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The BFG THEMES Discussion


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Here's all the themes I hear on the OST and where they are located!   This is in order of when they first appear as is purely my own interpretation; I am open to all other interpretations, o

OK, I watchecd the film for the first time yesterday (among my worst Spielberg films along with 1941 and Indy 4) and then I watched it again today taking notes about the themes.   what Jay r

Very much agree with you, especially the last statement. I think Williams often uses the leitmotif approach without a too specific link to a locked character/situation, but more as recurring material

I have not seen the film but isn't that regal theme that appears first in Blowing Dreams 0:55-1:40 and subsequently in Sophie's Future 1:15-2:04, Meeting the Queen at 0:11-0:36, 1:14-3:01 and in Finale 0:52-1:30 the theme for the queen? Because it sounds so British to me. It is

 certainly separate from the melancholy B-section of Sophie's theme, which is first heard in The Witching Hour at 2:10-2:49.

 

Unknown Theme #1 Again without seeing the film might this theme relate to the orphanage or to the concept of loneliness somehow?
02 The Witching Hour 2:50-3:56
13 There Was A Boy 2:00-2:29

 

Are these two piano sections really the same theme as the two main examples above?

15 The Boy's Drawings 0:58-1:06
15 The Boy's Drawings 2:49-2:55

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Hey, you beat me to some points I was already typing up - well, here it is anyway:

 

 

I'm really loving the theme that appears in The Witching Hour from 2:50-3:56 and There Was A Boy 2:00-2:29 - its a nice blend of creepy & mysterious with a hint of.. I guess mischief?

 

Could the music in The Witching Hour from 2:11-2:50 be considered part of the theme, like an intro / buildup?  Or just non-thematic passage that leads nicely into the theme?

 

I'm also not sure about the passages in The Boy's Drawings from 0:58-1:06 and 2:49-2:55; Is that a variant of the theme or just similar-sounding non-thematic underscore?

 

Also, I have no idea what the theme represents!  I'd have to see the film again.

 

 

 

 

 

10 minutes ago, Incanus said:

I have not seen the film but isn't that regal theme that appears first in Blowing Dreams 0:55-1:40 and subsequently in Sophie's Future 1:15-2:04, Meeting the Queen at 0:11-0:36, 1:14-3:01 and in Finale 0:52-1:30 the theme for the queen? Because it sounds so British to me.

 

Nah, that's defintely the B section of the main theme, all those instances are in the list under the main theme section with "(b section)" notation added

 

Quote

It is certainly separate from the melancholy B-section of Sophie's theme, which is first heard in The Witching Hour at 2:10-2:49.

 

 

Wait, what!?

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Sophie's optimistic theme seems to be followed by the secondary idea heard in the Witching Hour. Listen to the Sophie and the BFG suite ending starting at 6:53 where you can hear this second part of Sophie's theme in full force. This is not the B-section you list and which I took to be the queen's theme.

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The Queen's theme is definitely the one I listed such; Her theme wouldn't be in Blowing Dreams as she has nothing to do with the film at that point (she isn't introduced until the 3rd act)

 

4 minutes ago, Incanus said:

Sophie's optimistic theme seems to be followed by the secondary idea heard in the Witching Hour. Listen to the Sophie and the BFG suite ending starting at 6:53 where you can hear this second part of Sophie's theme in full force. This is not the B-section you list and which I took to be the queen's theme.

 

I have 6:52 of Sophie and the BFG in my list - isn't that the same theme at 0:30 of Blowing Dreams?

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I will say more when I get home, but I have counted 11 re occurring themes/motifs. Most of them are included in this post, but there are other small musical ideas that are repeated once or twice through out the score that I do not see noted here. The opening of giant country is repeated somewhere else (I believe in 'frolic?') as are a few sections from dream country.  There is a 5 note motif in dream country that is played in Sophie and the bfg at 3:21. At 2:51 in blowing dreams there is a short motif that is 6 notes I believe, which is heard in dream country as well.  I will edit this post with time stamps and all in a few hours. I'm on my phone and have terrible wifi. 

