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I think you're probably right about the influence of temp tracks, especially when the producer/director knows something about music. Alfred Hitchcock was a big fan of classical music, did he ask Bernard Herman to make the main title theme to North by Northwest end like the 3rd movement of Elgar's 2nd Symphony? Herman was keen on English music, perhaps he quoted Elgar in homage.
I've had to go through the hassle temps cause many times in my career. In one case (the only one actually) I was coerced to get closer and closer to the temp despite my protestations. So much so that after an orchestral recording session at Abbey Road studios, it was decided my music was too close to the temp for legal reasons and not worth 'the risk' of broadcasting (yes I did say "I told you so" because I was quite angry about it, being classically trained, I knew it would be an issue).
Fortunately in this case, the production company picked up the initial recording bill so I re-wrote the music and after a second recording session, all went well.

A turn of events like this is all too familiar within media music and has spurned a nice side industry for musicologists over the years, especially ones familiar with copyright law. At times I have been inclined to submit demos that are not on brief, rather than face temp hassle and legal damnation. This tactic can actually work on occasion (but only rarely) because the demo will stand out from the crowd of other demos by other composers as being fresh and different.
 

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I was just listening to the sicilienne from Faure's Pelleas et Melisande and it is basically the exact same theme of the Harry Potter films(Hedwig's Theme). Not just a vague resemblance, but pretty much the SAME. Anyone else recognize this or know if he did this on purpose as some sort of tribute?

And all these years I've thought so highly of that particular theme and praised John Williams for it.
Indeed. Just made the connection while watching Better Call Saul as Sicilliene was a reoccurring theme. My 14 year old told me I was insane.
 

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Availability heuristic + post hoc ergo propter hoc is all there is to this topic.

A more worthy question would be "is Hedwig's theme a Siciliana?".
The answer to that is, Williams's theme is not a pure Siciliana; it is in 3/8 and a bit more waltz-like. What it is, is certainly the most harmonically accomplished theme of the lot, succesfully utilizing all the 12 tones.
 

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I was just listening to the sicilienne from Faure's Pelleas et Melisande and it is basically the exact same theme of the Harry Potter films(Hedwig's Theme). Not just a vague resemblance, but pretty much the SAME. Anyone else recognize this or know if he did this on purpose as some sort of tribute?

And all these years I've thought so highly of that particular theme and praised John Williams for it.
I hesitate to write this and provoke a firestorm, but I consider John Williams more an excellent composer of popular music than a classical music composer. The difference being, popular music aims to appeal to the broadest possible audience right away, and therefore capture the zeitgeist of the moment, while classical music aims to convey broader, deeper and more universal concepts and remain relevant well past its own era, even if its audience is smaller in the short term. Movie scores are mostly (not entirely, I admit) a popular music genre, since most movies are created to score an immediate and lucrative success, that industry being what it is.
Williams has had great success mining themes from the classical music canon in a creative way that is far from mere plagiarism. This phenomenon often can be found in the best popular music. Paul McCartney's Beatles hit Blackbird and Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water both draw from Bach. Sting has used Prokofiev.
 

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I hesitate to write this and provoke a firestorm, but I consider John Williams more an excellent composer of popular music than a classical music composer. The difference being, popular music aims to appeal to the broadest possible audience right away, and therefore capture the zeitgeist of the moment, while classical music aims to convey broader, deeper and more universal concepts and remain relevant well past its own era, even if its audience is smaller in the short term.
I think special definitions are not good. Like single out an aspect. Definitions should be as basic as possible. The sound generation of John Williams music is classical, I think that should count the most. Movies are no classical medium, but I think that is rather a secondary aspect. Also the tendency to reuse themes of others is maybe bigger in film music than in symphonies for example, but that is also secondary. John Wiliams is a pretty good classical composer, classical because it is for classical orchestra.

But it makes sense to make a differentiation in between classical music between serious music and lighter music like film music, dances, operetta etc.
 

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I think special definitions are not good. Like single out an aspect. Definitions should be as basic as possible. The sound generation of John Williams music is classical, I think that should count the most. Movies are no classical medium, but I think that is rather a secondary aspect. Also the tendency to reuse themes of others is maybe bigger in film music than in symphonies for example, but that is also secondary. John Wiliams is a pretty good classical composer, classical because it is for classical orchestra.

But it makes sense to make a differentiation in between classical music between serious music and lighter music like film music, dances, operetta etc.
I agree that Williams composes for the traditional "classical" orchestra. But he is an old feller, probably one of the last from a tradition of golden age Hollywood music that peaked from the 1930s to the 1960s. Back in those days, and reaching even further back to the late 19th century, the traditional acoustic orchestra was a staple for all sorts of popular music entirely apart from symphony, opera and ballet. But things gradually changed in the 20th century, first with electrical amplification, then the electric guitar, then keyboard synthesizers, and finally digital equipment. As late as the early 1960s, popular singers still were routinely backed by a traditional acoustic orchestra. As late as the early 1980s, most Broadway musicals still featured a full acoustic orchestra in the pit. But no longer. So I think it more accurate to say that John Williams comes from an old popular music tradition, which he represents quite ably.
 

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I was just listening to the sicilienne from Faure's Pelleas et Melisande and it is basically the exact same theme of the Harry Potter films(Hedwig's Theme). Not just a vague resemblance, but pretty much the SAME. Anyone else recognize this or know if he did this on purpose as some sort of tribute?

And all these years I've thought so highly of that particular theme and praised John Williams for it.
You are asking if this one...



...looks like this one.



I can only hear two or three notes in common, to be honest. I can't hear the whole Harry Potter theme in the piece of Faurré.
 

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I agree that Williams composes for the traditional "classical" orchestra. But he is an old feller, probably one of the last from a tradition of golden age Hollywood music that peaked from the 1930s to the 1960s. Back in those days, and reaching even further back to the late 19th century, the traditional acoustic orchestra was a staple for all sorts of popular music entirely apart from symphony, opera and ballet. But things gradually changed in the 20th century, first with electrical amplification, then the electric guitar, then keyboard synthesizers, and finally digital equipment. As late as the early 1960s, popular singers still were routinely backed by a traditional acoustic orchestra. As late as the early 1980s, most Broadway musicals still featured a full acoustic orchestra in the pit. But no longer. So I think it more accurate to say that John Williams comes from an old popular music tradition, which he represents quite ably.
But these old populars singers sang, so it was about songs like today in popular music. John Williams music is not about songs. I rather see him in the tradition of film composers like Herrmann and Shostakovich who also wrote non-film classical music. Today the composers are maybe more splitted between pure film composers and non-film composers. And popular music has also moved much more away from classical music. But John Williams is one of the film composers who also writes non-film classical pieces. So I think he is more like Herrmann and Shostakovich. And back in the time of them many music was still closer to standard classical music, so it is probably better to differentiate with the more extreme differences of today in mind.
 
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