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What are your favorite examples of swashbuckling music?


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It's a music accompanying a sword/sabre fight.

 

A good example is also "The Adventure Continues" from the Adventures of Tintin.

 

https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=sword-fight&sort=moviemeter,asc&mode=detail&page=1&title_type=movie&ref_=kw_ref_typ

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Definitely terrific stuff.

 

I submit all of parts 1-3 of “The Ultimate War” from Hook. The best 20 minutes non-stop fun Williams has ever written imho.

 

Im curious, what makes a score cue particularly “swashbuckling”? I seem to know it when I hear it. But I don’t know why. Is it the tempo/meter? I feel it’s different than just straight action music. Something  like First Blood Part 2 for example is ballsy action music but I would never call it swashbuckling.

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Yes, the MUMMY and STAR WARS clips aren't swashbuckling, strictly speaking. Cue Wikipedia:

 

Quote

"Swashbuckler" is a compound of "swash" (archaic: to swagger with a drawn sword) and "buckler" (a small shield gripped in the fist) dating from the 16th century.[5][6]

 

So it's rather more specific than action setpieces in general. But any Korngold will do. THE SEA HAWK, ROBIN HOOD, CAPTAIN BLOOD....

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On 7/3/2021 at 4:57 PM, Thor said:

So it's rather more specific than action setpieces in general. But any Korngold will do. THE SEA HAWK, ROBIN HOOD, CAPTAIN BLOOD....

 

Yes. There have been other other swashbuckling films/scores and scenes/cues since, some of them great, but as far as the specific genre goes, nothing tops the original trifecta of Korngold "Schwanzbückler" you listed (though note that the definition must not be *quite* so narrow as the one you cited, as I don't think I recall Flynn sporting any kind of shield in any of these films). Steiner's Korngold-esque The Adventures of Don Juan is one of the strongest contenders. And perhaps Victor Young's Scaramouche, but we're rather leaving the genre there already.

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The Raiders March itself.

Since I was a child it was obvious to me that the music mickeymouses Indy getting punched (I've seen it euphemistically referred to as "setbacks") and then himself landing three punches to someone's face.

 

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Exactly. 

 

As far as I know, swashbuckling doesn't necessarily needs to involve pirates and swordfights. But it does need to have a sense of old fashioned heroism and adventure.

 

It's hard to define what exactly does swashbuckling means in the film music context, but I believe it can be applied to any score that are inspired by Korngold and attempts to bring back a certain feeling of heroics that can be considered outdated. 

 

The Star Wars cue I chose wasn't a random decision, as it was the most Korngold-esque Williams ever got, as he clearly wanted to link the movie with the old movies that inspired it.

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17 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

As far as I know, swashbuckling doesn't necessarily needs to involve pirates and swordfights. But it does need to have a sense of old fashioned heroism and adventure.

 

It's hard to define what exactly does swashbuckling means in the film music context, but I believe it can be applied to any score that are inspired by Korngold and attempts to bring back a certain feeling of heroics that can be considered outdated. 

 

That's how I interpret the term when applied to music. The Williams example definitely qualifies, but little else does to my mind. Debney probably, or at least he comes close. But both were intentionally writing in that very specific style. Most of the other examples I've seen don't fit the term for me. Parts of Tintin do - a rare case of post-Golden-Age swashbuckling music that isn't an outright Korngold pastiche.

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We should make a poll:

 

What is the best swashbucling track by Williams?

 

() Chasm Crossfire

() The Ultimate War

() The Clash of the Cranes

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6 minutes ago, blondheim said:

I think swashbuckling should be a broad enough term to include any piece of music that summons images of sword fighting.

 

There are many styles of sword fighting that I wouldn't classify as swashbuckling. Wikipedia seems to agree:

 

Quote

A swashbuckler is a genre of European adventure literature that focuses on a heroic protagonist stock character who is skilled in swordplay, acrobatics, guile and chivalrous ideals. A 'swashbuckler' protagonist is heroic, daring, and idealistic: he rescues damsels in distress, protects the downtrodden, and uses duels to defend his honor or that of a lady or avenge a comrade. Swashbucklers would often engage in daring and romantic adventures with bravado or flamboyance. Swashbuckler heroes are gentleman adventurers who dress elegantly and flamboyantly in coats, waistcoats, tight breeches, large feathered hats, and high leather boots, and they are armed with the thin rapiers used by aristocrats.

 

38 minutes ago, SteveMc said:

I like what Alfred Newman does in this cue:

 

I've never warmed up to this particular score. But I suggest this one:

 

 

I haven't seen The Robe, so I don't know if the scene it underscores qualifies, but Newman reused it from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where as far as I recall it does underscore a sword fight. And in any case it *sounds* like swashbuckling music.

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Just now, Marian Schedenig said:

 

There are many styles of sword fighting that I wouldn't classify as swashbuckling. Wikipedia seems to agree:

 

 

 

Words evolve over time to be broader than originally intended. Genres have expanded, overlapped. Plus, swashbuckling is not swashbuckler. Swashbuckling can invoke feelings of a swashbuckler without actually being one. Imo.

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I think, after all these discussions and explanations I got the term right. 

Yesterday I listened to Korngold's Adventures of Robin Hood. Hardly ever heard such a cheerful and at the same time sophisticated score. And it contains a lot of these swashbuckler moments. 

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7 hours ago, BrotherSound said:

Good pick! Williams’ working title was even “Swashbuckler”.

 

Which is weird, since to me it's idiomatically much closer to Copland's Hoe-Down and similar americana stuff.

 

I first became aware of this particular style by this: 

 

 

which led me straight to this:

 

 

Which in essence became my Newman initiation.

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The score for Stardust, especially Flying Vessel from about 1:15 on. 
 


This is one of my favorite scores, with so many fantastic themes and leitmotifs. Great adventure and fun. (The movie is a blast too, fun and quite rewatchable, a little tongue in cheek fantasy). 

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6 hours ago, crocodile said:

No one in more recent decades did swashbuckling better than Horner:

 

 

 

 

Karol

 

But then the opening titles of How to Train Your Dragon should count in as well, or?

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2 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

But then the opening titles of How to Train Your Dragon should count in as well, or?

Not sure I understand? 

 

Karol

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"Aeronautical" sometimes borders very close to swashbuckling as well. I don't think I'd could describe the difference.

 

 

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9 hours ago, crocodile said:

Not sure I understand? 

 

Karol

Yes, sorry. That deserves more explanation. The music at the battle with the dragons at the beginning of the movie is quite similar in nature to these examples. At least I would say so.

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1 hour ago, GerateWohl said:

Yes, sorry. That deserves more explanation. The music at the battle with the dragons at the beginning of the movie is quite similar in nature to these examples. At least I would say so.

You know what, I never really thought of Powell's music as swashbuckling. The only example off top of my head that feels like it would be this:

 

 

Karol

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Powell and swashbuckling? Gotta have this one. Great score.
 

Underrated and often branded as “sloppy-seconds from HTTYD2”

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One Barrel Chase and sea attack number one.

 

 

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On 7/4/2021 at 1:26 AM, A. A. Ron said:


Oh come on Thor, whether or not a sword was used in the scene it was written for, that Star Wars cue linked above (Chasm Crossfire) is absolutely a swashbuckling piece. It was written to emulate the Korngold sound and as you probably know, Williams even titled it “The Swashbucklers.”


Just relating the established definitions. I suppose anyone is free to interpret it any which way they want.

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