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5 minutes ago, Jay said:

The Queen's theme is definitely the one I listed such; Here theme wouldn't be in Blowing Dreams as she has nothing to do with the film at that point (she isn't introduced until the 3rd act)

Right-o. But what is this theme introduced in The Witching Hour (2:10-2:49) then? Theme for BFG himself perhaps? It is used throughout the score.

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Excellent!  No need to edit your post with timestamps; Just do that in a new post!

 

And yes I purposely excluded a couple repeating phrases that showed up once in the score and then again in the End Credits suite - for example, the phrase that opens "Sophie's Nightmare" and then repeats at 4:52 of Sophie and the BFG - I wouldn't call that a theme (it doesn't represent anything), just something from the score that got repeated for the End Credits.

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3 minutes ago, JacksonElmore said:

The opening of giant country is repeated somewhere else (I believe in 'frolic?')

 

 

Ah, yes!  I have that phrase on my list as Bad Giants (b section), but perhaps it actually represents something else since its appearance in To Giant Country would be before the bad giants are introduced!  Interesting!

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11 minutes ago, Jay said:

I have 6:52 of Sophie and the BFG in my list - isn't that the same theme at 0:30 of Blowing Dreams?

Yes but the subsequent melody in Blowing Dreams from 0:55-1:40 is a different melody altogether and I didn't think it was the B-theme for Sophie's theme.

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Are you saying that all of these are not the same as each other?

 

Main Theme (Sophie's Theme)

10 Blowing Dreams 0:55-1:43 (b section)
12 Sophie's Future 1:27-2:05 (b section)
15 The Boy's Drawings 1:31-1:58 (b section)
15 The Boy's Drawings 2:27-2:42 (b section)
16 Meeting The Queen 1:14-1:38 (b section)
16 Meeting The Queen 2:30-2:48 (b section)
18 Finale 1:01-2:13 (b section)
19 Sophie and the BFG 4:19-4:52 (b section)

 

 

And some of those might actually be the same as this?

 

 

Unknown Theme #3
10 Blowing Dreams 0:30-0:55
19 Sophie and the BFG 6:52-7:42

 

And this this passage is also related somehow?

 

02 The Witching Hour 2:10-2:50

 

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Oh those are definitely all the appearances of that theme, which you call Sophie's theme (b-section).I just thought it to represent the queen that is all. But I bow to your knowledge here as I have not seen the film yet.

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I actually think my favourite theme in the whole score is the loneliness/unknown theme that first appears late in The Witching Hour. It says so much with so few notes, just incredible how Williams keeps finding new combinations that feel almost inevitable the first time you hear them. Whatever it represents, it paints such a creepy uneasiness without needing any visuals.

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Just now, crumbs said:

I actually think my favourite theme in the whole score is the loneliness/unknown theme that first appears late in The Witching Hour. It says so much with so few notes, just incredible how Williams keeps finding new combinations that feel almost inevitable the first time you hear them. Whatever it represents, it paints such a creepy uneasiness without needing any visuals.

 

Totally agreed!

 

The Witching Hour was instantly my favorite track when I first heard the score, and I was bummed (but not too surprised) that nothing else on the OST had a similar feel.  At least that one theme reappears in The Boy's Drawings, but its too bad it couldn't have been in the suite too.

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That unknown theme #3 also appears in

Building Trust 1:46-1:55

Finale 0:00-0:12, 0:53-1:00,1:31-2:14

Sophie and BFG 0:49-1:11 and 6:53-7:40

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It would have made a fun (albeit wildly out of place) denouement to the End Credits suite. A bit like his foreboding use of the Carnivore motif at the end of the Jurassic Park credits, after the delicate piano rendition of the main theme. 

 

I love when he turns the mood of a piece through orchestration like that; always makes a fun surprise for the listener. But this 'loneliness' theme feels almost criminally unexplored, considering how memorable it is.

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50 minutes ago, Incanus said:

the melancholy B-section of Sophie's theme, which is first heard in The Witching Hour at 2:10-2:49.

