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A Williams hallmark: the brass combo for characters dying/falling

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Wow interesting! That's definitely a pattern. 

 

Would the Emperor's Death in ROTJ be another example? There's a sustained brass note which I assume is a trumpet, with other brass underneath. 

 

5:31 here:

 

 

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I thought of that one too; it's close but not quite, as there is no weird French horn line that joins the trumpet note. I'm curious to see if this sort of thing is a more recent development in his scoring style, in which case ROTJ might be too early; would be interesting to try and pick out the first usage of this technique in his scores.

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You'd think there's gotta be examples of this in JP or TLW? There's some very interesting brass work in Ripples for Carter's death but truthfully I can't tell the various instruments apart. 

 

It sounds more like sustained horns with punches of trumpets, so conceptually similar to your examples but inverted. 

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There's a case of something similar when Short Round almost falls into the river:

 

 

It doesn't exactly follow the formula of long trumpet note + trombone interjection + noodling horns though, but at least the instruments come in the same order...

 

Also, may be a bit random but those descending horns in the TPM excerpt are curiously reminiscent of the horns here from Schoenberg's Erwartung...(note the three long notes at the bottom)

 

 

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An early example of the sustained trumpet note accompanying a character falling to his death can be heard in the album version of Up The Drainpipe from The Eiger Sanction.  The music accompanies the scene in which Hemlock (Clint Eastwood) travels to Zurich and scales a drainpipe to kill enemy agent Kruger.  In the film version, Williams uses a strident synthesiser note to depict Kruger's death plunge from the window of the apartment.  However, in the album rerecording Williams replaces the synthesiser note with an equally strident two-note trumpet stinger, heard at about [2:46] in the album track (or at [12:48] in this video).

 

 

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34 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

Another nearly:

 

 

 

Close enough for me!

 

38 minutes ago, Falstaft said:

Definitely a little mini-trope, yep! Here's some more, just from Star Wars. Most don't follow every technique you listed exactly, but they're doing quite similar stuff. Williams never misses an opportunity for literal-minded mickey mousing when it comes to characters plummeting to their doom.

 

 

 

Can't believe I had forgotten about the first one you listed! That's exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about.

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Cool thread.  I don't have any examples, but these are all great.

 

 

EDIT: Well, there is Phasma's death in TLJ, which isn't *too*  far off from this trope

 

(2:15-2:22)


EDIT EDIT: Oops, just noticed that falstaft already included that in his post :P 

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Probably temp. I never really picked up on that particular similarity either, but it's totally there.

 

In any case, this is definitely a very Star Wars thing, more so than a general Williams thing, though it certainly fits within his overall style. The TPM and AOTC examples are especially prototypical.

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