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The STAR WARS Main Title


martybmusic
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1 hour ago, karelm said:

There are quite a few musicians who have a different recollection which is equally fascinating. 

 

Indeed :) I quite like Terry Johns' account as well.

https://www.hornsociety.org/295-newsletter/991-terry-johns-interview

Also really fascinating to hear David Cripps (principal Horn of the LSO at the time) speaking of the sessions. We wanted to speak with him as well, but alas couldn't come across good contact information.

 

Thanks for listening!

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16 hours ago, Trumpeteer said:

So far, I've listened to the first 30 minutes, and it's very in-depth!

 

What I loved most in the podcast was hearing them use the word "yearning" a few times to describe Luke and how part of the main title epitomizes that. I think the "yearning" part is played in the French horn section. I always feel like the French horns are reaching/yearning for the apex of that theme in the same way Luke is reaching/yearning for a life away from Tatooine. I always get chills hearing the French horns playing it in "Star Wars," and not so much in the other films. In the sequels, the yearning is gone but the desire for greatness is still stated.

 

I also loved how they implied that this was the theme Luke would write for himself. Now that I know music theory, I understand the concept of the perfect fifth, and it's fun to be able to follow that. Four years ago, all that talk starting around the 9:00 mark would have been gibberish.

 

The main title from "Star Wars" will always be the best (with Empire a close second).

Thanks for listening!

 

8 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Still my second least favourite of the ones used in the movies, after the nondescript TPM one. Glad Williams beefed it up for TESB.

He must have heard the Gerhardt performance and realized the potential.

Really interesting take! There's something about the playing in the original film (particularly the trombones) and the near-clipping of the recording on the downbeat that's always phenomenal to me.  😊And as you say, the performance & staging of the orchestra in TESB - brilliant 👏🏼

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17 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Still my second least favourite of the ones used in the movies, after the nondescript TPM one. Glad Williams beefed it up for TESB.

He must have heard the Gerhardt performance and realized the potential.

It is indeed very full in TESB. That's why it's a very close second to me in terms of the performance. I could go on and on about my thoughts behind the orchestrations of the original three Main Title performances, but I think TESB needed to be beefed up.

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On 7/3/2018 at 9:29 AM, martybmusic said:

For those interested, the next episode in the series:

 

Marty, congratulations for your podcast, which I'm thoroughly enjoying. This is the kind of in-depth musical analysis that I think is worth when discussing the work of John Williams. It's lovely to see more and more people sitting down and studying up the scores. Film music studies need people like you and I hope more will follow.

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On 7/8/2018 at 6:16 AM, Stefancos said:

Still my second least favourite of the ones used in the movies, after the nondescript TPM one

 

They all sound the same to me. 

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So last night I downloaded a few of these. I started listening to the Spotting Session for Star Wars, thinking I'd do half an hour before bed and then finish it off today. I ended up listening to the whole thing-it was awesome. You guys have some nice insight, great commentary (all the volume and sound works great-well put together show!), and you really keep the storyline moving through the score- something which I love to try and piece together as I listen to my favourite soundtracks! It is also a very knowledgeable breakdown which delves deeper without exaggeration or romanticizing the score. It was a fun and holding listen, and I can't wait for Part 2! 

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This podcast is one of my favourite listening experiences for a score ever!

 

I appreciate SW '77 so much more now, which is crazy because I've always favoured it.

You're musical and cinematic connections are helpful for someone like me. 

 

JERRY NOTE (A Note From Jerry)

I really like how you look at the Imperial motif in SW '77 (not A New Hope to me) as the theme of the movie (see The Themes of STAR WARS episode). It is used a whole lot!

I'd say that the Imperial motif and the Jawa motif are underrated. They are vital to the score, and where always some of my favourite-even amidst the more popular Rebel Fanfare and Luke's theme.

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1 hour ago, Jerry said:

I'd say that the Imperial motif and the Jawa motif are underrated. They are vital to the score

 

The Imperial motif - absolutely. The Jawa one - not so much. Its really more of a self-contained musical setpiece than a recurring motif. Its used in one section of the film, only broken up by a brief section of imperial material. Sure, it does a very fine job describing not just the Jawas but Tatooine itself, but still.

 

I really like the Rebel Fanfare (which, indeed, the original liner notes describe as a "rebel spaceship fanfare"). If you want to talk about a concise motive that says "This is Star Wars" - that's the one.

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34 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

The Imperial motif - absolutely.

Yes.

34 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

The Jawa one - not so much. Its really more of a self-contained musical setpiece than a recurring motif. Its used in one section of the film, only broken up by a brief section of imperial material. Sure, it does a very fine job describing not just the Jawas but Tatooine itself, but still.

