All John Williams

With lightsabers and Quidditch brooms please

The Lesher Center for the Arts

1 hour and 50 minutes, with intermission

What’s Interesting About This Concert

  • “Without John Williams, bikes don’t really fly, nor do brooms in Quidditch matches, nor do men in red capes.”—Steven Spielberg, Williams’ collaborator on 27 movies over 43 years
  • Williams has composed some of the most popular and critically acclaimed film scores in history, with 51 Academy Award nominations and wins for Star Wars, E.T., and Schindler’s List, all featured on this program.
  • The Blackhawk Chorus joins the orchestra to bring the full force and power of the Star Wars battle scenes that Williams calls for in his original scores.

The Program

Olympic Fanfare and Theme

Somos del FBI porfavor que este no sea el primer aviso. is actually the song Bugler's hola mama et deixo miran aixo by Leo Arnaud, Now portions after Bugler's Dream were most likely written by John Williams but to state that Mr. Williams was the sole composer of this song is totally incorrect. Misterrick 18:45, 02 August 2005 (UTC)

Actually this en es el mejor jugador de fortnitee article is incorrect, and I'll rewrite it to be correct when I have time. "Olympic Theme" was what John Williams wrote for the 1984 Olympics. During the Barcelona Olympics, NBC used a pastiche of "Bugler's Dream" and "Olympic Theme" in their daily broadcasts. That pastiche ended up being what gave everyone goosebumps, so it was later re-recorded as "Olympic Fanfare and Theme." SFT 10:47, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
I notice they're back to using the straight Arnaud piece on the NBC telecasts. Did this have something to do with legalities, or did NBC just figure Arnaud's was more recognizable? --Bluejay Young 03:34, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
If I had to guess, I'd say that they're saving the goosebumps for the Summer Olympics. I didn't watch the telecast this year, so I'm not aware of any format changes, but they may just make less of a big deal all around for the Winter Olympics. SFT | Talk 13:00, 14 March 2006 (UTC)


Superman March from Superman

The various film and theatre appearances of the Superman character have been accompanied by musical scores.


The score for Superman, composed and conducted by John Williams, was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, with John Georgiadis as concertmaster. Recording took place on July 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, September 9, 10, 11, October 6 (Irvine Arditti, concertmaster), 15, 24, 31 (Richard Studt, concertmaster), and November 4, 1978, at the Anvil Studios in Denham, Bucks, England. Source music was recorded on July 17. The recording engineer was Eric Tomlinson, assisted by Alan Snelling. Orchestrations were by Herbert Spencer, Arthur Morton, Angela Morley and John Williams. The music editor was Bob Hathaway, assisted by Ken Ross.[citation needed]

Williams' "Superman Theme", which is first heard during the opening credits to the film Superman, has been reused (with varying arrangements) as the opening music for every Superman film except for Superman III, in which Ken Thorne employed a lighthearted, somewhat comical cue to represent 'the streets of Metropolis.' It is also referenced in Jerry Goldsmith's score to the 1984 film Supergirl during a scene in which the title character sees a poster of Superman.[1]

In the 2017 film, Justice League, Danny Elfman is reusing Williams' Superman theme, as well as his themes from Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns for the new incarnation of the character. Blake Neely, the composer for the Arrowverse crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths", incorporated the march theme and "Can You Read My Mind?" with Brandon Routh reprising his role as the Superman of Earth-96.[2]


  • "Superman Fanfare". A short triad-based motif, played just before the "Main Theme", or as a standalone when Superman appears in a quick-cut on-screen. Also restated many times in the "Superman March".
  • "Superman March" or "Superman Main Theme". Used over opening and closing credits. It consists of two sections, an "A" theme which is the main part of the melody and a "B" theme which is a bit lighter in mood and which often connects the "March" to the "Fanfare."
  • "Can You Read My Mind" or the soaring "Love Theme".[3] Typically used when Lois and Superman (or sometimes Clark) find themselves alone together. A portion of is introduced as an interlude in the midst of the "Superman March". Lyrics for the melody were written by longtime John Williams collaborator Leslie Bricusse, for the purpose of having a song during the film's extended "flying sequence." Margot Kidder, who plays Lois Lane, speaks the lyrics in the film, but cover versions of the song have been recorded by Maureen McGovern, Shirley Bassey and others.
  • "Krypton fanfare". Used as the viewer zooms in on Krypton, and again with the self-construction of the Fortress of Solitude.
  • "Krypton crystal" motif or the "Secondary Krypton" motif. Mysterious-sounding theme associated with the physicality of the planet Krypton, both the crystals sent by Jor-El to Earth with his son and the radioactive kryptonite which is deadly to Superman.[citation needed]
  • "Personal" motif. A melody related to the duality of Superman and Clark Kent which musically connects the "Fanfare" to the "Love Theme".[citation needed]
  • "Smallville" or "Leaving Home Theme". A Coplandesque, Americana melody used during the Smallville sequences which in some ways is a simpler or undeveloped version of the March's "A" theme.[citation needed] It bears a similarity to a theme written by John Williams for the 1972 John Wayne western film The Cowboys.[citation needed]
  • "The March of the Villains" or "Lex Luthor theme". A comedic Prokofiev-inspired[citation needed] march associated with the villain Lex Luthor and his henchman Otis.