 

35 minutes ago, Incanus said:

Sophie's optimistic theme seems to be followed by the secondary idea heard in the Witching Hour. Listen to the Sophie and the BFG suite ending starting at 6:53 where you can hear this second part of Sophie's theme in full force. This is not the B-section you list and which I took to be the queen's theme.

 

32 minutes ago, Jay said:

I have 6:52 of Sophie and the BFG in my list - isn't that the same theme at 0:30 of Blowing Dreams?

 

28 minutes ago, Incanus said:

Right-o. But what is this theme introduced in The Witching Hour (2:10-2:49) then? Theme for BFG himself perhaps? It is used throughout the score.

 

21 minutes ago, Incanus said:

Yes but the subsequent melody in Blowing Dreams from 0:55-1:40 is a different melody altogether and I didn't think it was the B-theme for Sophie's theme.

 

3 minutes ago, Incanus said:

That unknown theme #3 also appears in

Building Trust 1:46-1:55

Finale 0:00-0:12, 0:53-1:00,1:31-2:14

Sophie and BFG 0:49-1:11 and 6:53-7:40

 

Oh boy, let me check out all this....

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4 minutes ago, crumbs said:

It would have made a fun (albeit wildly out of place) denouement to the End Credits suite. A bit like his foreboding use of the Carnivore motif at the end of the Jurassic Park credits, after the delicate piano rendition of the main theme. 

 

I love when he turns the mood of a piece through orchestration like that; always makes a fun surprise for the listener. But this 'loneliness' theme feels almost criminally unexplored, considering how memorable it is.

Yeah it reminds of Williams' Providence/Death theme from the Book Thief. Gorgeous stuff. This score does have some melodic material that one would wish Williams had had a chance to explore further and this loneliness theme is one of them.

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I mentioned earlier there was a theme in blowing dreams at 2:51, I meant 2:45. It is first hinted at at 6:29 in dream country and then is fully introduced at 6:38 in dream country. It is a very touching moment In my opinion. (Also note the classic e.t. Bonding theme technique at 6:47!) Also, I may be mistaken but the phrase from 0:07-0:09 and 0:09 to 0:11 in overture seem to be seperatley repeated In a few tracks. I don't remember all of the moments, but for example 2:10 in dream jars and 7:14 in dream country. 

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21 minutes ago, crumbs said:

It would have made a fun (albeit wildly out of place) denouement to the End Credits suite. A bit like his foreboding use of the Carnivore motif at the end of the Jurassic Park credits, after the delicate piano rendition of the main theme. 

 

I love when he turns the mood of a piece through orchestration like that; always makes a fun surprise for the listener. But this 'loneliness' theme feels almost criminally unexplored, considering how memorable it is.

 

Also totally agreed!

 

 

7 minutes ago, JacksonElmore said:

I mentioned earlier there was a theme in blowing dreams at 2:51, I meant 2:45. It is first hinted at at 6:29 in dream country and then is fully introduced at 6:38 in dream country. It is a very touching moment In my opinion.

 

I don't hear any connection between 6:29 in Dream Country, 6:38 in Dream Country, and 2:45 in Blowing Dreams... anyone else?

 

 

 

Quote

Also, I may be mistaken but the phrase from 0:07-0:09 and 0:09 to 0:11 seem to be seperatley repeated In a few tracks. I don't remember all of the moments, but for example 2:10 in dream jars and 7:14 in dream country. 

 

The flute stuff represents dreams flying around on the screen - its more of a theme by instrumentation than melody, no?

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12 minutes ago, Jay said:

OK Inky you're right, I've just modified the main post  -- check it out and tell me what you think.

Otherwise looks good but now the list is missing the piano melody found in The Witching Hour and The Was a Boy and the second unidentified theme has the same timestamps as the first one.

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Yes, that was a copy/paste fail you caught at juts the right time to actually see it; It's fixed now check again!

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Yeah looks very good to me Jay! Great work!

