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Video: Analysis - Star Wars, Main Title


Ludwig
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Thanks for another informative video (and the 5:16 moment of goodness pure and cute :) ). This unity through a phrase introduced early on and referenced later in several great melodies sounds almost too good to be true.

 

But since we know that this introductory segment has been written last (the rest steming from The Throne Room), maybe Williams "simply" looked for the best combination of notes common to  those melodies, and created the repeated figure based on them?

 

9 hours ago, Ludwig said:

It argues that one of the reasons the cue is so powerful is that it's highly unified by melody, harmony, and rhythm.

Do you have any other examples (namesdropping would be enough) that display such unity and achieve such a stellar effect?

 

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18 minutes ago, Ludwig said:

What's really interesting is that the fanfare sounds a lot like the Rozsa Ivanhoe opening that was used for the temp of the main title in its orchestration and harmony in 4ths. But Rozsa's fanfare doesn't have the 4-note motive. So if Williams wrote the fanfare as one of the last things in the score, he must have fashioned it to be close in structure to Luke's theme while having the general sound of Rozsa's.

However surprising your find seemed at first, it also makes a lot of sense, knowing Williams.

 

The more I study the music of various masters the more I see that one can fit a lot of "information" or "interconnectedness" into music, and Williams seems to have a very high peak performance in this regard. His melodies are incredibly information-dense. For example, take Marion's Theme. The density of echoes and connections within it is comparable to Mendelssohn's Wedding March, or the Dixie song - in that one can write an analysis about it in 20 or so points. And his themes not infrequently get just as catchy as those two evergreens. Structural thinking about melody (and counterpoint at the service of the main melodic line) seem now to involve an extension of this skill.

 

18 minutes ago, Ludwig said:

That's what I find so ingenious is Williams' ability to forge a main title from no fewer than three separate sources either as temp (Ivanhoe) or pre-composed themes (Luke's and Throne Room) and make it sound as though the separate pieces were composed to go together in the first place and that they grow naturally out of what starts it all.

Upon a closer inspection, Williams the syncretist is never really gone :) 

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