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Force Awakens ABC TV Spot - CONFIRMED premiere of Williams' score!

The Music In The Spot  

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  1. 1. Is the music from 0:03-0:38 in this TV spot written by John Williams?

    • Definitely John Williams - probably written a while back for potential trailer use
    • Definitely John WIlliams - It's gotta be from the Force Awakens score!
    • Definitely John WIlliams, but redone / remixed to sound more "trailery"
    • Definitely not John Williams!


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The theme is vintage Williams melodic construction from beginning to end. It makes an immediate impression, and in only six notes establishes a memorable contour.

Also: There's absolutely nothing Giacchino-like about it.

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Yeah. Except for the similarity to a few Giacchino tunes....

Come on now, no one is saying that it's Giacchino-level and Williams has lost his touch. Let's not be so, uh, sensitive. All anyone said is it's similar. To deny that is silly.

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Yeah. Except for the similarity to a few Giacchino tunes....

I don't hear it. I just hear superficial shared traits, as far as intervals or rhythms go.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of themes focusing on fifths and fourths and sixths and thirds, just as there are myriads of themes with similar rhythmic profiles.The magic is in the construction of the longer melodic arch.

What I hear, is a theme written with great sensibility and musicality, very much in the vein of Yoda's theme or the Force theme...

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It makes an immediate impression

It didn't with me, unfortunately. I guess that's my problem, but still.

I'm not crazy about the fact that we've got this tune that may be the beginning of a legitimate new Star Wars theme yet largely because of the circumstances in which it was released, turns out a lot of us are kind of indifferent about it. "It's nice, we'll see, I'll wait to hear more" while only Marcus and a few others seem to really have their hearts set on it, absolutely 100% convinced that it's the real deal. At this point, I've decided to go along with it, but I could have done without the long contemplation.

If we say it's from Force Awakens, well, obviously it didn't get a fair shake. Right now we've got this kinda lyrical half theme with no context and a disappointing presentation that was chosen to be thrown into a random commercial, resulting in this clusterfuck of a thread. Not the best start. I hope we get some samples or something soon so we can bury this embarrassing discussion, regardless of whether or not this turns out to be real.

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Yeah. Except for the similarity to a few Giacchino tunes....

I don't hear it. I just hear superficial shared traits, as far as intervals or rhythms go.

That's precisely what "similar" means, at least in my world, and was what I was pointing out.

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Yeah. Except for the similarity to a few Giacchino tunes....

I don't hear it. I just hear superficial shared traits, as far as intervals or rhythms go.

That's precisely what "similar" means, at least in my world, and was what I was pointing out.

But it's not the kind of similarity that really counts, though. At least not for me, anyway... It's a bit like saying two people look similar because they both have brown eyes and similar hairdos.

Shared traits and similarities needn't constitute being "similar".

I guess I just find the Giacchino comparison blown out of proportion...

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If what you are all talking about are the first 40 seconds of the clip on page 1 i can't hear anything beyond a rather base template for a simple theme that nobody would make much of a fuss over if it were in a trailer music gallery filed under 'epic/foreboding'.

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The theme is vintage Williams melodic construction from beginning to end. It makes an immediate impression, and in only six notes establishes a memorable contour.

Not really, no.

If what you are all talking about are the first 40 seconds of the clip on page 1 i can't hear anything beyond a rather base template for a simple theme that nobody would make much of a fuss over if it were in a trailer music gallery filed under 'epic/foreboding'.

God, how I missed you!

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this clusterfuck of a thread.

This is one of the most cringeworthy thread's in JWFan history. The way people have gone nuclear over literally a few seconds of trailer music is just embarrassing. More than anything people need to chill the fuck out, sad f***s!

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this clusterfuck of a thread.

This is one of the most cringeworthy thread's in JWFan history. The way people have gone nuclear over literally a few seconds of trailer music is just embarrassing. More than anything people need to chill the fuck out, sad f***s!

Agreed. And this certainly won't be one of the last of its kind.

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Not Willams. Sounds sampled too, not recorded.

I have a hard time imagining the woodwind soli being sampled; there's just too much warmth and expressivity to them; it's phrased too beautifully. Then again, I've never worked with samples, and know next to nothing about them.

If this isn't by Williams, it would be difficult for me to imagine who else it could have been written by. It would have to be someone very deeply versed in not only the superficialities of Williams' technique, but also his poetic sensibilities.

No trailer composer I've ever heard has displayed such affinities, nor have any other current media composers that I'm aware of. Whoever this is, I'd say the Force is with him/her...

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Not Willams. Sounds sampled too, not recorded.

I have a hard time imagining the woodwind soli being sampled; there's just too much warmth and expressivity to them; it's phrased too beautifully. Then again, I've never worked with samples, and know next to nothing about them.

If this isn't by Williams, it would be difficult for me to imagine who else it could have been written by. It would have to be someone very deeply versed in not only the superficialities of Williams' technique, but also his poetic sensibilities.

No trailer composer I've ever heard has displayed such affinities, nor have any other current media composers that I'm aware of. Whoever this is, I'd say the Force is with him/her...