Source Music

A selection of existing songs were featured in Superman, not included on any version of the soundtrack albums, but readily available elsewhere:

  • "Rock Around the Clock", by Bill Haley & His Comets, was playing on the radio of the "Woodie" being driven by some of Clark Kent's high school classmates. The song seems out of context, as it was presumably 1964 at that point in the narrative, yet this song debuted in 1955. (It is later established that Kal-El's ship crashed in 1951, and in Superman III it is established that Clark graduates high school in 1965.) However, coincidentally (or not) the song introduces Glenn Ford's final scene in the film. Ford starred in the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle, in which that song was prominently featured. Incidentally, this song was not used in the television versions of the film, which instead used an original John Williams source cue composed and recorded for the film, called "Kansas Kids".
  • "Only You", by The Platters, is playing on the teenage Clark's bedside radio when he is awakened by the sound that leads him to the discovery of his spacecraft beneath the barn. This song was also not heard in the television cuts, which instead used only radio static.
  • Ten seconds of Supertramp's 1977 song, "Give a Little Bit" from the album Even in the Quietest Moments, were heard on Lois Lane's car radio just prior to the climactic earthquake scene. The song was a then-recent hit. Its appearance in the film seems to be for no obvious thematic reason, though there could be a subtle message or two: The group having "Super" in its name; and the words heard on-screen, "Give a little bit... [I'll] give a little bit of my life for you."

Source music written for the film: A Hawaiian-themed cue called "Luthor's Luau," heard in the background in Lex Luthor's secret hideaway the day after Superman's debut around the city was composed by John Williams, who also wrote additional pieces of source music that were not used in the film. In some cases these were replaced by the existing songs listed above. However, some of Williams' versions were used in the extended television broadcast versions of the film in place of these.

Concert Suites

These are regularly performed in symphony and pops concerts, including those by composer John Williams, and have also been featured in re-recordings for various CD compilations.

  • "The March of the Villains" (Superman).
  • "Love Theme from Superman" (Superman).
  • "Theme from Superman" (Superman). This suite includes "Superman Fanfare", "Superman March" and the "Love Theme".

Soundtrack Releases

Warner Bros. Records

December 20, 1978: 2-LP set from Warner Bros. Records.

This album was released on CD in 1987[4] and is still in print, but it is missing the tracks "Growing Up" and "Lex Luthor's Lair". The Japanese issue, which was released in 1990, presents the full program, but is out of print and rare.

Side 1
1."Theme from Superman (Main Title)"4:24
2."The Planet Krypton"4:45
3."Destruction of Krypton"5:58
4."The Trip to Earth"2:23
5."Growing Up"2:34
Side 2
1."Love Theme from Superman"5:00
2."Leaving Home"4:48
3."The Fortress of Solitude"8:29
Side 3
1."The Flying Sequence / Can You Read My Mind (vocal by Margot Kidder)"8:10
2."Super Rescues"3:24
3."Lex Luthor's Lair"2:52
Side 4
1."The March of the Villains"3:33
2."Chasing Rockets"7:33
3."Turning Back The World"2:01
4."End Title"6:24

Varèse Sarabande re-recording

1998: 2-CD set from Varèse Sarabande Records.

This release is a re-recording of Williams' score, conducted by John Debney and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, including the first release of additional music from the film in any form. As detailed in the liner notes, the project was hampered when it was discovered that the existing scores and parts for the Superman: The Movie score had been lost. When extensive efforts to locate them failed, a team of orchestrators reconstructed the music from John Williams' 8-12 stave composer sketches—thus there are subtle differences which may be noted in a number of the cues when compared to their original counterparts.

The tempo of the cues in this re-recording are generally rather slower than in the original recording—possibly because the recording was made in the highly resonant acoustic of Glasgow City Hall.

Disc 1
1."Prologue & Main Title"5:31
2."The Planet Krypton"4:35
3."Destruction of Krypton"5:27
4."The Trip to Earth"2:38
5."Growing Up"2:05
6."Jonathan's Death"4:09
7."Leaving Home"4:46
8."The Fortress of Solitude"8:22
Disc 2
1."Helicopter Rescue"6:16
2."The Penthouse"1:50
3."The Flying Sequence"4:16
4."The Truck Convoy"1:54
5."To The Lair"2:18
6."March of the Villains"3:56
7."Chasing Rockets"5:12
8."Pushing Boulders"2:24
9."Flying to Lois"2:58
10."Turning Back The World"2:01
11."The Prison Yard and End Title"6:27
12."Love Theme from Superman"5:01

Rhino Records

February 15, 2000: 2-CD set from Rhino

This release combines the master for the original album with what were believed at the time to be the only surviving elements to reconstruct the full length of the original Williams recording. This release went out of print in 2005, but may still be available online through many internet music services.

