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New Book: John Williams's Film Music: Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Return of the Classical Hollywood Music Style

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Being released 6/12/14

John Williams's Film Music: Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Return of the Classical Hollywood Music Style
http://www.amazon.com/John-Williamss-Film-Music-Classical/dp/0299297349/ref=sr_1_55?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387855738&sr=1-55



John Williams is one of the most renowned film composers in history. He has penned unforgettable scores for Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Superman, and countless other films. Fans flock to his many concerts, and with forty-eight Academy Award nominations as of 2013, he is the second-most Oscar-nominated person after Walt Disney. Yet despite such critical acclaim and prestige, this is the first book in English on Williams’s work and career.
Combining accessible writing with thorough scholarship, and rigorous historical accounts with insightful readings, John Williams’s Film Music explores why Williams is so important to the history of film music. Beginning with an overview of music from Hollywood’s Golden Age (1933–58), Emilio Audissino traces the turning points of Williams’s career and articulates how he revived the classical Hollywood musical style. This book charts each landmark of this musical restoration, with special attention to the scores for Jaws and Star Wars, Williams’s work as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, and a full film/music analysis of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The result is a precise, enlightening definition of Williams’s “neoclassicism” and a grounded demonstration of his lasting importance, for both his compositions and his historical role in restoring part of the Hollywood tradition.

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That's nice. I'm expecting this is another adaptation of a master/doctorate thesis of some sort. The topic is fine, although my own personal interest goes -- as you all know -- towards the more obscure parts of his career. I'm going to get this in any case, I think.

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That's nice. I'm expecting this is another adaptation of a master/doctorate thesis of some sort. The topic is fine, although my own personal interest goes -- as you all know -- towards the more obscure parts of his career. I'm going to get this in any case, I think.

The obscure parts are obscure for a reason.

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That's nice. I'm expecting this is another adaptation of a master/doctorate thesis of some sort. The topic is fine, although my own personal interest goes -- as you all know -- towards the more obscure parts of his career. I'm going to get this in any case, I think.

The obscure parts are obscure for a reason.

Yes, so that they can be revealed.

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Sounds more like a promo bio in a Sony Classical insert. I may be spoiled by the likes of Scott Eyman and suspect a true Williams bio could only be written by a Hollywood pro who knows which people to ask to flesh out the common grounds with more revealing stories and anecdotes about working in Hollywood and Williams as a person.

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Sounds more like a promo bio in a Sony Classical insert. I may be spoiled by the likes of Scott Eyman and suspect a true Williams bio could only be written by a Hollywood pro who knows which people to ask to flesh out the common grounds with more revealing stories and anecdotes about working in Hollywood and Williams as a person.

I think I could do reasonably well for the reasons you cite, but the likelihood is slim since I'm basically a nobody from an obscure corner of the world. A more likely possibility is Jon Burlingame, who has a name and who has a close relationship to Williams. I think the thought has occured to Jon, but it seems like Williams himself is unwilling to assist in such a project (based on what he's said in interviews). It's too bad, because a book like this would be FAR better if the man himself had talked to the author in long interviews which could be spread out in the book. Better than a post-humous bio, in any case, even though that it is more likely at this point.

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That's nice. I'm expecting this is another adaptation of a master/doctorate thesis of some sort. The topic is fine, although my own personal interest goes -- as you all know -- towards the more obscure parts of his career. I'm going to get this in any case, I think.

The obscure parts are obscure for a reason.

Yes, so that they can be revealed.

And then all the mystery is gone! Which is a shame. Especially since the facts are usually so mundane.

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Ha! If you only knew....

Meaning?

For me the magic and interest of John Williams lies in his music. I know this is highly unfashionable these days in a time where people here seem to want to have every aspect of his life, career and history dissected, and are pouring over sheet music trying to "figure out" where the magic comes from, what makes it work etc.

I find it rather pitiful.

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Ha! If you only knew....

Some mystery will always remain, especially as long as Williams himself keeps the cards close to his chest.

We'll find out he's a former drug addict and for all his score written from 1977-1985 , he was under the influence of heavy hallucinogenic drugs and alcool

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...and are pouring over sheet music trying to "figure out" where the magic comes from, what makes it work etc.

I find it rather pitiful.

The fact is that no one has done in-depth musicological work on Williams' music, and while there will always be some things about music that remain ineffable, there is a vast difference between pretending one can explain every note of a Williams cue and providing a mere glimpse of some of a cue's workings. We analysts on this board are all in the latter camp. I'd rather have this small amount of analysis than none at all since 99% of a great piece of music can be explained with music theory. The other 1% is magic.

And we're nowhere near that 99%, so we don't need your pity just yet.

I completely agree with Ludwig. This isn't about stalking but musical analysis and study. I am far more interested in understanding the nitty gritties of JW's musical aesthetics than what he eats for lunch. Stefancos, your criticism is misplaced.

