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Do J Williams orchestrate his own music like famous composers as Morricone, or always call help of known names like Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage to do it?..

I know sadly that Hollywood is suffering from score industry process-tasks (writers-orchestrtors-coductors-producers.) which are forwarded to different persons

Thing that harmed many musicians as well as absolute-music composers.

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No actually John Williams is of german heritage and in the late 70s and early 80 he was Keyboarder in german Bands .. he was also a member of the "Buggles" and he also appears in the music video to Vi

John T. Williams stopped composing actual music in 1999, after completing The Phantom Menace. However, since the brand John Williams was still very popular, it was decided to retain the name and let a

I beg to differ. I've spent a lot of my time listening to his concert music, and I'm not talking about his fanfares and festive pieces, but rather his concerts... I find them very close and one can't

Every single musical decision in a Williams score is Williams's, and his alone. It is perhaps pertinent to remember that Williams did a lot of arranging, orchestrating and musical adaptation for others early in his career. Much of his renown among musicians, is due to his phenomenal expertise as an orchestrator.

Williams' sketches indicate very precisely, to minutest detail, all orchestrations and dynamics, etc. But due to time restrictions, he will write a short score, condensed on 6-8 lines (typically; sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on requirements), simply because it is near physically impossible to produce 2 hours of orchestral music of that kind of complexity in just a few weeks (in full score, that is).

But his orchestrators, as has been pointed out many times, are really nothing more than sophisticated copyists, "blowing up" his sketches to full score format. They don't add orchestral colors or additional lines, etc., of their own.

Ennio Morricone can actually timewise afford to write out full scores, because his music isn't very layered, and doesn't require so much time to physically put on the page.

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Do J Williams orchestrate his own music like famous composers as Morricone, or always call help of known names like Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage to do it?..

I know sadly that Hollywood is suffering from score industry process-tasks (writers-orchestrtors-coductors-producers.) which are forwarded to different persons

Thing that harmed many musicians as well as absolute-music composers.

The main question has been promptly answered, but I would say that Williams, Morricone and all, are well know composeres. Now, Beethoven, he is famous!

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Do J Williams orchestrate his own music like famous composers as Morricone, or always call help of known names like Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage to do it?..

I know sadly that Hollywood is suffering from score industry process-tasks (writers-orchestrtors-coductors-producers.) which are forwarded to different persons

Thing that harmed many musicians as well as absolute-music composers.

The main question has been promptly answered, but I would say that Williams, Morricone and all, are well know composeres. Now, Beethoven, he is famous!

No Morricone is from the rarest composers who do all the tasks himself!- he doesn't permit anyone to arrange his themes!

Concerning Williams I know that "The Hook" is orchestrated by Alexander Courage.

Anyway, I'm surprised by Marian Schedenig answer that Williams don't read notes!!; what's about concert pieces like his concertos- I don't think that it's orchestrated by someone else!

Williams studied music at UCLA, am I wrong? :lol:

Thx

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Do J Williams orchestrate his own music like famous composers as Morricone, or always call help of known names like Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage to do it?..

I know sadly that Hollywood is suffering from score industry process-tasks (writers-orchestrtors-coductors-producers.) which are forwarded to different persons

Thing that harmed many musicians as well as absolute-music composers.

The main question has been promptly answered, but I would say that Williams, Morricone and all, are well know composeres. Now, Beethoven, he is famous!

No Morricone is from the rarest composers who do all the tasks himself!- he doesn't permit anyone to arrange his themes!

Concerning Williams I know that "The Hook" is orchestrated by Alexander Courage.

Anyway, I'm surprised by Marian Schedenig answer that Williams don't read notes!!; what's about concert pieces like his concertos- I don't think that it's orchestrated by someone else!

Williams studied music at UCLA, am I wrong? :lol:

Thx

No actually John Williams is of german heritage and in the late 70s and early 80 he was Keyboarder in german Bands .. he was also a member of the "Buggles" and he also appears in the music video to Video Killed the Radio Star...

Later he found his way to Hollywood where he started to gather composers arround him who would hepl him to compose the complex two hour scores he has to write for the 3 to 4 blockbuster movies he does per year....

:baaa:

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Ennio Morricone can actually timewise afford to write out full scores, because his music isn't very layered, and doesn't require so much time to physically put on the page.

Oh boy you may have just shaken the hornet's nest with that statement.

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John T. Williams stopped composing actual music in 1999, after completing The Phantom Menace.

