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Accidental Anthem of Evil theme in TFA


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I was watching The Force Awakens tonight while I was bored at work, and at 36m 37s (watching on Disney+, mind) I was astounded to hear the Anthem of Evil theme appear in part in the score as we transition into the scene where Kylo Ren throws his first temper tantrum.

 

I know this is purely coincidental, but it made my hairs stand on end to get such a clear preview of the coming theme--very reminiscent of the proto-Imperial March playing in A New Hope. I wish I could locate the scene in question on YouTube but unfortunately most videos cut out the transition. Just an interesting find for myself. Without the context of TROS's score this would just be another ho-hum transition.

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Hehe, it's many a JWfan's favorite topic!   Since the late 1990s, Williams has used a certain musical gesture in practically all of his scores, often in action scenes. The clearest first usa

I was watching The Force Awakens tonight while I was bored at work, and at 36m 37s (watching on Disney+, mind) I was astounded to hear the Anthem of Evil theme appear in part in the score as we transi

Great catch, @TheAvengerButton. It's not the only time we get an accidental sneak-preview of a later theme.   The "Proto-Imperial March" I think you're talking about in ANH: https://www.you

Great catch, @TheAvengerButton. It's not the only time we get an accidental sneak-preview of a later theme.

 

In the case of the Anthem of Evil, the explanation I'd go with is this is an *extremely* common melodic gesture in Williams, closely related to the ubiquitous "Ludlow Motif." And the boundaries between it, the Tension Motif & Resistance in Trouble, even Desperation theme from TLJ, are all very blurry. 

 

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11 hours ago, QuartalHarmony said:

Ooh, where is there a proto-Imperial March in ANH? Time code (either on CD or Blu-Ray) please.

 

Falstaft did me the honors below of a posting for this. Click his link below to hear what I was referring to.

 

8 hours ago, Falstaft said:

Great catch, @TheAvengerButton. It's not the only time we get an accidental sneak-preview of a later theme.

 

In the case of the Anthem of Evil, the explanation I'd go with is this is an *extremely* common melodic gesture in Williams, closely related to the ubiquitous "Ludlow Motif." And the boundaries between it, the Tension Motif & Resistance in Trouble, even Desperation theme from TLJ, are all very blurry. 

 

 

@FalstaftI loved discovering the Tension motif on a previous watch through before I learned of your catalogue, but I've grown to be fascinated by all these interconnected motifs, as they all do share an interesting relationship. But I've been meaning to ask you what you mean what the meaning is when you refer to it as the Ludlow Motif?

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16 minutes ago, TheAvengerButton said:

But I've been meaning to ask you what you mean what the meaning is when you refer to it as the Ludlow Motif?

 

Hehe, it's many a JWfan's favorite topic!

 

Since the late 1990s, Williams has used a certain musical gesture in practically all of his scores, often in action scenes. The clearest first usage was from The Lost World, the track "Ludlow's Demise" in particular (though its elsewhere in the score too). Hence the nickname which I think originated here on JWfan.

 

In technical terms, it's usually a repeated note followed by some kind of staggered ascent to either the fourth or fifth of the scale, and back down to the tonic. So, in C-minor, for example, it'd be something like C-C-C-C-C-C-C-Eb-D-G-C-C-... etc. The Anthem of Evil doesn't have that opening repeated note of course, but it's general contour follows the ascent and drop, C-Eb-D-F#-C-G, which it shares in common with a bunch of other ideas, some more Ludlow-like, from TFA and TLJ. 

 

Here are a few examples, some closer than others. https://youtu.be/OYn-Ls7-in4

 

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Well there we go. I was confused about the origin of the term "Ludlow Motif". Thanks for the run down. I haven't listened much to the score for TLW on its own but I've heard such texturing in William's other orchestrations. The video pointed out even more that I never heard.

 

I think that the ST's use of the musical idea kind of transcends mere action coloring as it seems to be used elsewhere. I can't describe it, but it's like it's halfway to being thematic.

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On 11/26/2020 at 6:42 PM, TheAvengerButton said:

I was watching The Force Awakens tonight while I was bored at work, and at 36m 37s (watching on Disney+, mind) I was astounded to hear the Anthem of Evil theme appear in part in the score as we transition into the scene where Kylo Ren throws his first temper tantrum.

 

I know this is purely coincidental, but it made my hairs stand on end to get such a clear preview of the coming theme--very reminiscent of the proto-Imperial March playing in A New Hope. I wish I could locate the scene in question on YouTube but unfortunately most videos cut out the transition. Just an interesting find for myself. Without the context of TROS's score this would just be another ho-hum transition.


You’re 100% right!! It’s the first four notes of the AOE theme, played at least twice. Good catch!

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