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Thread: Which music genre is closest to classical?

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    How many people listen to John Williams music other than as they watch a movie? Which I guess would relate to how long his music will last, i.e. how long will the movies last?
    I have listened to several Williams' soundtracks tons of times -- long after I saw the movie. I saw "Raiders" only once, but subsequent to that, listened to the track many times. Same with the first three "Star Wars" films. This doesn't mean I love every single music scene. For instance, I hate the cantina band music and always skipped that part on the vinyl record. The music in "Jaws" that accompanies the scene showing all the tourists arriving to Amity Island, I've always skipped that too. But over and over I'd listen to most of the other scenes. The heck with viewing the movie. I also have the track for "Superman" and "Jaws II." I wasn't impressed enough with "Jurassic Park," "Close Encounters" or "ET" to buy those. His older works include "Poseidon Adventure," "Earthquake" and the TV show "Lost in Space." For any music he borrowed or copied, this is only half a percent of all he's composed.

  2. #92
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    There is a very peculiar phenomenon re: John Williams. Some people say he stole or "took" elements of his Star Wars music from Holst's Planets. But then there's another camp who thinks he took the SAME themes from a DIFFERENT composer such as Korngold.

    I just read something that said Bruckner's 6th symphony was the thematic source for the Star Wars theme.

    I like film music but have never found anything by Williams very good or very satisfying. It tends to be loud and abrasive to me, not to mention superficial. I realize superficial is a characterization that can be applied to almost any film music but it seems more so to me with Williams than others.

    This is especially true when he is compared to the better (in my opinion) well-known composer of his time, Jerry Goldsmith. He composed more effectively in far more realms of music from film noor-ish (City of Fear 1959) to 12 tone (Planet of the Apes 1971) to American expressionism (Alien 1979) to Williams-like high arc-march-military-horns blazing (Patton 1970) to traditional adventures scores (The Wind and The Lion 1976). He also wrote classical music, won 18 Oscars and many other awards for his wide-ranging scores.

    I think Williams get mentioned a lot because he wrote Star Wars and a lot of other popular music people have seen in films, many with catchy tunes. If you listen to five of his scores non-stop, as I have, you'll hear how much they all sound alike. Compared to Goldsmith he is one-dimensional.
    Last edited by larold; Oct-29-2020 at 12:49.

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  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by larold View Post
    There is a very peculiar phenomenon re: John Williams. Some people say he stole or "took" elements of his Star Wars music from Holst's Planets. But then there's another camp who thinks he took the SAME themes from a DIFFERENT composer such as Korngold.

    I just read something that said Bruckner's 6th symphony was the thematic source for the Star Wars theme.

    I like film music but have never found anything by Williams very good or very satisfying. It tends to be loud and abrasive to me, not to mention superficial. I realize superficial is a characterization that can be applied to almost any film music but it seems more so to me with Williams than others.

    This is especially true when he is compared to the better (in my opinion) well-known composer of his time, Jerry Goldsmith. He composed more effectively in far more realms of music from film noor-ish (City of Fear 1959) to 12 tone (Planet of the Apes 1971) to American expressionism (Alien 1979) to Williams-like high arc-march-military-horns blazing (Patton 1970) to traditional adventures scores (The Wind and The Lion 1976). He also wrote classical music, won 18 Oscars and many other awards for his wide-ranging scores.

    I think Williams get mentioned a lot because he wrote Star Wars and a lot of other popular music people have seen in films, many with catchy tunes. If you listen to five of his scores non-stop, as I have, you'll hear how much they all sound alike. Compared to Goldsmith he is one-dimensional.
    For what it's worth, I actually have the soundtrack to Alien (1979), and was dismayed that Goldsmith did not score its sequel. Williams DOES have a signature sound, but can still be quite variegated. Our brains all interpret what we hear differently.

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    Senior Member gregorx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larold View Post
    This is especially true when he is compared to the better (in my opinion) well-known composer of his time, Jerry Goldsmith. He composed more effectively in far more realms of music from film noor-ish (City of Fear 1959) to 12 tone (Planet of the Apes 1971) to American expressionism (Alien 1979) to Williams-like high arc-march-military-horns blazing (Patton 1970) to traditional adventures scores (The Wind and The Lion 1976). He also wrote classical music, won 18 Oscars and many other awards for his wide-ranging scores.

    I think Williams get mentioned a lot because he wrote Star Wars and a lot of other popular music people have seen in films, many with catchy tunes. If you listen to five of his scores non-stop, as I have, you'll hear how much they all sound alike. Compared to Goldsmith he is one-dimensional.
    He also did the music for Chinatown. A bluesy jazz score (jazz being my answer to the question posed in this thread). To me, Williams music is derivative. Goldsmith is incredibly original.

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    Senior Member Torkelburger's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree. Goldsmith was in a class of his own, above all others. Then I would put Williams and Herrmann next, then everyone else below that.

    Williams to me seems to always have that polished sound with a bright “sheen” to it, not only from the brightness in orchestration, but the frequent use of major seventh chords with the seventh and root next to each other in the voicings as well as the “bright” lydian mode, etc. He orchestrates with a lot of the same techniques over and over again. Like the preference of octave doublings over unisons, especially 3 and 4 octaves in the strings and winds. And incessant scalar runs using the same scales over and over, like modes, harmonic minor, and octatonic. There’s a lot of Ravelian triadic planing in the harmonies and ostinatos and various figures. One could go on and on with a lot of his stock cliches, even in his atonal writing. He maybe has about a dozen of them that he tends to reuse.

