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THE bible for Star Wars original trilogy score analysis/history?


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Hey folks. This question's probably been asked a million times, but...

What is the most comprehensive interview or article or series of articles or essay or (god willing) portion of a book in which Williams discusses his creation of the original SW scores and his musical influences and his themes and any backstage stories about the scoring process? I have the 1997 Special Edition albums, and their linear notes are great, but all this talk of the new SW films and who will score has me going back to the original scores again and wanting more of this sort of literature.

Any helpful thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks.

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One good article is Star Wars 20th Anniversary: Interview with John Williams - Craig L. Byrd - 1997: http://www.jwfan.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=21658

Then there are the Interview from the book “Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back” – Alan Arnold – 1980: http://www.jwfan.com/?page_id=4585, the fantastic liner notes and track analysis for the Star Wars 1977 LP release with JW quotations: http://www.jw-collection.de/scores/swlp.htm and the TESB LP 1980 liner notes: http://www.jw-collection.de/scores/tesblp.htm

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It's still crazy that no exhaustive evaluation of the Star Wars music exists. Just thinking about all the various themes, how they inter-relate, their various orchestrations, twelve plus hours of music spanning decades...and the fact that it really not just defined the space opera genre's sound but influenced all block busters for decades after. Still can't believe no one has written a book on this.

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It's still crazy that no exhaustive evaluation of the Star Wars music exists. Just thinking about all the various themes, how they inter-relate, their various orchestrations, twelve plus hours of music spanning decades...and the fact that it really not just defined the space opera genre's sound but influenced all block busters for decades after. Still can't believe no one has written a book on this.

I feel the same. There is a series of books out called the Scarecrow Film Score Guides that take a single film score and analyze it. Their whole idea is to build up literature on the great scores of the past and present. I was shocked to find that, not only is there no Star Wars entry, but there's not even a John Williams entry!!! :eh:

I'm going to a film music conference in the spring. Maybe I can find out if there's one in the works.

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It's still crazy that no exhaustive evaluation of the Star Wars music exists. Just thinking about all the various themes, how they inter-relate, their various orchestrations, twelve plus hours of music spanning decades...and the fact that it really not just defined the space opera genre's sound but influenced all block busters for decades after. Still can't believe no one has written a book on this.

I feel the same. There is a series of books out called the Scarecrow Film Score Guides that take a single film score and analyze it. Their whole idea is to build up literature on the great scores of the past and present. I was shocked to find that, not only is there no Star Wars entry, but there's not even a John Williams entry!!! :eh:

I'm going to a film music conference in the spring. Maybe I can find out if there's one in the works.

Please work your magic. I can't be the only one who would buy this and study it. Hopefully there are enough people interested to make it financially viable.

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It's still crazy that no exhaustive evaluation of the Star Wars music exists. Just thinking about all the various themes, how they inter-relate, their various orchestrations, twelve plus hours of music spanning decades...and the fact that it really not just defined the space opera genre's sound but influenced all block busters for decades after. Still can't believe no one has written a book on this.

I feel the same. There is a series of books out called the Scarecrow Film Score Guides that take a single film score and analyze it. Their whole idea is to build up literature on the great scores of the past and present. I was shocked to find that, not only is there no Star Wars entry, but there's not even a John Williams entry!!! :eh:

I'm going to a film music conference in the spring. Maybe I can find out if there's one in the works.

Or better yet - take it onto your hands. Show those ignorant bozos in academe how it's done!

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It's still crazy that no exhaustive evaluation of the Star Wars music exists. Just thinking about all the various themes, how they inter-relate, their various orchestrations, twelve plus hours of music spanning decades...and the fact that it really not just defined the space opera genre's sound but influenced all block busters for decades after. Still can't believe no one has written a book on this.

