I have not heard the Zimmer piece, nor am I particularly eloquent in musical terms, I don't find the theory of a composer actually granting a director's wishes all that far-fetched.

Isn't the opening of Sick Triceratops quite similar to a Patrick Doyle piece as well?

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I found that cue to be rather un-Williams.

Well I've not been listening to Williams as long as some but I have been listening to him for 30 years and it's very Williams indeed.

Although I have not heard the Zimmer piece, nor am I particularly eloquent in musical terms

I don't mean this rudely but don't you think it might help to have heard the Zimmer piece so you can have at least some idea of what the silimlarities being talked about are?

Seriously, I know this is the internet and everything people say is usually taken as an attack but I'm not trying to.

The pieces being talked about do share similarities, of that there is no question.

I just believe Williams' history with that material goes back alot further than the original example.

I don't find the theory of a composer actually granting a director's wishes all that far-fetched.

Nor do I, that wasn't an issue.

Isn't the opening of Sick Triceratops quite similar to a Patrick Doyle piece as well?

Patrick Doyle has written a hell of alot of pieces, narrowing it down wouldn't hurt.

For my sake, I'd certainly be interested in hearing it.

Notice how the fundamentalists have stormed out of the woodwork to flaunt their various excuses for John Williams and his striking resemblances. :)

Notice how the biggest cry baby on this messageboard has to jump in and wet his knickers every time somebody points out how much he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. You should spend more time listening to music and enjoying it instead of figuring out new ways to prove why you and everyone else should dislike John Williams. Grow up :mellow:

And fully missing the point of this thread...

Or perhaps you shouldn't start a thread with an example which goes way over your head with regards to its origin.

All composers have borrowed from themselves or others.

The good ones are those who can make it their own or don't do it on every film they work on.

Indeed they do, but for me at least it's more a case of composers revisiting material and exploring new ways to manipulate it usually for similar dramatic reasons. I personally find that a little different than something just being borrowed.

The good ones certainly do make it their own which was my original point, the fact that Williams has often used material similar to what we were talking about in consecutive scores is one of the things I love about listening to his work.

It's just sad and unfortunate that some here get far too excited at the sound of their own ignorance.

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enjoying it instead of figuring out new ways to prove why you and everyone else should dislike John Williams. Grow up

Really? Is that my point? Thank you for so kindly telling me what my goal in life is. I feel so honored to be given an analysis of my motivations by some poor soul whose greatest contribution to this thread has been an unbacked piece of arrogant nonsense.

He'd have a stronger ground if he actually gave an example of Williams' use of the "Journey to the Line" theme I'm talking about, in Williams' last 25 years...but no...he is too great to be supported by evidence.

He is a god, and we must accept what he says because he has superior knowledge.

I'm but a poor ignorant bloke.

Or perhaps you shouldn't start a thread with an example which goes way over your head with regards to its origin.

No one has disproved what I was saying as my first example to this point in this thread. Maybe if such people weren't so busy being a blind lump of bias, they would be able to.

The Mendelssohn example doesn't even touch the part of Anakin's Betrayal that I was talking about. Which leads me to believe you do not even know what "Journey to the Line" sounds like. That makes which one of us ignorant again?

Someone missed the point of this thread when they walked in here with their arrogant assumptions.

So come on then, let's see some evidence of the "Journey to the Line" Theme in Williams last 25 years of work, and I will concede that I'm an idiot and made a serious error.

I sure as hell haven't heard it in anything mentioned in here thus far.

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Seriously, does anyone really think Williams would plagiarize Zimmer? I seriously doubt Williams has consciously listened to any piece of music more or less written by Hans Zimmer.

As Marc said, the scene could've easily been temped with the piece, thus relieving Williams of all responsibility for the similarities and placing the blame on Spielberg. :mellow:

Listen for yourself, though. It's the fifth music clip: http://www.myspace.com/hanszimmermusic

Whether or not the similarities are intentional, they're there.

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Didn't Goldsmith say something similar?

I believe it was something like this: "We all copy/steal from time to time, only the good ones don't get caught".

Maybe. I know Stravinsky said "A good composer does not imitate; he steals."

I don't know if it was said before him or not.

He actually has quote a few good ones. Like "Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune."

Colin Thomson

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FSM did a great podcast on "Homaging," which solely tackles the practice of film composers referencing (or in many cases involving Horner, lifting) from concert music. It's a very fair, informative look at this topic.

My friend and I were discussing the whole plagiarism issue, and we both came to the conclusion that there should be a recognized difference between a) a composer stealing an established, central motif or theme from someone else and using it boldly like it was their own, and b) a composer using something that was almost incidental or fleeting in its original context and developing that into something more central themselves. That seems to be a difference that deserves some thought when questioning a composer's originality, talent, and effectiveness.

Back to topic though: Battle of the Heroes has a striking similarity to Cinque's Theme from Amistad (and, some would say, the Emperor's Theme as well). Also, Somewhere in My Memory opens the exact same way as the Childhood theme from Hook.

But Johnny's still the greatest!

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Most notably the Holiday Flight and Tchaikovsky connection and No Ticket as Gilderoy Lockhart. Of course they've already been mentioned, but those are the most notable onces I can think of. I really have never noticed most of the examples brought up above and I still don't really hear them. :unsure:

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