However, since the brand John Williams was still very popular, it was decided to retain the name and let a group of young, less wellknown composers work under that name.

William Ross is one of the composers currently working under the John Williams pen-name.

The real John Williams, while signing of on all the scores composed under his name has actually not contributed anything in years.

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Do J Williams orchestrate his own music like famous composers as Morricone, or always call help of known names like Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage to do it?..

I know sadly that Hollywood is suffering from score industry process-tasks (writers-orchestrtors-coductors-producers.) which are forwarded to different persons

Thing that harmed many musicians as well as absolute-music composers.

The main question has been promptly answered, but I would say that Williams, Morricone and all, are well know composeres. Now, Beethoven, he is famous!

No Morricone is from the rarest composers who do all the tasks himself!- he doesn't permit anyone to arrange his themes!

Concerning Williams I know that "The Hook" is orchestrated by Alexander Courage.

Anyway, I'm surprised by Marian Schedenig answer that Williams don't read notes!!; what's about concert pieces like his concertos- I don't think that it's orchestrated by someone else!

Williams studied music at UCLA, am I wrong? :lol:

Thx

OK, forgive me for killing the joy here... It seems people want to have some fun with you!

But seriously: When it says that Alexander Courage or anyone else orchestrated something, it means they took Williams' sketches (a condensed score, with the sections of the orchestra usually cramped into two or three lines, but with completely specific instrument designations, i.e. 'Eb clarinet', 'oboe', violas', etc.), and blew them up to proper size (the two-three string staves becomng five, and so on).

Williams studied composition privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also studied some at UCLA, and at Juilliard (although at Juilliard, he studied piano, and not composition).

Williams's sight-reading abilities, by the way, are legendary.

And I'm not trying to say anything bad about Morricone as a composer. But his style is usually fairly simple, and not very "notey", meaning it doesn't take so long to actually write the full score-page.

I make my living as a composer myself, and to make matters worse, I am of the "pen&paper" variety, so I know all about how much time writing a full, and fully legible, score page featuring a busy passage can take.

And by the way, the kind of orchestrating-job people do for Williams, is similar to he kind of orchestrating job people have done for Brahms, Prokofiev, Wagner, Corigliano and others.

If I can ever afford it, I will certainly employ such assistants myself for really big projects, such as operas, etc.

And mind you, every note they'd put down on paper would be mine.

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Do J Williams orchestrate his own music like famous composers as Morricone, or always call help of known names like Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage to do it?..

I know sadly that Hollywood is suffering from score industry process-tasks (writers-orchestrtors-coductors-producers.) which are forwarded to different persons

Thing that harmed many musicians as well as absolute-music composers.

The main question has been promptly answered, but I would say that Williams, Morricone and all, are well know composeres. Now, Beethoven, he is famous!

No Morricone is from the rarest composers who do all the tasks himself!- he doesn't permit anyone to arrange his themes!

Concerning Williams I know that "The Hook" is orchestrated by Alexander Courage.

Anyway, I'm surprised by Marian Schedenig answer that Williams don't read notes!!; what's about concert pieces like his concertos- I don't think that it's orchestrated by someone else!

Williams studied music at UCLA, am I wrong? :lol:

Thx

OK, forgive me for killing the joy here... It seems people want to have some fun with you!

But seriously: When it says that Alexander Courage or anyone else orchestrated something, it means they took Williams' sketches (a condensed score, with the sections of the orchestra usually cramped into two or three lines, but with completely specific instrument designations, i.e. 'Eb clarinet', 'oboe', violas', etc.), and blew them up to proper size (the two-three string staves becomng five, and so on).

Williams studied composition privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also studied some at UCLA, and at Juilliard (although at Juilliard, he studied piano, and not composition).

Williams's sight-reading abilities, by the way, are legendary.

And I'm not trying to say anything bad about Morricone as a composer. But his style is usually fairly simple, and not very "notey", meaning it doesn't take so long to actually write the full score-page.

I make my living as a composer myself, and to make matters worse, I am of the "pen&paper" variety, so I know all about how much time writing a full, and fully legible, score page featuring a busy passage can take.

And by the way, the kind of orchestrating-job people do for Williams, is similar to he kind of orchestrating job people have done for Brahms, Prokofiev, Wagner, Corigliano and others.

If I can ever afford it, I will certainly employ such assistants myself for really big projects, such as operas, etc.

And mind you, every note they'd put down on paper would be mine.

