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March of the Resistance


Tom
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I have been listening to this piece over the course of last 4 years, and I really like it.  I initially thought it was good, I now think very good.  However, that weird note it hits in what is I am assuming the second measure has never set well with me.  I like the Williams takes melodies to unexpected places (that eventually seem inevitable) but that moment I find jarring.  Can anyone explain what is going on musically that I am reacting to?  Does anyone else have a similar experience with it?  Again, I love the piece. The fugal nature and badass brass is extremely good.  I top-notch second-tier Williams piece. 

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Could you pinpoint this note more precisely? What number note would it be if you count them from the start of the melody?

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1 hour ago, Tom said:

The interval in the beginning the fifth measure.   

I'm not sure of what exactly you are referring to but he is repeating a pattern.  The opening octaves are in A which starts the theme in bar 2.  The dominant of A is E and he modulates to E to repeat the phrase at bar 4 shortening the phrase to the next modulation again at the dominant of E which is B at bar 5.  So far he's repeating a pattern but shortening the repeated phrase adding intensity each time because it gets chopped a bit/shortened.  Perhaps what you are complaining about is the dissonance in bar 5 (beat 3) where the bass is a B pedal but the middle voice is a C causing a dissonant minor second clash as the sequence builds reaching higher and higher getting cut again and again to give huge tension before the full theme is stated.  Also in bar 5, the notes aren't diatonic (in the scale) of B minor but JW is using the intervals in the melodic sequence rather than harmonizing them to reinforce the thematic material.

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I did index the fifth measure to the sheet music right above, but I suppose a timestamp would work too. 

 

Ludwig, thank you for the analysis.  It is the one note that sounds out of place to me, and I have yet to adjust to it.  

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2 hours ago, Tom said:

The interval in the beginning the fifth measure.   

 

Pardon my illiterate musical analysis as I have never taken a music class in my life of any sort.

 

I'd say the 5th measure doesn't have the actual melody, more like an intro or build using constructs from the melody.

 

March of the Resistance is a strange beast. I'd argue only measures 7,8,9,10 in the video represent the main melody of the march. I would shorten it to measures 7 and 8 for motivic application and even just measure 7 for reference purposes.

 

I think the overall theme is quite a 'choose your own adventure kind of theme' in that after measure 7 and 8 above, you could go in any direction you want. There are various other sub phrases to choose from or even jump to another theme and come back.

 

I myself when I hum the march to myself, I segue into a melodic extension of my own invention after measures 7 and 8.

 

So I might say measures 7 to 8 represent the truest distillation of the actual melody. Anything else - make of it what you will.

 

I hope any of that made sense.

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Yes, that makes sense. I like the "choose your own adventure" idea.  That might be why I have a harder time connecting to it compared to other JW marches--evidently, I like to be spoon-fed.  It really does have a different feel from other SW marches--Williams knows how to expand a musical palate.  

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That's a great observation. It is a more slippery melody than your typical Star Wars construct which has that "inevitable" feel and which are very simple and can be simply and forcefully articulated - Williams has himself said so. Of course simple isn't dumb and complex isn't better.

 

Usually people rely on the concert suite to get a handle on what the actual melody is because the motivic application can distort the theme in various guises. Well the trouble is, the concert suite of this theme itself distorts the melody quite a bit. It is an excessively filigreed piece with several offshoots and offramps - in a way more like a traditional concert piece rather than a simple movie concert piece that we expect. With this piece Williams went where it took him, rather than bludgeoning it into a standard concert theme presentation. In that way, I agree, it an unusual piece.

 

I think people need to remember that for the March being a slippery theme - the Concert suite is not simply stating the theme as people expect. So basically no simple pure form of the theme exists in a way. And I'd argue cannot exist because this is a complex elusive theme that does not truly lend itself to a standard presentation. Or looking at it differently, people might not find it very attractive if it were presented in a simple basic manner. Nevertheless, the razzle dazzle of the concert suite is part of the theme's identity now and people show look to simpler application within the body of the score to truly understand the contours of the theme.

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On 6/7/2020 at 4:26 PM, Ludwig said:

This use of notes outside a scale to match a semitone interval in a motive is something that is exceedingly common in music from the classical and romantic periods in particular.

 

Interesting. Do you have a good educational textbook reference for this?

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16 hours ago, Ludwig said:

Textbooks don't usually get into these kinds of stylistic details.

 

Someone really should write a book that covers details like this that aren't mentioned in standard textbooks. It would be invaluable for self-tuition.

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