It's not huge, but it carries the score through the droids escapade on Tatooine before being sold to Luke, which is important to the story.  Yes, it does a fine job capturing the feeling of the bumbling Jawas and their barren surroundings.

34 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

I really like the Rebel Fanfare (which, indeed, the original liner notes describe as a "rebel spaceship fanfare"). If you want to talk about a concise motive that says "This is Star Wars" - that's the one.

That's classic Star Wars, and yes it's up there. Yup, yup, yup. 

 

To reiterate and clarify my earlier post, the Imperial and Jawa motifs are some of my favourite, even though they lie in the shadow of the Rebel Fanfare, Luke's Theme, Ben's Theme, etc. 

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22 minutes ago, Jerry said:

It's not huge, but it carries the score through the droids escapade on Tatooine before being sold to Luke, which is important to the story.  Yes, it does a fine job capturing the feeling of the bumbling Jawas and their barren surroundings.

 

That it does, indeed.

 

Interestingly, when it came time to craft "Star Wars: A Musical Journey" and "Star Wars: In Concert", the Jawa material was used essentially to describe Tatooine itself, more so than the Jawas.

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Just don't listen to Jabba on that album.  He took it so freakin' fast there.  I guess unless you prefer it that way, I sure don't.

 

The Kojian is far superior 

 

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Does anyone know if the Jabba concert theme was recorded with the LSO as part of the original sessions for ROTJ?  I’m assuming no?

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3 hours ago, Jonny said:

Does anyone know if the Jabba concert theme was recorded with the LSO as part of the original sessions for ROTJ?  I’m assuming no?

 

Ya, the second half of it is tacked on the end of track 3 on the 1993 Anthology RotJ album.

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5 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Just don't listen to Jabba on that album.  He took it so freakin' fast there.  I guess unless you prefer it that way, I sure don't.

 

The Kojian is far superior 

 

 

This album is one of the coolest John Williams re-recordings out there, how awesome it would be if the selection on it spread more to concerts!

 

EDIT: Conflated this with the Gerhardt album. Combining their material would make for a great evening!

 

@martybmusic Really excited to hear you pore over all these cues for one of the great scores!

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23 hours ago, Jonny said:

Does anyone know if the Jabba concert theme was recorded with the LSO as part of the original sessions for ROTJ?  I’m assuming no?

 

It was, yes.  The end of the recording can be heard on the OST album or 1993 Anthology beginning at 2:47 of "Han Solo Returns"

 

The rest of the recording remains completely unreleased and, supposedly, lost to time. (it was recording on the final day of scoring sessions in which all the other concert arrangements and the end credits were also recorded.  All releases of Jedi music therefore pulls those cues from the album master).

 

This might interest you:

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQe7TbSHJWT9aHgJxYIBfLQkxRsgQa5AKNq1lBsAfH4mlJ36ZBCcu5xFSk4jDOtP_cqq-_uLp5nTBy2/pubhtml

 

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I listened to the interview with Conrad Pope last night. Very well done. A great chat with a knowledgeable and experienced orchestrator, conductor, and composer. Many words of wisdom and plenty of fun. Great work @martybmusic!

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On 7/15/2018 at 10:45 AM, Jerry said:

So last night I downloaded a few of these. I started listening to the Spotting Session for Star Wars, thinking I'd do half an hour before bed and then finish it off today. I ended up listening to the whole thing-it was awesome. You guys have some nice insight, great commentary (all the volume and sound works great-well put together show!), and you really keep the storyline moving through the score- something which I love to try and piece together as I listen to my favourite soundtracks! It is also a very knowledgeable breakdown which delves deeper without exaggeration or romanticizing the score. It was a fun and holding listen, and I can't wait for Part 2! 

 

On 7/17/2018 at 10:28 AM, Jerry said:

This podcast is one of my favourite listening experiences for a score ever!

 

I appreciate SW '77 so much more now, which is crazy because I've always favoured it.

You're musical and cinematic connections are helpful for someone like me. 

 

8 minutes ago, Jerry said:

I listened to the interview with Conrad Pope last night. Very well done. A great chat with a knowledgeable and experienced orchestrator, conductor, and composer. Many words of wisdom and plenty of fun. Great work @martybmusic!

Wow, thanks so much for listening & sharing Jerry! Excited to share some of the upcoming episodes - cheers!

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Oh, it's such a treat Marty. No need to thank me, you're doing some great stuff here. 

 

JERRY NOTE (A Note from Jerry)

I am not educated in musical form, and I cannot write or read music, but their will never be a day when I do not listen and behold it. The important part and unique side to film music, which Conrad Pope eluded too, is it's playing to the screen, to the story of the movie which is why the style of your podcast is so, well, perfect. I tend to be a bit of a hack when it comes to listening to a score and remembering what's happening in the film at that point- I love to do that, but I'm not too great at it. And then I find your spotting session and your theme breakdowns. Whammo! 