Ok, thanks...I don't know exactly what do you mean by full score page, but I can also mention a "fairly simply" music by John Williams like The Eiger Sanction; and complicated Morricone arrangement like in The Syndrome of Styndhal- so there is no general rule.

Plz we should differentiate between transcript notes or assistant who help choosing instruments and those devoted exclusively for orchestration like Arthur Morton for J. Goldsmith themes.

This kind of collaboration is not always easy, for instance a man like Hans Zimmer was often accused for not being the author of his albums, his name was just put over the album for market purposes like it happened in "The Rock". We know how his studio was ended.

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By "full score", I mean a score page that for instance would have a page set-up like this (a small-ish orchestra):

2 fl

2 ob

2 Bb cl

2 bn

Bb trp

2 F hrn

trb

timp

perc 1

perc 2

pno

vln1

vln2

vla

vcl

dbs

Whereas a Williams-sketch for a similar ensemble (which would be unusually small for him) might be condensed into:

Woodwinds (2 staves)

Brass (2 staves)

Percussion (2 staves; one for timpani, and one for the other players)

Piano

Strings (3 staves)

And again, Williams makes all orchestrational decisions himself. If he wants a piccolo doubled two octaves lower by a clarinet, he will write the line, add "picc." and "+ cl. 15mb"/ "+cl. - 2 octaves", etc.

It saves time. But it's not about being lazy or irresponsible, etc.

And certainly not about relying on the skill and expertise of others!

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Plz we should differentiate between transcript notes or assistant who help choosing instruments and those devoted exclusively for orchestration like Arthur Morton for J. Goldsmith themes.

This kind of collaboration is not always easy, for instance a man like Hans Zimmer was often accused for not being the author of his albums, his name was just put over the album for market purposes like it happened in "The Rock". We know how his studio was ended.

The Arthur Morton orchestrations for Jerry Goldsmith are like Sandy Courage ones for John Williams... Both Goldsmith and Williams were classically trained and write the whole thing, just as Marcus explained.

While I can't acount for Goldsmith, Williams did wrote it all in a few scores, when the schedule allowed, and obviously he does so on his own concert works and in many of his concert arrangements.

Nevertheless, and I believe I read this on the Herrmann biography, at least in the early years of hollywood, the use of an orchestrator was mandatory, even if the composer had already done it all by the time the score got to the orchestrator hands.

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The legend that Morricone doesn't use an orchestrator is over... I heard someone saying that sometimes he use Ralph Ferraro, the same orchestrator of the late Rosenman...

Herrmann left Hollywood to London in mid 60s, and Morricone limited his assignments with american productions for that hard process condition in making the whole score; despite his last score "Mission to Mars" was fully written and arranged by him in hollywood brand style with NY Symphony orchestra!

Indeed, if I'm not wrong Herrmann and Morricone are from the rarest musicians who insist showing the phrase in screen "composed, arranged and conducted by.." while others only put composed by or composed and conducted by..

Anyway, this an article on how Hollywood composers are working:

"There is a simple answer that may have been overlooked. Morricone, like many of the great artists behind the camera, won't work by committee. He works solely with the director. American films aren't made this way any more. The auteur system in America is essentially over. Even Martin Scorsese is hired by Leonardo DiCaprio and not the other way around. I spoke briefly with Elmer Bernstein in 1994 and this was his response to my question about how work was going: "I've got five kids coming over to my house tomorrow to listen to the music I've done for this film. It's the director and the producers. None of them know anything about my previous work nor anything about me. They're not the sons and daughters of the previous Hollywood regime but the sons and daughters of accountants and investors. If one of 'em says while listening that they don't like it, I'm out. They'll just get somebody else. They don't' care.

So don't ponder why Morricone won't work in America. Ponder why he would. And then ask why did David Shire had to wait so many years to be asked to work on a major film again. And why Bruce Broughton didn't score 3:10 TO YUMA. What, so TOMBSTONE wasn't cool enough? ... Hollywood where most of 'em wouldn't know the difference between Dom Perignon and grape soda. If you don't know about films, filmmaking and filmmakers and you're in it for the investment alone then get out of the business Don't you god**** speculators do to movies what you did to the real estate

" ...

"

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The legend that Morricone doesn't use an orchestrator is over... I heard someone saying that sometimes he use Ralph Ferraro, the same orchestrator of the late Rosenman...