 

Although I am still obstinately thinking that theme you list to be Sophie's theme (b-section) at these timestamps

10 Blowing Dreams 0:55-1:43 (b section)
12 Sophie's Future 1:27-2:05 (b section)
15 The Boy's Drawings 1:31-1:58 (b section)
15 The Boy's Drawings 2:27-2:42 (b section)
16 Meeting The Queen 1:14-1:38 (b section)
16 Meeting The Queen 2:30-2:48 (b section)
18 Finale 1:01-2:13 (b section)
19 Sophie and the BFG 4:19-4:52 (b section)

is actually the queen's theme. It sounds so English and regal to me. Fit for a queen. And only that one appearance in Blowing Dreams doesn't feature in a scene involving her majesty, right.  ;) 

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There's no way that's the Queens theme - lots of those instances she has nothing to do with.

 

This is certainly the Queen's theme:

 

The Queen
14 The Queen's Dream 2:41-2:47
15 The Boy's Drawings 2:16-2:22
16 Meeting The Queen 0:38-0:42 (not sure about this one...)
16 Meeting The Queen 1:38-2:24

 

Regardless, I did just separate that other theme out into its own section in the main post :)

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12 minutes ago, Incanus said:

Yeah looks very good to me Jay! Great work!

 

Although I am still obstinately thinking that theme you list to be Sophie's theme (b-section) at these timestamps

10 Blowing Dreams 0:55-1:43 (b section)
12 Sophie's Future 1:27-2:05 (b section)
15 The Boy's Drawings 1:31-1:58 (b section)
15 The Boy's Drawings 2:27-2:42 (b section)
16 Meeting The Queen 1:14-1:38 (b section)
16 Meeting The Queen 2:30-2:48 (b section)
18 Finale 1:01-2:13 (b section)
19 Sophie and the BFG 4:19-4:52 (b section)

is actually the queen's theme. It sounds so English and regal to me. Fit for a queen. And only that one appearance in Blowing Dreams doesn't feature in a scene involving her majesty, right.  ;) 

 

I'm afraid you're gonna have to give that one up, Inky :P definitely not the Queen's theme. The statements in "Blowing Dreams," "Sophie's Future," and "Finale" are all BFG and Sophie moments. "Meeting the Queen" is really more about the kindness the Queen shows BFG and his emotion meeting her, so it's more a "friendship" theme, or I think it actually might be identified as a theme for the BFG himself (trying to remember the film, I'm fairly certain the swelling statement in "The Boy's Drawings" underscores a significant heroic moment for the BFG, and I think the "Finale" statement is for when Sophie starts a narration about her friend)

 

The Queen theme is undoubtedly the noble horn figure that Jay pointed out, first appearing in the film when you see a portrait of Her Majesty. Can't miss it. :)

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5 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

I'm fairly certain the swelling statement in "The Boy's Drawings" underscores a significant heroic moment for the BFG

 

We may be thinking of different instances, but isn't this the music that accompanies Sophie discovering the portrait of Queen Victoria?

 

EDIT:

Nevermind, figured out you were speaking of the theme he mistakenly took for the Queen's theme, not the actual Queen's theme.

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6 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

I think it actually might be identified as a theme for the BFG himself (trying to remember the film, I'm fairly certain the swelling statement in "The Boy's Drawings" underscores a significant heroic moment for the BFG, and I think the "Finale" statement is for when Sophie starts a narration about her friend)

 

Yes, I actually called it the "BFG/Sophie Friendship Theme" in my main post for now

 

6 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

The Queen theme is undoubtedly the noble horn figure that Jay pointed out, first appearing in the film when you see a portrait of Her Majesty. Can't miss it. :)

 

Yes, it was a theme I was able to identify on first seeing the film for that reason.

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6 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

We may be thinking of different instances, but isn't this the music that accompanies Sophie discovering the portrait of Queen Victoria?

 

I was talking about 1:31-1:57 of "Boy's Drawings", the triumphant statement of the Friendship theme or whatever we're calling it. I'm pretty sure this is that heroic BFG moment that occurs while Sophie's hiding in the drawing room.

 

Right after that would be the Queen portrait moment, I think. 1:58-2:16 is dusting off the portrait, and then it's the Queen's theme.