I feel the same. There is a series of books out called the Scarecrow Film Score Guides that take a single film score and analyze it. Their whole idea is to build up literature on the great scores of the past and present. I was shocked to find that, not only is there no Star Wars entry, but there's not even a John Williams entry!!! :eh:

I'm going to a film music conference in the spring. Maybe I can find out if there's one in the works.

Or better yet - take it onto your hands. Show those ignorant bozos in academe how it's done!

Yet another project to the list. :)

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It's still crazy that no exhaustive evaluation of the Star Wars music exists. Just thinking about all the various themes, how they inter-relate, their various orchestrations, twelve plus hours of music spanning decades...and the fact that it really not just defined the space opera genre's sound but influenced all block busters for decades after. Still can't believe no one has written a book on this.

I feel the same. There is a series of books out called the Scarecrow Film Score Guides that take a single film score and analyze it. Their whole idea is to build up literature on the great scores of the past and present. I was shocked to find that, not only is there no Star Wars entry, but there's not even a John Williams entry!!! :eh:

I'm going to a film music conference in the spring. Maybe I can find out if there's one in the works.

Or better yet - take it onto your hands. Show those ignorant bozos in academe how it's done!

LOL - thanks, Prometheus. I might just do that, but the time isn't right just yet. Maybe a few years down the road.

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After some investigation, I learned the reason there is no detailed book about the Star Wars music, it seems to be no one will do this because it cannot be done with the cooperation of Lucasfilm. You can't even put STAR WARS in the title (no publisher would want to without the permission of the trademark owner since a book would be considered "merchandising" and Lucasfilm owns all those rights). Since Lucasfilm also controls the rights to publication of the music, you'd then have to not only have their permission to reproduce score excerpts, but they'd get approval of all content. Doug Adams had Howard Shore's full cooperation but even there, it was not enough. They had to go through years of enormous problems getting clearance and approval from New Line, Warner Bros, Peter Jackson lawyers, etc., resulting in the book being delayed a year or two. Lucasfilm is considered more difficult resulting in no one wanting to do business with them.

"So it's not just a matter of 'writing a book.' It's all the headaches you have to go through to get it done. No sane person would try it!"

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Aha! Well done, karelm! That makes a lot of sense. Of course, Star Wars would be the first film most authors would want to write a book about, so I can believe that it's the huge roadblocks put up by LucasFilm that has prevented it up to now. Hopefully Disney has more interest in cooperating with any interested parties.

It is still strange, though, that LucasFilm would have been so protective. I mean, there's Star Wars everything. I suppose the legal wranglings of getting a book published on it are more complicated than, say, producing Star Wars lunch boxes.

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makes sense. My wife has done a few books with them. I seem to remember lots of legal issues. "quite secretive" is how she just described them. !

let's hope disney will be easier. I'm sure if they where approached they would at least think about it. I wonder how well Doug's book did ?

T

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let's hope disney will be easier. I'm sure if they where approached they would at least think about it.

It sounds like they would certainly think about it but they are a pain to deal with so having them involved along the entire process is the challenge that would make an author think twice before jumping in and spending the time to do this. Hopefully Disney is easier otherwise this just might have to be a fan created/owned thing rather than something official.

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well she deals with Disney a lot . They are tricky, very protective of what they have but her company makes a lot of money for them, so the relationship has been good. But this is such a specific thing I know the first question will be "how many copies ? " Disney loves volume.

The Doug Adams Book is a pretty good role model. Plus I forgot He DID write a three page spread on Star Wars, detailing the leitmotifs . It was published in the excellent FSM. which you can now get online.

.........



ok

well i just asked.

and she made the following points. Based on the Doug Adams book the unit price is high. $60.00 . If royalties are involved it get's tricky ( for all the printed music examples ). So the only real way to do it is as a book for Disney . The music was written under a "for Hire" basis. So Every Note is owned by disney. She'll ask a colleague on monday and take in the Doug Adams book to show him.

Just curious... how many people do you think would buy this ? How many did Doug's book sell..?

T

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