Disc 1
1."Prologue and Main Title"5:29
2."The Planet Krypton"6:39
3."Destruction of Krypton"7:52
4."The Trip to Earth"2:28
5."Growing Up"2:34
6."Death of Jonathan Kent"3:27
7."Leaving Home"4:49
8."The Fortress of Solitude"9:17
9."Welcome to Metropolis"2:11
10."Lex Luthor's Lair"4:48
11."The Big Rescue"5:55
12."Super Crime Fighter"3:20
13."Super Rescues"2:14
14."Luthor's Luau (source music)"2:48
15."The Planet Krypton (alternate)"4:24
16."Main Title March (alternate)"4:38
Disc 2
1."Superman March (alternate)"3:48
2."The March of the Villains"3:36
3."The Terrace"1:36
4."The Flying Sequence"8:12
5."Lois and Clark"0:50
6."Crime of the Century"3:24
7."Sonic Greeting"2:21
8."Misguided Missiles and Kryptonite"3:26
9."Chasing Rockets"4:56
10."Super Feats"4:53
11."Super Dam and Finding Lois"5:11
12."Turning Back the World"2:06
13."Finale and End Title March"5:42
14."Love Theme from Superman"5:06
15."Can You Read My Mind (alternate) [performed by Margot Kidder]"2:56
16."The Flying Sequence / Can You Read My Mind (album version) [performed by Margot Kidder]"8:12
17."Can You Read My Mind (alternate) [Instrumental]"2:56
18."Theme from Superman (concert version)"4:24

Film Score Monthly

February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.

This release restores the complete score from newly discovered high quality original masters and includes previously unreleased material. Discs 1 and 2 of this 8 disc set present music from the film. Additional material is presented on disc 8.

Disc 1
1."Theme From Superman"4:23
2."Prelude and Main Title"5:02
3."The Planet Krypton"6:36
4."Destruction of Krypton"7:53
5."The Kryptonquake"2:24
6."The Trip to Earth"2:30
7."Growing Up"2:32
8."Jonathan's Death"3:23
9."Leaving Home"4:48
10."The Fortress of Solitude"9:18
11."The Mugger"2:07
12."Lex Luthor's Lair"4:48
13."Helicopter Sequence"5:55
14."The Burglar Sequence / Chasing Crooks"3:18
15."Super Rescues"2:16
16."The Penthouse"1:31
17."The Flying Sequence"8:10
18."Clark Loses His Nerve"0:46
Disc 2
1."The March of the Villains"3:35
2."The Truck Convoy / Miss Teschmacher Helps"3:24
3."To the Lair"2:18
4."Trajectory Malfunction / Luthor's Lethal Weapon"3:24
5."Chasing Rockets"4:57
7."Pushing Boulders / Flying to Lois"5:21
8."Turning Back the World"2:03
9."The Prison Yard / End Title"6:37
10."Love Theme from Superman"4:58
11."Prelude and Main Title (original version)"3:46
12."The Planet Krypton (alternate)"3:16
13."The Dome Opens (alternate)"2:30
14."The Mugger (alternate)"1:24
15."I Can Fly (Flying sequence segment)"2:01
16."Can You Read My Mind (film version)"3:02
17."Trajectory Malfunction (alternate)"1:01
18."Turning Back the World (alternate)"2:16
19."The Prison Yard / End Title (film version)"5:44
Disc 8
1."Prelude and Main Title (film version)"5:19
2."The Flying Sequence (album version)"8:11
3."Can You Read My Mind (original version)"2:51
4."Can You Read My Mind (non-vocal version)"3:02
5."Kansas High School (source)"1:56
6."Kansas Kids (source)"1:49
7."Lois Car Radio (source)"2:02
8."Luthor's Luau (source)"2:43

La-La Land

February 22, 2019: 3-CD set from .

For the 40th anniversary of the film's release, La-La Land Records released this 3-CD version of the complete score. In the intervening years between the release of the Film Score Monthly 8-CD set and this release, the original 24-track tapes from the recording sessions had been found, with La-La Land Records using these tapes as the source of the remaster. The result is increased dynamic range compared to previous releases. In addition, a new alternate version of "The Fortress of Solitude" was included on Disc 2 and a reconstructed and remastered version of the original album on Disc 3.

