Versatility

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Cindé of Naboo, Feb 7, 2001.

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  1. Cindé of Naboo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2000
    star 4
    This is one of JW's most impressive skills. He takes a fairly basic theme which identifies a particular character or characters and makes certain subtle -- or not-so-subtle alterations to make it fit the situation. A great example is the theme "Han Solo and the Princess," first appearing in ESB. Just listen to its adaptibility:

    1. Its first major appearance is as a transition from Leia's theme, a delicate, gentle bit that provides the perfect background for the bickering lovebirds ("I'd just as soon kiss a Wookie").

    2. Later on, during the asteroid "I happen to like nice men" scene, it begins quietly and then develops into a swelling crescendo during the kiss, finally trickling off as Threepio interrupts, and getting blasted away entirely as it is replaced by Vader's theme.

    3. The theme appears during the carbon freeze scene (this is my particularly favorite use of it) as a passionate, surging theme that heightens into a frenzy as they are torn apart and becomes a dark, bad-guy-is-winning bit of music when Han is frozen. Then it slips in again as an agonized cry of pain when Leia sees Han in carbonite.

    4. As Leia, Chewie and Lando chase after Boba Fett and are subsequently pursued by stormtroopers, the theme becomes an action piece, fast-paced and exciting. A far cry from the delicate piece at the beginning of the movie -- and yet still carrying some of the same flavor.

    5. At the movie's end, the theme is bittersweet but hopeful; portending a new chance. As it finishes the end credits music, a repeat of the rebel's fanfare turns it into something almost triumphant.

    That's just a small slice of the possibilities; the same could be said of the Force theme, for sure, and even the Imperial March. It's just amazing to me that a single tune could serve so many diverse purpose.
  2. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    One word for you:

    Wagner.

    Gotta love the guy. :D
  3. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Another Wagner fan. Great stuff, what little I've heard.

    Yeah, Williams always makes his stuff so changeable. Very evocative.
  4. Cindé of Naboo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2000
    star 4
    Yes, JW is clearly influenced by Wagner, using the "leitmotif" that Wagner made famous. (Would I be a blasphemer if I said I liked JW better? ;)
  5. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    On the Force Theme:

    It's evil twin, the Emperor's Theme, is easily the most versatile theme in the whole saga. It's variants are:

    Basic Emperor's Theme (Men's Choir)
    Emperor's Theme (Instruments)
    Dark Side Beckons (Modulated and faster)
    Augie's Great Municipal Band (Children's Choir, sung at a faster rate and with shallow voices)
    The voices heard during the underwater scenes. (I believe they are VERY similar to the Emperor's Theme; they sound like his theme sung by a women's choir)
  7. Sithman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 1999
    star 7
    Er, it'll a LONG time for you to convince me that The Dark Side Beckons is part of the Emperor's theme.

    ~Sithman~
  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Just ask anyone here.


    Or hum them one after another. The Dark Side Beckons= The Emperor's Theme.
  9. yodaman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 1999
    star 5
    The most talented composer to work with variations and versatility and to it spectacularly was Bach. The man was a genius even though I don't like Baroque.
  10. Cindé of Naboo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2000
    star 4
    I just listened to the "Dark Side Beckons" and I don't know that it's really a variation on the Emperor's theme, other than the fact that it's dark music sung by deep male voices. The Emperor's theme does come in at the end, though...

    Oh, and by the way -- I love Bach too -- there's a certain almost mathematical quality to his music that must have taken years to perfect.
  11. MusicJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2001
    star 2
    Bach geniuos cannot be denied as far as fugal writing, and theme variants.

    JW uses a great deal of Wagner and Mahler.

    Mahler Symphony 6 1st movement is exactly where the imperial march comes from. No doubt.
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