Herrmann left Hollywood to London in mid 60s, and Morricone limited his assignments with american productions for that hard process condition in making the whole score; despite his last score "Mission to Mars" was fully written and arranged by him in hollywood brand style with NY Symphony orchestra!

Indeed, if I'm not wrong Herrmann and Morricone are from the rarest musicians who insist showing the phrase in screen "composed, arranged and conducted by.." while others only put composed by or composed and conducted by..

Anyway, this an article on how Hollywood composers are working:

"There is a simple answer that may have been overlooked. Morricone, like many of the great artists behind the camera, won't work by committee. He works solely with the director. American films aren't made this way any more. The auteur system in America is essentially over. Even Martin Scorsese is hired by Leonardo DiCaprio and not the other way around. I spoke briefly with Elmer Bernstein in 1994 and this was his response to my question about how work was going: "I've got five kids coming over to my house tomorrow to listen to the music I've done for this film. It's the director and the producers. None of them know anything about my previous work nor anything about me. They're not the sons and daughters of the previous Hollywood regime but the sons and daughters of accountants and investors. If one of 'em says while listening that they don't like it, I'm out. They'll just get somebody else. They don't' care.

So don't ponder why Morricone won't work in America. Ponder why he would. And then ask why did David Shire had to wait so many years to be asked to work on a major film again. And why Bruce Broughton didn't score 3:10 TO YUMA. What, so TOMBSTONE wasn't cool enough? ... Hollywood where most of 'em wouldn't know the difference between Dom Perignon and grape soda. If you don't know about films, filmmaking and filmmakers and you're in it for the investment alone then get out of the business Don't you god**** speculators do to movies what you did to the real estate

" ...

"

Untouchables, I'm sorry if you feel we are attacking you!

I am not trying to be argumentative; it just seems to me that you are attempting to prove a point you needn't bother with.

I would certainly agree with the many of the sentiments expressed in the quote your last post contained, as would many of us here, but Williams's position with a director is no different from that of Morricone.

Morricone is not alone in not "working by committee"; the same would have to be said about Williams, John Corigliano, and probably also Elliot Goldenthal and other composers with strong musical identities, -composers with "projects of their own", so to speak.

By the way, many of the smaller ensemble cues in Williams's scores (cues that utilize a relatively small number of instruments) have no need to be "blown up to size". Williams could, had he wanted to, insist on the credit "composed, orchestrated and conducted by", but maybe he feels that this would look a little pretentious? Maybe he considers it a "given"? He certainly comes out of an era where film composers' level of training was very different, where such a thing as orchestrational chops were rather elemental neccesities.

It is important not to confuse Williams's modus operandi with the attitude taken by the composers of Media Ventures/Remote Control (Hans Zimmer and his henchmen).

;)

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I won't even question Elmer Bernstein's statement, after all that's one of the reasons I would wish Williams would leave Hollywood and write only his concert works.

But as Marcus says, Williams and a few others aren't even on top of theirs games... they are playing their own game!

Williams wanted to do Angela's Ashes and Memoirs of a Geisha and there it was... no one said no to him.

Furthermore, and talking about finacial matters, Williams is so well paid, that if the producers don't like it, too bad. Because they can't throw away that kind of money.

Already in the late 80's Williams stated that he would only score the films he felt he could contribute with something, and to which he would feel personally inclined.

As for orchestrators... Are those same orchestrators that state time and again that they do no creative work for Williams.

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By "full score", I mean a score page that for instance would have a page set-up like this (a small-ish orchestra):

2 fl

2 ob

2 Bb cl

2 bn

Bb trp

2 F hrn

trb

timp

perc 1

perc 2

pno

vln1

vln2

vla

vcl

dbs

Whereas a Williams-sketch for a similar ensemble (which would be unusually small for him) might be condensed into:

Woodwinds (2 staves)

Brass (2 staves)

Percussion (2 staves; one for timpani, and one for the other players)

Piano

Strings (3 staves)

And again, Williams makes all orchestrational decisions himself. If he wants a piccolo doubled two octaves lower by a clarinet, he will write the line, add "picc." and "+ cl. 15mb"/ "+cl. - 2 octaves", etc.

It saves time. But it's not about being lazy or irresponsible, etc.

And certainly not about relying on the skill and expertise of others!

I think he uses 8 stave paper as a standard.

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Ok, thanks...I don't know exactly what do you mean by full score page, but I can also mention a "fairly simply" music by John Williams like The Eiger Sanction; and complicated Morricone arrangement like in The Syndrome of Styndhal- so there is no general rule.