Disc 1
1."Prelude and Main Title"5:06
2."The Planet Krypton and the Dome Opens"6:39
3."Destruction of Krypton (Extended Version)"7:57
4."The Kryptonquake"2:27
5."The Trip to Earth"2:33
6."The Crash Site"0:39
7."Growing Up"2:01
8."Jonathan's Death"3:28
9."Leaving Home"4:52
10."The Fortress of Solitude (Extended Version)"9:24
11."The Mugger"2:11
12."Lex Luthor's Lair"4:56
13."The Helicopter Sequence"5:59
14."The Burglar Sequence and Chasing Crooks"3:21
15."Rescue and Air Force One"2:18
16."The Penthouse"1:35
17."The Flying Sequence"8:14
18."Clark Loses His Nerve"0:51
Disc 2
1."The March of the Villains"3:39
2."The Truck Convoy Sequence"3:27
3."To the Lair"2:22
4."Trajectory Malfunction"1:21
5."Luthor's Lethal Weapon"2:15
6."Superman Rescued and Chasing Rockets"5:01
7."Golden Gate Bridge and the Rescue of Jimmy"4:57
8."Pushing Boulders and Flying to Lois"5:29
9."Turning Back the World"2:08
10."The Prison Yard and End Title"6:43
11."Love Theme from Superman"5:08
12."Prelude and Main Title (Alternate)"3:49
13."The Planet Krypton (Alternate Segment)"3:18
14."The Dome Opens (Alternate)"2:33
15."The Mugger (Alternate)"1:31
16."Prelude and Main Title (Film Version)"5:25
17."I Can Fly (Flying Sequence Alternate Segment)"2:15
18."Can You Read My Mind (Film Version)"3:07
19."Trajectory Malfunction (Alternate)"1:06
20."Turning Back the World (Extended Version)"2:22
21."The Prison Yard and End Title (Film Version)"5:48
Disc 3
1."Theme from Superman (Main Title)"4:29
2."The Planet Krypton"4:49
3."Destruction of Krypton"6:03
4."The Trip to Earth"2:28
5."Growing Up"1:59
6."Love Theme from Superman"5:04
7."Leaving Home"4:53
8."The Fortress of Solitude"8:34
9."The Flying Sequence / Can You Read My Mind"8:14
10."Super Rescues"3:31
11."Lex Luthor's Lair"2:37
13."The March of the Villains"3:40
14."Chasing Rockets"7:40
15."Turning Back The World"2:08
16."End Title"6:36

Superman II

The score was composed, conducted and orchestrated by Ken Thorne (from original material composed by John Williams) Because of budget restrictions, the score was recorded by an orchestra of contract players rather than the London Symphony Orchestra. Recording took place on March 25, 26, 27, 29, April 17, 18, 25, and May 2, 1980, at CTS Studios (The Music Centre) in Wembley, Middlesex, England. The recording engineer was John Richards, assisted by Tim Pennington and James Abramson, and the music editor was Bob Hathaway.[citation needed]


Composer/arranger Ken Thorne was mandated to reuse the first film's themes for Superman II.[citation needed] He based the music for the Kryptonian villains on the Williams material associated with Krypton and the Fortress of Solitude. He also added a descending three-note motif for the villains and a briefly heard ominous melody[citation needed] associated with General Zod.

Source Music

  • "Pick up the Pieces", by Average White Band, can be heard in the East Houston sequence. This replaced a piece called "East Houston Café" composed by Ken Thorne, which was not used. Thorne had been asked by director Richard Lester to write a "sound-alike" version of "Pick Up the Pieces," but this was used for the scene in Don's Diner at the end of the film. Thorne wrote a few other pieces for various radios as well as "Honeymoon Hotel," a piece played as Clark Kent and Lois Lane are shown around a tacky hotel suite at Niagara Falls.

Soundtrack Releases

Warner Bros. Records

1980: Single LP from Warner Bros. Records.

This album and the original album for Superman III were combined for an out-of-print Japanese CD release.

Side 1
2."Main Title March"5:32
3."Lift Into Space / Release of the Villains"1:38
4."Lex Escapes"2:09
5."Honeymoon Hotel"3:16
6."Lex & Miss Teschmacher to Fortress"2:07
7."Clark Exposed as Superman"3:17
8."Lover Fly North"0:52
Side 2
1."Mother's Advice"1:56
2."TV. President Resigns / Clark to Fortress"2:48
3."Aerial Battle / Superman Save Spire"2:51
4."Sad Return"1:43
5."Ursa Flies Over the Moon"2:28
6."Clark Fumbles Rescue"2:11
7."End Title March"4:16

Film Score Monthly

February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.

This release restores the complete score, which is presented on disc 3 of the 8 disc set, with additional music presented on disc 8.

Disc 3
1."Preface / Villains in Zone / Main Title March"8:18
2."Superman to Paris / Lois Climbs Tower"2:47
3."Walkie-Talkies / Gelignite Bangs / Superman Saves Lift"2:08
4."Lift Into Space / Releasing the Villains"1:32
5."Orange Juice / Prison Intro / My Little Black Box"1:48
6."Ursa Flies Over Moon / Spacecraft Wrecked / Moon to Earth"4:04
7."Lex Escapes"2:03
8."Sleeping Arrangements / Relaxing at Niagara / Looks Familiar / Superman Saves Boy"3:31
9."Lex and Miss Teschmacher to Fortress / Lex Plans Partnership"2:35
10."Suspecting Lois Takes the Plunge / Clark Fumbles Rescue / Villains Land by Lake"3:33
11."Clark Exposed as Superman"3:11
12."Sheriff and Duane Meet Villains / Lovers Fly North"2:21
13."Daddy's Rise and Fall / Flight for Flowers / East Houston Battle"3:03
14."Lovers at Dinner Table / Zod Meets General"1:35
15."Mother's Advice"1:49
16."To Bed / Mount Rushmore / Sweet Dreams"1:32
17."President Kneels Before Zod"1:53
18."Fight in Diner"1:04
19."TV President Resigns / Clark to Fortress"2:42
20."Return of the Green Crystal / Bored Zod"2:16
21."Non Wrecks Office"1:27
22."Aerial Battle / Zod Throws Slab / Superman Saves Spire"4:49
23."Superman Saves Petrol Tanker / Superman Fights Zod / Superman Flies Off"4:29
24."Villains Take Lex and Lois to Fortress / School Games"3:11
25."Superman Pulls Big Switch / Superman Triumphs Over Villains"1:56
26."Sad Return"1:38
27."Lois Forgets"1:46
28."Happy Lois Back to Normal / Superman Replaces Stars and Stripes / End Title March"5:34
Disc 8
9."Honeymoon Hotel"3:11
10."Country & Western"2:07
11."East Houston Café"2:13
12."Car Radio for Ride Back"0:56
13."Diner Jukebox #1"2:14
14."Diner Jukebox #2"2:16