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I'm more interested JW's music in a historical and artistic context...and the only way to fuly understand that is by having a solid grasp of JW's theoretical practices. That said I don't fully understand some of the theory talk (although I'm taking classes to learn it!), but I fully support it!

But I'm also very interested in JW's personal life (ie what he eats for lunch)

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...and are pouring over sheet music trying to "figure out" where the magic comes from, what makes it work etc.

I find it rather pitiful.

The fact is that no one has done in-depth musicological work on Williams' music, and while there will always be some things about music that remain ineffable, there is a vast difference between pretending one can explain every note of a Williams cue and providing a mere glimpse of some of a cue's workings. We analysts on this board are all in the latter camp. I'd rather have this small amount of analysis than none at all since 99% of a great piece of music can be explained with music theory. The other 1% is magic.

And we're nowhere near that 99%, so we don't need your pity just yet.

I'd be very interested in a purely musicological analysis of Williams' work in book form. Surprised that for all of Williams' vast musical career, I haven't seen something like that (although it might be out there).

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I may have a reasonably large period of free time on the horizon. I'm considering devoting it to a full scale analysis of A.I. It's frustrating that really all the best moments aren't accessible in written form, but a good deal of it is available for scrutinizing and the rest will have to be done by ear, I suppose.

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I had added the writer in my facebook friends long ago and I had talked with him since I'm writing my dissertation on Williams and I was afraid that we might write something by similar points of view or perspectives.

Fortunately, while mine is strictly musicological, he said that not being a musicologist himself, he's studying Williams from a historical perspective and his contribution to the classical Hollywood style.

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Sounds like an exercise in cliche. I could have written this in my sleep.

Sounds more like a promo bio in a Sony Classical insert. I may be spoiled by the likes of Scott Eyman and suspect a true Williams bio could only be written by a Hollywood pro who knows which people to ask to flesh out the common grounds with more revealing stories and anecdotes about working in Hollywood and Williams as a person.

Hello everybody,

I'd like to shed some light on this thread.

1) Mr. Shark, I wish I could possess your amazing ability to judge a 260-page book by its title and a few lines of synopsis, it would save a lot of reading time! By the way, if you could have written such a book in your sleep, then why didn't you do that?! You would have spared me a great deal of labour.

2) It's not a bio (or a promo bio, whatever it might mean: I've never seen a Sony Classical insert amounting to 260 pages). It is a detailed account of how John Williams revived the classical Hollywood music style. The important thing about this book is that it is NOT self-published (which means, you pay money to some publisher on hire and they print whatever you want, regardless of its literary and scholarly value); this book is published by a major university press after a number of peer reviews by experts in the field. So, this is the first acknowledgement of Williams's work by the English-language academe.

And, in reply to my facebook contact, yes: I'm not a musicologist but a film scholar -- sorry to disappoint you ;-)

Best Regards,

Emilio Audissino

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Thanks Emilio for your reply.

I am not sure if you implied anything by "sorry to disappoint you", but i just shed some light by your words, to what this book is about for the people here who were wondering..

I said "fortunately", because if yours was a detailed musicological analysis, my Ph.D would be invalid and cancelled (since there would be a previous work on the subject), so all this years's study would be in vain.

As you said in our facebook messages, the 2 works could compliment each other.

Anyway, sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying in reply to my post here.

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It is a detailed account of how John Williams revived the classical Hollywood music style. The important thing about this book is that it is NOT self-published (which means, you pay money to some publisher on hire and they print whatever you want, regardless of its literary and scholarly value); this book is published by a major university press after a number of peer reviews by experts in the field. So, this is the first acknowledgement of Williams's work by the English-language academe.

I'm sure it will be a very interesting read. I'll definitely purchase it. Thanks and good luck, Emilio!

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Thanks Emilio for your reply.

I am not sure if you implied anything by "sorry to disappoint you", but i just shed some light by your words, to what this book is about for the people here who were wondering..

I said "fortunately", because if yours was a detailed musicological analysis, my Ph.D would be invalid and cancelled (since there would be a previous work on the subject), so all this years's study would be in vain.

As you said in our facebook messages, the 2 works could compliment each other.

Anyway, sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying in reply to my post here.

It is a detailed account of how John Williams revived the classical Hollywood music style. The important thing about this book is that it is NOT self-published (which means, you pay money to some publisher on hire and they print whatever you want, regardless of its literary and scholarly value); this book is published by a major university press after a number of peer reviews by experts in the field. So, this is the first acknowledgement of Williams's work by the English-language academe.

I'm sure it will be a very interesting read. I'll definitely purchase it. Thanks and good luck, Emilio!

Hi Filmmusic,

I did not take your post as a criticism. My post-scriptum originated from a feeling that I gathered from this thread. I had the impression from many of the other users that for them a proper John Williams book could come only from a musicologist or from a Hollywood professional, either of which I'm not. So, my ironic apology was not directed to you but to them ("you" here was meant as a plural). Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Thanks, Maurizio.