'The exception that confirms the rule' comes to mind ;)

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By "full score", I mean a score page that for instance would have a page set-up like this (a small-ish orchestra):

2 fl

2 ob

2 Bb cl

2 bn

Bb trp

2 F hrn

trb

timp

perc 1

perc 2

pno

vln1

vln2

vla

vcl

dbs

Whereas a Williams-sketch for a similar ensemble (which would be unusually small for him) might be condensed into:

Woodwinds (2 staves)

Brass (2 staves)

Percussion (2 staves; one for timpani, and one for the other players)

Piano

Strings (3 staves)

And again, Williams makes all orchestrational decisions himself. If he wants a piccolo doubled two octaves lower by a clarinet, he will write the line, add "picc." and "+ cl. 15mb"/ "+cl. - 2 octaves", etc.

It saves time. But it's not about being lazy or irresponsible, etc.

And certainly not about relying on the skill and expertise of others!

I think he uses 8 stave paper as a standard.

Yes. And often with an added percussion line or two. It looks like some sort of custom made format, I think the paper brand is called "Pacific".

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I won't even question Elmer Bernstein's statement, after all that's one of the reasons I would wish Williams would leave Hollywood and write only his concert works.

But as Marcus says, Williams and a few others aren't even on top of theirs games... they are playing their own game!

Williams wanted to do Angela's Ashes and Memoirs of a Geisha and there it was... no one said no to him.

Furthermore, and talking about finacial matters, Williams is so well paid, that if the producers don't like it, too bad. Because they can't throw away that kind of money.

Already in the late 80's Williams stated that he would only score the films he felt he could contribute with something, and to which he would feel personally inclined.

As for orchestrators... Are those same orchestrators that state time and again that they do no creative work for Williams.

Miguel is wise and correct.

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I won't even question Elmer Bernstein's statement, after all that's one of the reasons I would wish Williams would leave Hollywood and write only his concert works.

Why is that Williams concert hall music sounds so different to his film music? This is not necessarily so for other top film composers. Just makes me think that perhaps Williams doesn't respect film music as much as concert music, that he feels perhaps concert music needs a higher technical standard, that bothers me as someone who regards film music as a high art.

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Williams is not so prolific as Goldsmith or Morricone, maybe an average of 2 scores by year- does he really need orchestrators for lack of time or just technical support?

I'm amazed to find that many well-known orchestrators are just self-taught persons: Nic Rain or Michael Kamen!

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I won't even question Elmer Bernstein's statement, after all that's one of the reasons I would wish Williams would leave Hollywood and write only his concert works.

Why is that Williams concert hall music sounds so different to his film music? This is not necessarily so for other top film composers. Just makes me think that perhaps Williams doesn't respect film music as much as concert music, that he feels perhaps concert music needs a higher technical standard, that bothers me as someone who regards film music as a high art.

I beg to differ.

I've spent a lot of my time listening to his concert music, and I'm not talking about his fanfares and festive pieces, but rather his concerts...

I find them very close and one can't clearly listen the same musical mind on both this pieces and his film scores.

Yes, most of his film work is more melodic oritented on a traditional, romantic like fashion, and his concert music, is for the most part, much more modern, but, and with respect to orchestration, it's clear to me that all came from the same man.

As for using several orchestrators... the fact that Williams may do one or two films a year doesn't mean the schedule for each of this scores is very thight. The use to more than one orchestrator in Williams scores, goes as back as Star Wars, maybe even before, but I can't really tell you that from memory. Being some of this very large scores, it is natural than more than one of this assistants, that do nothing more than to transcribe the notes from the small paper to the larger one, is needed.

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Yes, most of his film work is more melodic oritented on a traditional, romantic like fashion, and his concert music, is for the most part, much more modern, but, and with respect to orchestration, it's clear to me that all came from the same man.

But that is what I was referring to. As a fan of Leonard Rosenman and Alex North. I don't think film music has to be any less modern than concert works.

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But that is what I was referring to. As a fan of Leonard Rosenman and Alex North. I don't think film music has to be any less modern than concert works.

But that's not a decision the composer makes. It depends on the director/studio/producer or whoever has the final word on these matters according to the project, and what they hire the composer to do. I think Rosemann and North mostly collaborated with people who were looking for that type of modern sound, whereas one could say that Williams has collaborated more frequently with people looking for the romantic sound that he is most recognized for.

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