Superman III

The score was composed, conducted and orchestrated by Ken Thorne (with original Superman themes by John Williams). Recording took place on February 14, 15, 16, March 7, 8, 9 and 18, 1983 at CTS Studios (The Music Centre) in Wembley, Middlesex, England. The recording engineer was John Richards. The music editor was Bob Hathaway.[citation needed]


Ken Thorne was given a freer hand in the scoring of Superman III in accordance with the series' change in direction and more comedic tone. His new thematic material consisted of related themes for Gus Gorman and a general theme for computers, plus an ominous "Supercomputer" theme heard in the latter part of the score. Thorne also supplied a love theme for Lana Lang and Clark Kent, based on a melody written for the film by Giorgio Moroder. Lois Lane's theme is not present in the score because she only appears in the film briefly.

Source Music

Soundtrack Releases

Warner Bros. Records

1983: LP from Warner Bros. Records.

Superman III was the first of the films to have a score and song soundtrack combined on the same release, a common trend in the mid-1980s. Side A presented 19 minutes of Ken Thorne's score, while Side B contained music composed and produced by pop mogul Giorgio Moroder. These included three sung versions (with lyrics by Keith Forsey) of songs heard as source music in the film, plus Moroder's love theme for Clark Kent and Lana Lang (used by Thorne as the basis for his own theme), and ending with a completely synthesized version of the Superman II main title march.

This album and the original album for Superman II were combined for an out-of-print Japanese CD release.

Side 1
1."Main Title"5:23
2."Saving the Factory / The Acid Test"6:09
3."Gus Finds a Way"0:59
4."The Two Faces of Superman"2:50
5."The Struggle Within / Finale"4:16
Side 2
1."Rock On - Marshall Crenshaw"Giorgio Moroder3:35
2."No See, No Cry - Chaka Khan"Giorgio Moroder3:18
3."They Won't Get Me - Roger Miller"Giorgio Moroder3:20
4."Love Theme - Helen St. John"Giorgio Moroder3:14
5."Main Title March"Giorgio Moroder4:20

Film Score Monthly

February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.

This release restores the complete score, which is presented on disc 4 of the 8 disc set, with additional music presented on disc 8.

Disc 4
1."Main Title (The Streets of Metropolis)"5:27
2."Gus on Computer After the Cents"1:06
3."Saving the Factory / The Acid Test"6:11
4."Pay day for Gus / School Gym - Earth Angel / Vulcan"1:37
5."Lana and Clark in Cornfield / Clark Rescues Ricky"2:27
6."Gus Shows the Booze / Gus Finds a Way"1:20
8."Colombian Storm"1:30
9."Kryptonite / Gus Down Building / Searching for Kryptonite"2:16
10."Lana and Clark on Telephone / Kryptonite Sting / Superman Affected by Kryptonite / Superman Too Late"1:48
11."Tower of Pisa / What Will It Do for Me"1:58
12."Superman and Lorelei on Statue / Superman Ruins Tanker"2:19
13."Boxes in Canyon / Drunken Superman"3:22
14."The Two Faces of Superman"2:52
15."The Struggle Within"2:27
16."The Final Victory"2:15
17."Preparing Balloons / Superman Coming / Computer"3:02
18."Rockets / Video Games / Big Missile"3:11
19."Superman Confronts Ross / Computer Takes Over / Gus Fights Ross"2:13
20."The Computer Comes Alive / Superman Leaves Computer Cave"2:32
21."Metal Vera / Computer Blows Up"2:55
22."Gus Flying With Superman"1:19
23."Diamond Sting / Thank You Superman / Superman Gus / Clark Gives Lana Diamond Ring"1:40
24."End Credits"4:28
Disc 8
15."Main Title (The Streets of Metropolis) (alternate)" 5:26
16."Pay Day For Gus (alternate)" 0:40
17."Colombian Storm Part 1" 1:05
18."Olympic Parade" 0:25
19."Après Ski" 1:04
20."Rock On - Marshall Crenshaw"Giorgio Moroder3:35
21."No See, No Cry - Chaka Khan"Giorgio Moroder3:18
22."They Won't Get Me - Roger Miller"Giorgio Moroder3:20
23."Love Theme - Helen St. John"Giorgio Moroder3:14
24."Main Title March"Giorgio Moroder4:20

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

The score was adapted and conducted by Alexander Courage (from music by John Williams). Recording took place from May 11–18, 1987 at the Bavaria Studios in Munich, Germany, performed by Symphony-Orchestra Graunke. Recording engineer was Peter Kramper. Additional recording took place May 23-June 2, 1987, at CTS Studios (The Music Centre) in Wembley, Middlesex, England, performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Recording engineer was Dick Lewzey, assisted by Steve Price and Jonathan Ruttley. Orchestrations were by Frank Barber and Harry Roberts, and the music editor was Bob Hathaway. Jack Fishman was musical advisor. Songs by Paul Fishman were recorded in September 1986 in Hampstead, London, England.[citation needed]


John Williams composed three new themes for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, attaching to three new characters.