Seriously, I don't know what happened here! I clicked the link on the front page, and the first time it played something different. Or I f*cked up and clicked something wrong... :) Because it played a trailer and a track that started with some celeste glissandos and a french horn solo.

Now I clicked (again) and I hear what you are hearing. Doesn't sound sampled and could very well be Williams. I actually think it is. Especially that last flute note/harmonic shift sound very Williams - and the high strings ostinatos.

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Not Willams. Sounds sampled too, not recorded.

Now I clicked (again) and I hear what you are hearing. Doesn't sound sampled and could very well be Williams. I actually think it is. Especially that last flute note/harmonic shift sound very Williams - and the high strings ostinatos.

JWFAN in a nutshell.

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Not Willams. Sounds sampled too, not recorded.

Now I clicked (again) and I hear what you are hearing. Doesn't sound sampled and could very well be Williams. I actually think it is. Especially that last flute note/harmonic shift sound very Williams - and the high strings ostinatos.

JWFAN in a nutshell.

A very striking conclusion Michael. Brilliant.

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I think it's a beautiful theme. And, again, a theme with tremendous potential for development and variation. As is, it's a yearning, rather melancholy theme, and a close cousin of the more wistful renditions of the Force theme (it already shares tonality and certain textural traits with "Binary Sunset"). Can't wait to hear how it plays out within the context of the score. Easily the best theme since "The Book Thief".

I'm glad you mentioned that Marcus as it was also one of my initial thoughts, I feel it could most certainly have an important connection to the Force Theme, I hope so!

This is just a crude and clunky example of how the two could possibly work together, ha :lol:

https://soundcloud.com/ste-brennan/sw-tfa-idea-01

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Williams is playing here with Vader's theme...he is using only a little part of the melody and chords.

We know that Vader has a special rôle in this movie, a shadow of the past...the darker part fits perfectly to what we know about Kylo Ren (his fascination for Vader). This second part is well orchestrated, it's clearly Williams at work.

Even the slow rythmic of the beginning can be associated to a slower version of Imperial March

I think we have here a mix between Rey's theme and Kylo Ren's theme...or maybe a new "family" theme (like Brother and Sister) if they are related.

Fantastic post. Thank you!

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Williams is playing here with Vader's theme...he is using only a little part of the melody and chords.

We know that Vader has a special rôle in this movie, a shadow of the past...the darker part fits perfectly to what we know about Kylo Ren (his fascination for Vader). This second part is well orchestrated, it's clearly Williams at work.

Even the slow rythmic of the beginning can be associated to a slower version of Imperial March

I think we have here a mix between Rey's theme and Kylo Ren's theme...or maybe a new "family" theme (like Brother and Sister) if they are related.

 

 

 

The first half of the video is a bit misleading, because the Imperial March uses a slightly different chord progression.

 

Rather than:

 

 

it should be:

 

 

Therefore, if this new theme were derived from Vader's theme we wouldn't have:

 

 

instead:

 

 

The later comparison is spot on, though! :)

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Williams is playing here with Vader's theme...he is using only a little part of the melody and chords.

We know that Vader has a special rôle in this movie, a shadow of the past...the darker part fits perfectly to what we know about Kylo Ren (his fascination for Vader). This second part is well orchestrated, it's clearly Williams at work.

Even the slow rythmic of the beginning can be associated to a slower version of Imperial March

I think we have here a mix between Rey's theme and Kylo Ren's theme...or maybe a new "family" theme (like Brother and Sister) if they are related.

Down the rabbit hole we go...

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Fantastic post. Thank you!

You are welcome !

The first half of the video is a bit misleading, because the Imperial March uses a slightly different chord progression.

I was talking about variations of Vader's theme, not a copy/paste of melody and chords :) . You already know that harmonic variations is very common in Williams works.

In this example we have a G Major instead of G minor :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8EtpDGsCnI

( What caught my attention in the first part was the construction of the melodic line (flute) )

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It's ambiguous. We can't tell if it's G major or G minor, because all we have to go on is the tuba, which just plays G. The low strings seem to play some obscure tremolo chord while the higher strings seem to play a very fast B minor scale..but again very obscurely. Hell, it could even be E minor!

But even if it was G major in this case, it doesn't convince that the theme from the TV spot is associated with Vader's theme, because the progression of i-VIb-i is so common anyway, much more common than the Vader "leit-harmonie" that is i-ivb-i (or however the hell you spell it out, i.e. Gm -> Ebm -> Gm).

The closest association undoubtedly is the fact that both themes are in G minor. And that in the fourth bar, and after that, you get lots of Vader harmony (as you pointed out). But not in the 2nd bar!

P.S. I'm not trying to start an argument, just trying to clear up any confusion between ourselves...

P.P.S. I would actually be interested to see if Williams uses a "major" variation of Vader's theme anywhere in his SW scores. I don't know the scores well enough to pick out any potential examples, though.

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But even if it was G major in this case, it doesn't convince that the theme from the TV spot is associated with Vader's theme,

as I said , what caught my attention in this first part was the construction of the melodic line (flute) not really the harmonic progression

but maybe I gone to far in my speculation here

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