    One thing I get tired of hearing in Hollywood orchestral writing is the scoring of orchestral or choir tutti chords (always triads) voiced in superposition, generally following score order and the harmonic series. Even Williams does this most of the time (although one example of inventive scoring is the opening chord to Star Wars). I think it is because of the lack of time to come up with something more interesting and colorful. In classical music scores of the masters (even in Mozart), but especially the Romantics, you see much more inventive ways of scoring chords depending on context, such as overlapping, interlocking, and enclosing.
    Last edited by Torkelburger; Oct-30-2020 at 19:49.

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    Anyway, Goldsmith was a genius. Especially when it came to spotting a film. But yes, unlike any other composer, he used every technique available in a composer’s arsenal to find the right music for a scene. He is one of the only a very few composers I am aware of who wrote cues using strict 12-tone technique. Not only in Planet of the Apes, but he used the technique in The Illustrated Man, The Omen (the entire cue “The Demise of Mrs. Baylock”), Freud, and Escape from Planet of the Apes. He also had the guts to use quartal and quintal harmony quite regularly, something practically no one else including Williams ever did. To me, his atonal music has more structure, depth, and cohesion than most others who write more randomly. His scores often had a rhythmic complexity that no others would dare imitate. He often used odd and mixed meters favoring 5/8 and 7/8 and 3/8 meters changing almost every bar. He could write very simple music too with some of the best melodies and chords ever written for film. I like his melodies much more than Williams’. They seem more natural and not as formulaic. Star Trek was brilliant in that he was told to come up with a theme that suggested Star Wars but couldn’t sound anything like it. That’s a very difficult task, but he did it wonderfully.
    Last edited by Torkelburger; Oct-30-2020 at 19:48.

  8. #97
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larold View Post
    . . . I think Williams get mentioned a lot because he wrote Star Wars and a lot of other popular music people have seen in films, many with catchy tunes. If you listen to five of his scores non-stop, as I have, you'll hear how much they all sound alike. Compared to Goldsmith he is one-dimensional.
    Having listened to a lot of Williams and Goldsmith scores, I do not agree with this statement. While I admit that there is a kind of signature Williams "sound" (or a series of sounds), I don't think it is fair to say that any five of his scores really sound all that much alike. (His marches may tend to share certain characteristics.) It may be suggested that Goldsmith tended to be more experimental, but he also was often faced with less expensive instrumental forces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    For what it's worth, I actually have the soundtrack to Alien (1979), and was dismayed that Goldsmith did not score its sequel. Williams DOES have a signature sound, but can still be quite variegated. Our brains all interpret what we hear differently.
    I recall that, at least early on, Horner was considered the poor man's substitute for Goldsmith. That may or may not have been fair, but he was probably cheaper at the time, and sequels usually had smaller budgets.
    Last edited by JAS; Oct-30-2020 at 19:16.

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    Whether or not John Williams ripped off too much from what others had already done is immaterial to me. The man does his job well as a composer for movies, and has made my cinema-graphic experience the better for it. I can't imagine the Star Wars message and mythology without Williams' score being integral to the fabric of it.

    I have one CD of Williams' works as a straight-up classical composer with some pieces for cello and orchestra that he wrote for Yo-Yo Ma. It's solid, well-crafted, and mildly entertaining. But why not just celebrate Williams for what he does best?

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    Senior Member Torkelburger's Avatar
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    And Goldsmith, too, like any composer had his certain sounds he reused as well throughout his career. Such as the signature Goldsmith unison Violin I and II souring melodic line at the top of the treble clef staff. Very common. And those little unison hits and figures in the upper winds and xylophone were also very common.

    One great contribution I think he made to orchestration was making the synthesizer/multiple synths a regular section of the orchestra, equal to all other choirs. He treated them as if they were a regular part of the orchestra and not as some kind of effects afterthought.

    The only downside to that, however, was that I think he shoehorned it in to some scores when it was not completely appropriate. Like in the film Hoosiers. To me, the synths were prevalent and were a distraction because they did not fit the time period of the film (America in the 1950s). I get that he was going for dramatic effect alone (it was taking a nostalgic, almost fantasy-like approach), but to me, destroyed some of the realism. He was nominated for an Oscar for it, so what do I know? Oh heck, I would of nominated him anyway too, the score was so good

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  12. #100
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Ante View Post
    You class that as Boogie ?? Even Schiff said it was not boogie.
    Listen to a master of boogie “Winifred Atwell” in particular the left hand, now that's boogie!



    No, I don't. It's Beethoven. The point is that enough people have made that comparison for András to discuss it in the video, and that I can see where they are coming from.
    Last edited by flamencosketches; Oct-30-2020 at 23:15.

  13. #101
    Senior Member Dan Ante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    No, I don't. It's Beethoven. The point is that enough people have made that comparison for András to discuss it in the video, and that I can see where they are coming from.
    What are you on about? What is close to or classed as classical ?
    "Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car.

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