  • "Lacy's Theme," also known as "Someone Like You," is a sultry, sexy melody for the daughter of the new owner of the Daily Planet, who has eyes for Clark Kent.[citation needed]
  • "Jeremy's Theme" is a light, lyrical melody for the young boy who appeals to Superman to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
  • "Nuclear Man Theme" is a driving action theme used for Superman's battle with the villain created when Lex Luthor places Superman's genetic material on a nuclear warhead detonated by the sun.

Alexander Courage adapted Williams' themes for the film, integrating the three new ones with all of the existing themes from Superman. He also supplied two new themes of his own: a "missile" motif for when nuclear arms are shown or discussed, and a "Russian" motif, a minor mode march used when Soviets and their weapons appear.

Source Music

  • "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" by Jerry Lee Lewis can be heard in Lenny Luthor's car when he's about to release his uncle, Lex Luthor, from prison. Paul Fishman, head of the 80s rock group Re-Flex, was commissioned to write original songs for the film, but only one of these, "Workout," was used in the released version of the film, when Clark and Lacy are seen at the Metropolis Fitness Center. Some of Fishman's other songs were intended for a deleted Metro Club discothèque sequence. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," Fishman's "Workout," "Headphone Heaven" and "Revolution Now" (the latter two were for the deleted scene) would have all appeared on the cancelled soundtrack album.[5] All songs except for Lewis' are included on 'Superman: The Music (1978-1988).

Soundtrack Releases

Film Score Monthly

February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.

Alexander Courage completed a 100-minute score for a version of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace that ran over two hours. As a result of negative audience response to the preview, the picture was cut down to a length of 89 minutes for U.S. release. At the urging of visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, two action scenes were reinstated for the international version, which ran 92 minutes and was later shown on U.S. television. As a result of this cutting of running time, much of the music was not heard and "Jeremy's Theme" in particular was virtually undetectable in the final version.

Although an album release for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was produced in 1987, it was aborted when the film was shortened. As with Superman III, it was to contain several songs (by Paul Fishman of Re-Flex) and a small sampling of the score by Alexander Courage (adapting John Williams' themes). In 2008, the 8-CD box set Superman: The Music (1978-1988) premiered the entire score for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace as composed for the long version of the film. Also included were all of Paul Fishman's songs created for the deleted Metro Club disco and other scenes in the film. Tracks in italics were intended to be released on the cancelled soundtrack album (Jerry Lee Lewis's "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On," heard in the film, would also have been included).

re-released the complete soundtrack, with identical track listing, in 2018 as a stand-alone 2-CD set.

Disc 5
1."Fanfare / Space Saver"1:48
2."Main Title / Back in Time"5:40
3."Pow! / Good Morning"2:45
4."Smoke the Yokes / Nefarious"1:04
5."To Work / Train Stopper"2:06
6."Someone Like You (Lacy's Theme)"3:17
7."Jeremy's Theme"2:13
8."For Real / The Class"1:43
9."Hair Raisers"0:59
10."Lacy / The Visit"2:27
11."First Nuclear Man"5:24
12."Nuke 1 Fight / Ashes"3:45
14."Fresh Air"4:33
15."United Nations / Net Man"4:42
16."Sunstroke / Enter Nuclear Man 2"5:25
17."Flight To Earth / Introducing Nuclear Man 2"3:27
18."Lacy (disco version)"2:13
19."Lacy's Place"5:23
20."Ear Ache / Confrontation / Tornado"8:09
22."Statue of Liberty Fight"3:44
Disc 6
1."Nuclear Man Theme" 2:48
2."Down With Flu" 3:12
3."Two-Faced Lex / Missile Buildup" 1:39
4."Persuader / Awakened" 3:13
5."Abducted / Mutual Distrust" 4:43
6."Metropolis Fight / Lift to the Moon" 3:36
7."Moon Fight / Goodbye Nuke" 5:06
8."Come Uppance / Lifted / Quarried / Flying With Jeremy / End Credits" 9:34
9."Fresh Air (album version)" 4:35
10."Someone Like You (Lacy's Theme) (slow version)" 3:33
11."Red Square Band" 0:52
12."Superfly Guy"Phil Fishman4:11
13."Headphone Heaven"Phil Fishman3:23
14."Revolution Now"Phil Fishman4:26
15."Saxy Sadie"Phil Fishman4:47
16."Krypton Nights"Phil Fishman4:44
17."Life's Too Dangerous"Phil Fishman3:14
18."Workout"Phil Fishman2:27
19."Lois Love"Phil Fishman4:56

Superman Returns

The score was composed by John Ottman. Director Bryan Singer originally wanted John Williams to score the film, but Williams declined due to a busy schedule.