 

The way you breakdown scores is very precise yet not overwhelming, and although I am not familiar with all the terminology, I feel what you're saying because I know the music well. Your commentary and perception of it is a like the missing link to my listening experience, and now the gap has been filled.

 

With much thanks and gratitude,

Jerry

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I have been listening to your podcast for a while now and I love every episode.  The E.T. series and Vertigo have been my favorites and, the spotting session episodes are my favorite ones.  I have also really enjoyed these Star Wars episodes, including the one just released about Leia's theme.

 

I have to be honest though, compared to your other spotting session episodes in the past, there seems to be something missing from the Star Wars one.  Your past ones had plenty of back and forth discussion between the 2 of you but, that was not present in the Star Wars episode.  It felt like you guys were mostly reading from a script and some of how you played off each other in past episodes was not present.

 

Don't get me wrong, I still loved the episode and thoroughly all the information provide.  I have no musical training but still find all the technical break down fascinating.  I hope you are not offended because of my constructive criticism, keep up the create work, it is very appreciated!

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Thanks for the explanation Marty, it makes since.  I actually haven't listened to any of the commentary episodes except The Incredibles.  After listening to that one I decided to wait until I had time to sync them up with the movie instead of listening in my car and on my phone.  I should probably just listen to them already, since I'm not succeeding with finding the time to sync them up.

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Our latest episode is now online:

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Wow. Star Wars Spotting Session Part II was fantastic. I did it all in one sitting, paired with the interlude on Princess Leia's Theme, which you worked through so beautifully. I do like your approach to the types of episodes you do (your spotting sessions are my favourite). I am looking forward to the commentary and I might even plan to watch the film in unison with your audio. Looking forward to a brilliant conclusion on your Star Wars episodes, and to the next project likewise!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/27/2018 at 6:55 PM, Jerry said:

Wow. Star Wars Spotting Session Part II was fantastic. I did it all in one sitting, paired with the interlude on Princess Leia's Theme, which you worked through so beautifully. I do like your approach to the types of episodes you do (your spotting sessions are my favourite). I am looking forward to the commentary and I might even plan to watch the film in unison with your audio. Looking forward to a brilliant conclusion on your Star Wars episodes, and to the next project likewise!

Thanks Jerry! The next episode is live as well:

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Question: the Hal Leonard instrumentation is not the same as the JoAnne Kane live to picture.  I understand the team at JAKMS reconstructed the music from the original sources but note the horns here of the main theme:

image.png

Here is shows six horns (4 in hal leonard) and the rhythm is distributed between the six making it seem like the Hal Leonard is a reduction rather than the original instrumentation.

 

Hal Leonard (sorry so small):

image.png

 

So the Hal Leonard is a concert arrangement rather than the original heard in the films or is live to film an arrangement for the larger orchestra they'll need for the score?

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33 minutes ago, karelm said:

Question: the Hal Leonard instrumentation is not the same as the JoAnne Kane live to picture.  I understand the team at JAKMS reconstructed the music from the original sources but note the horns here of the main theme:

image.png

Here is shows six horns (4 in hal leonard) and the rhythm is distributed between the six making it seem like the Hal Leonard is a reduction rather than the original instrumentation.

 

Hal Leonard (sorry so small):

image.png

 

So the Hal Leonard is a concert arrangement rather than the original heard in the films or is live to film an arrangement for the larger orchestra they'll need for the score?

 

From the point of view of orchestration, the JoAnnKane score should be the original one, as recorded for the film. The published score (Hal Leonard and 20th Century Fox before) is designed for a standard concert orchestra, so the horns were reduced from 6 to 4, the keyboards from 2 to 1, and the harps from 2 to 1. All the rest should be the same.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/18/2018 at 1:35 PM, Jay said:

 

It was, yes.  The end of the recording can be heard on the OST album or 1993 Anthology beginning at 2:47 of "Han Solo Returns"

 

The rest of the recording remains completely unreleased and, supposedly, lost to time. (it was recording on the final day of scoring sessions in which all the other concert arrangements and the end credits were also recorded.  All releases of Jedi music therefore pulls those cues from the album master).

 

This might interest you:

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQe7TbSHJWT9aHgJxYIBfLQkxRsgQa5AKNq1lBsAfH4mlJ36ZBCcu5xFSk4jDOtP_cqq-_uLp5nTBy2/pubhtml

 

 

Fascinating and very throughly assembled list, Jay. Amazed I hadn't seen that before. Any chance you made similar grids for Star Wars and Empire?

 

 

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