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This looks like something quite interesting! At least we now have an extensive monograph on Williams' influence on revitalizing the Hollywood sound. Hopefully there will be more to come on Williams in the field of both film and music scholarship. Every new work is welcome I say! :)

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Thanks Emilio for your reply.

I am not sure if you implied anything by "sorry to disappoint you", but i just shed some light by your words, to what this book is about for the people here who were wondering..

I said "fortunately", because if yours was a detailed musicological analysis, my Ph.D would be invalid and cancelled (since there would be a previous work on the subject), so all this years's study would be in vain.

As you said in our facebook messages, the 2 works could compliment each other.

Anyway, sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying in reply to my post here.

It is a detailed account of how John Williams revived the classical Hollywood music style. The important thing about this book is that it is NOT self-published (which means, you pay money to some publisher on hire and they print whatever you want, regardless of its literary and scholarly value); this book is published by a major university press after a number of peer reviews by experts in the field. So, this is the first acknowledgement of Williams's work by the English-language academe.

I'm sure it will be a very interesting read. I'll definitely purchase it. Thanks and good luck, Emilio!

Hi Filmmusic,

I did not take your post as a criticism. My post-scriptum originated from a feeling that I gathered from this thread. I had the impression from many of the other users that for them a proper John Williams book could come only from a musicologist or from a Hollywood professional, either of which I'm not. So, my ironic apology was not directed to you but to them ("you" here was meant as a plural). Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Thanks, Maurizio.

Ok, thanks for clarifying.

Sorry again I misunderstood and got all defensive (one of the misfortunes of the English language is that it doesn't have 2 seperate words for "you" in plural and singular) and good luck again with the book.

I'll definitely buy it..

Oh, I have one question:

Did you write it in Italian and then you (or someone else) translated to English, or you wrote it originally in English?

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Hi Everyone,

Found this on Fishpond site (Australia's answer to Amazon; sort of).

"John Williams's Film Music: Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Return of the Classical Hollywood Music Style" (Wisconsin Film Studies) by Emilio Audissino

First link says book is due June 2014:

http://www.fishpond.com.au/c/Books/a/Emilio+Audissino

Second link has more detail:

http://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/John-Williamss-Film-Music-Emilio-Audissino/9780299297343

Prices are AU$

Take Care,

Regards,

That Bloke

post-605-0-08267000-1391821417_thumb.jpe

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Looking good, Emilio. I might just get this, the first English-language book on the man!

With the plethora of Willliams books in recent years -- all of them based in some form on an existing thesis -- there is one arena left that keeps my own motivation going (now that I'm longer the 'first' to do a book on him): Writing a Williams book from scratch, the definitive biographical book, that is NOT based on a thesis. Let's see if this comes into fruition before someone else does it first.

By the way, I'm so totally envious of your personal meetings with JW, something I will probably never be able to.

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Congrats for publishing this Emilio! Looks like I have no other option but to purchase a copy of this book! :)

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Thank you to you both. Thor, there is definitely room for your book and I'm looking forward to reading it: mine is not a biography. I am a film historian, not a musicologist or Williams's biographer. My book is a study of why Williams has been so important not only to the history of film music but also to the history of cinema tout court. By the way, I wrote two theses on Williams (MA and PhD) and there is really nothing wrong in a book adapted from a thesis, in my opinion. The important thing is to rework the thesis into a proper book, removing the parts that are too esoteric and indigestable. My book is quite different in structure from my thesis and I'm not ashamed that it is drawn from a thesis. On the contrary, I'm proud of it: to me a book that derives from a thesis is likely to be more solid in terms of credibility -- generally more so than a self-published book that has not had any check by people other than the author. When a book is published by a reputable press as the University of Wisconsin Press is, the publication contract is signed only after a number of reviews from established experts in the field that firmly advise that the manuscript is worth publishing. Sorry for the rather long digression but I'm quite embittered when I read negative comments on a book simply because it derives from a thesis, as if this were necessarily a defect.

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Sorry for the misunderstanding, Emilio -- it was not intended as a negative remark. As an academic and former university professor myself, I'm all pro that. In fact, I considered doing a book of my own film music thesis back in 2004 (abstract to be found here: https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/27550). It was just an observation of the Williams books we've had so far. My point was to stress that while it is indeed interesting and valuable to have a book based on, or somehow extrapolated from a specific hypothesis (like in your case), there is also a demand for a thorough investigation of his life and works that is not structured in such a way -- ideally one that had Williams himself commenting on his life in extended interviews (which he sadly doesn't seem interested in). We've had several of the former and none of the latter up to this point, hence the 'extra' need for the latter.

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will it become available in electronic format (Kindle, ibook)?

It is available both as a book and as an ebook and can be pre-ordered in either version.

Will there be a bootleg copy I can download?

I definitely hope NOT. But probably I'm biased, being the book's author... :-)

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