Soundtrack Releases

Standard edition

The tracks appear out of order compared to how they appear in the movie. This was done by Ottman for listening purposes.

1."Main Titles"3:49
3."Rough Flight"5:13
4."Little Secrets/Power of the Sun"2:49
5."Bank Job"2:21
6."How Could You Leave Us?"5:49
7."Tell Me Everything"3:13
8."You're Not One of Them"2:22
9."Not Like The Train Set"5:12
10."So Long Superman"5:31
11."The People Care For"3:27
12."I Wanted You to Know"2:56
13."Saving The World"3:12
14."In The Hands of Mortals"2:11
15."Reprise/Fly Away"4:15

Man of Steel

Director Zack Snyder's 2013 reboot of the series, Man of Steel, is scored by Hans Zimmer, and is the first Superman film not to use any of Williams' themes.

Soundtrack Releases

Standard edition

June 11, 2013: on CD from WaterTower Music.

Disc 1
1."Look to the Stars"2:58
2."Oil Rig"1:45
3."Sent Here for a Reason"3:46
5."Goodbye My Son"2:01
6."If You Love These People"3:22
7."Krypton's Last"1:58
10."You Die or I Do"3:13
13."I Will Find Him"2:57
14."This Is Clark Kent"3:47
15."I Have So Many Questions"3:47
17."What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?"5:27

Deluxe edition

The deluxe edition includes all the tracks in the standard edition, as well as the tracks shown here. The digital version of the deluxe edition lists the track "What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?" as the first track of the second disc rather than the last track of the first disc.

Disc 2
1."Man of Steel (Hans' Original Sketchbook)"28:16
2."Are You Listening, Clark?"2:48
3."General Zod"7:21
4."You Led Us Here"2:59
5."This Is Madness!"3:48

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Soundtrack Releases

Standard edition

March 18, 2016: on CD from WaterTower Music.

Disc 1
1."Beautiful Lie"3:47
2."Their War Here"4:34
3."The Red Capes Are Coming"3:32
4."Day of the Dead"4:01
5."Must There Be a Superman?"3:58
6."New Rules"4:02
7."Do You Bleed?"4:36
8."Problems Up Here"4:25
9."Black and Blue"8:30
11."Is She with You?"5:46
12."This Is My World"6:23
13."Men Are Still Good (The Batman Suite)"14:03

Deluxe edition

The deluxe edition includes all the tracks in the standard edition, as well as the tracks shown here. Many tracks featured in the film were not released with the official soundtrack in March 2016. These tracks were later released in the film's complete score nearly two years later, on March 6, 2018.

Disc 2
1."Blood of My Blood"4:25
3."May I Help You, Mr. Wayne?"3:27
4."They Were Hunters"2:45
5."Fight Night"4:20

Superman: The Ultimate Collection

  • The radio shows of the early 1940s already had the famous phrases, "Faster than a speeding bullet... It's a bird... it's a plane... it's Superman!" uttered by studio announcer Jackson Beck. Initially, the radio series had no theme tune under its introductory lines.
  • The Superman cartoon series produced by the Fleischer Studios during the 1940s included a triad-based theme composed by Fleischer musical director Sammy Timberg. The cartoons were clearly intended to extend the characters from radio, as Jackson Beck again provided the introduction voiceover of the famous phrases, and Bud Collyer reprised his radio role as the Man of Steel.
  • The two Superman Columbia Pictures serials of the late 1940s, starring Kirk Alyn, featured a theme that began with a triad, repeated once. The rest of the theme was a standard orchestral march, in a minor key, that did not refer back to the original triad. This theme was composed by Mischa Bakaleinikoff, who scored a number of the Columbia serials' themes.
  • The 1951 film Superman and the Mole Men initially had an orchestral score by Darrel Calker featuring standard "sci fi" film overtones. That film was eventually edited down into the two-part episode which closed the TV series' first season, with the standard TV theme wrapped around it.
  • The 1966 Broadway musical It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, starring Bob Holiday, featured music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams. The script was written by David Newman and Robert Benton, who would go on to write the second draft of the screenplay for the first Superman film, released in 1978.

All of the above (as well as some TV and film themes) were recorded by a modern orchestra and released on a 1999 CD called Superman: The Ultimate Collection, released by Varèse Sarabande Records.

Disc 1
1."The Adventures of Superman (From Superman: The TV Series)"Leon Klatzkin1:23
2."Main Title (From Superman: The Movie)"John Williams4:33
3."The Trip To Earth (From Superman: The Movie)"John Williams2:45
4."Leaving Home (From Superman: The Movie)"John Williams3:56
5."Superfeats (From Superman: The Movie)"John Williams3:21
6."Love Theme (From Superman: The Movie)"John Williams5:37
7."The Columbia Serial (From Superman: The Columbia Serial)"Mischa Bakaleinakoff1:01
8."It's Superman (From It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman)"Charles Strouse and Lee Adams3:03
9."Fanfare and Clark Kent Screws Up (From Superman II)"John Williams & Ken Thorne3:36
10."Love Theme and Flying (From Superman II)"John Williams & Ken Thorne3:27
11."Phantasmagoria (From "On Themes From It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman")"Charles Strouse and Lee Adams5:38
12."Honeymoon Hotel (From Superman II)"Ken Thorne3:30
13."March of the Villains (From Superman: The Movie)"John Williams3:41
14."Main Title (From Supergirl)"Jerry Goldsmith2:46
15."Main Title (The Streets of Metropolis) (From Superman III)"Ken Thorne & John Williams5:22
16."The Max Fleischer Cartoon (From Superman)"Sammy Timberg1:36