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14 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

 

I'm afraid you're gonna have to give that one up, Inky :P definitely not the Queen's theme. The statements in "Blowing Dreams," "Sophie's Future," and "Finale" are all BFG and Sophie moments. "Meeting the Queen" is really more about the kindness the Queen shows BFG and his emotion meeting her, so it's more a "friendship" theme, or I think it actually might be identified as a theme for the BFG himself (trying to remember the film, I'm fairly certain the swelling statement in "The Boy's Drawings" underscores a significant heroic moment for the BFG, and I think the "Finale" statement is for when Sophie starts a narration about her friend)

 

The Queen theme is undoubtedly the noble horn figure that Jay pointed out, first appearing in the film when you see a portrait of Her Majesty. Can't miss it. :)

Alrighty! I'll concede, I'll concede before superior knowledge and people who bring Jay corroborating evidence! :P

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7 minutes ago, Jay said:

I don't know, hard to say if that's the same melody each time.


Do you hear it at any other places on the OST?

No, no other places. But compare the piano melody at 2:38- 6:51 in dream country with the melody at 2:44-2:56 in blowing dreams. Even has the same background orchestration too. 

 

Im listening on Spotify, there is a slim chance that the timing is a few seconds off. It's happened to me before 

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Same with me, same with me!

 

I like that what I had considering various sections of Sophie's theme could actually all be independent themes, and that great melody from The Witching Hour and There Was A Boy keeps getting stuck in my head.

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It's definitely becoming clear that while this may not have hit the same kind of immediate emotional/visceral highs of his other fantasy scores, this is all exceedingly well-constructed stuff as always from the Maestro and pretty enjoyable to listen to and dig through.

 

I dunno, I kinda like this "grower" thing with new Williams scores! :P

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BTW I decided to add that rhythmic figure that opens both "Sophie's Nightmare" and "The Queen's Dream" to the list.  This is where it appears

 

05 Sophie's Nightmare 0:00-0:0:49

14 The Queen's Dream 0:00-0:46

19 Sophie and the BFG 4:51-5:35

 

 

Not sure now if its a true theme, or just considered an Into to the Nightmare theme?  All 3 times it appears, it leads directly into the Nightmare theme.

 

What do ya'll think?

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2 minutes ago, Jay said:

 All 3 times it appears, it leads directly into the Nightmare theme.

 

What do ya'll think?

I think it IS the nightmare theme, just an elongated intro. The leitmotif is the loud horn part, the intro is just...the intro. The timing of the scenes probably did not allow for him to have those furious string movements each time the theme was necessary. 

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21 minutes ago, loert said:

JacksonElmore is right, it's the same melody. ;)

Aha! And here I was thinking I belonged in the mental ward for hearing imaginary themes!

 

 

 

i do recognize it probably isn't a "theme" theme, just a quotation of musical dialogue Williams chose to use more than once. Although, if expanded upon, I could imagine it as a warm friendship theme for Sophie and the bfg. Especially the way it plays out on the piano in dream country 

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It's funny that I originally thought it was the other way around!

What does everyone else think?

 

Also: If that IS considered a B Section of the main theme,  that means the B Section is introduced in the film before the A section!

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I had wondered that, myself, but listen to the end of "Sophie and the BFG". I feel like that segment especially solidifies its role as the B theme. On the other hand, the friendship theme—to me—has a distinct, noble quality.

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There's no doubt that the main theme, the "friendship theme" and the "probably the b section" theme can all lead directly into each other and all sound well together, and many tracks on the album have different combinations of them all together.  Makes it a bit harder to pinpoint their meaning :)

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Is the 5 note melody from 0:21-0:33 of building trust  a reference to the theme at 1:12 of giants netted? 

 

It it also sounds somewhat similar to the 5 note motif in dream country at 4:47? 

Or it might be unrelated to both. 

 

For both of them is seems like a Stretch but I can swear I hear a similarity from somewhere 

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4 minutes ago, JacksonElmore said:

Is the 5 note melody from 0:21-0:33 of building trust  a reference to the theme at 1:12 of giants netted? 

 

 

I hear the resemblance, but think its just coincidence; I don't think there'd be a reason to reference the finale of the movie so early in the film.

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