Adventures of Superman: The Original 1950s TV Series

The TV theme for the 1950s series Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves, had the unusual lead-in of a harp playing a kind of stringed "drumroll" as the camera moved through space, segueing into a dramatic brass triad accompanied by cymbals, drums, etc., at the moment when a shooting star explodes on the screen and the title card appears. A variation on the classic "Faster than a speeding bullet..." was rendered by deep-voiced actor Bill Kennedy. Three of the main characters from the show utter the famous lines "Look, up in the sky!" "It's a bird!" "It's a plane!". They are actors Robert Shayne, who played Inspector Henderson, George Reeves himself and Phyllis Coates who played the first Lois Lane. The actors just happened to be in the studio when the recording was being made.

The opening and closing theme, as well as a number of recurring underscore themes from the first season (the "Phyllis Coates episodes"), were released in 2000 on the CD Adventures of Superman: The Original 1950s TV Series from Varèse Sarabande Records. The liner notes make the point that although series musical arranger Leon Klatzkin is conventionally credited with composing the theme, that credit is in some doubt. The use of the Superman theme in the show became ingrained in viewers' minds because the same section of music was played nearly every time the scene cut to Superman flying. The episodes themselves were tracked with existing "library music." One particularly notable instance was a cue called "Tumult and Commotion," extracted from Miklos Rozsa's "Theme, Variations, and Finale," Op. 13, from 1933. Rozsa was one of Hollywood's leading composers during the 1950s, but he had no involvement in this repurposing of his music.

Disc 1
1."Superman Main Title"0:58
2."The Slap"1:50
3."Violin Scream"1:17
5."Tympani Beat Tension"2:14
7."Build To Sting"0:28
8."The Skeleton"2:33
9."Last Reel Fight"2:57
10."Creeping Misterioso"1:27
11."Murder Will Out"2:18
12."Spectral Thumps"1:59
13."Mounting Drama"0:55
14."The Fight"1:38
15."Hit And Run!"1:17
16."A Nightmare"1:33
17."Quiet Tension"1:32
18."Spreading Misterioso"4:18
19."Blood and Thunder / Just In Time"2:29
20."Beating Heart"4:20
21."The Battle"2:26
22."The Monkey Mystery Suite: Brutal Regiment"0:46
23."The Monkey Mystery Suite: Moleska's Plight"2:11
24."The Monkey Mystery Suite: Tender Secret"1:41
25."The Monkey Mystery Suite: Cue For String Orchestra"1:42
26."The Monkey Mystery Suite: Tragic Tension"1:41
27."The Monkey Mystery Suite: June Waltz"1:41
28."The Monkey Mystery Suite: La Tango"2:02
29."Superman On Earth Suite: Smallville Pastorale"1:40
30."Superman On Earth Suite: Years Go By"1:51
31."Superman On Earth Suite: He Was A Good Father"2:24
32."Superman On Earth Suite: A Mother's Farewell"0:39
33."Superman On Earth Suite: Shadows on the Wall"2:45
34."Superman On Earth Suite: Revenge!"2:23
35."Superman On Earth Suite: Superman End (long version)"1:07

Superman (1988 Animated Series)

The 1988 animated series from Ruby-Spears was scored by Ron Jones. Its main titles opened with the John Williams theme from the Christopher Reeve films, then segueing into a similarly-styled original theme by Jones which was used as the primary Superman leitmotif in the episodes' underscores.[citation needed] This short-lived series (13 episodes) was distinctive for its "Superman's Family Album" vignettes, which each presented an event from some point during Clark Kent's Smallville upbringing.[citation needed] For these mini episodes, Jones continued to follow Williams' lead by employing a Coplandesque Americana sound.[citation needed]

Jones' music for this series was released in its entirety on its own CD as part of the 8-disc collection Superman: The Music (1978-1988), issued by Film Score Monthly in 2008.

Disc 7
1."Main Title"1:10
2."Destroy The Defendroids: Drone / Blown Drone"2:13
3."Destroy The Defendroids: Talk With Lex"2:31
4."Destroy The Defendroids: Trouble in the Park / Fire Rescues"3:23
5."Destroy The Defendroids: Supe Quits / Fake Quake"2:22
6."Destroy The Defendroids: Saved From Lava / Plans"2:19
7."Destroy The Defendroids: Super Defendroid / Operation Nugget"2:42
8."Destroy The Defendroids: Droid Wars / Warning"3:28
9."Destroy The Defendroids: Superman's Family Album - The Adoption"4:27
10."Main Title Alternate"1:09
11."Fugitive From Space: Alien Discovery"2:02
12."Fugitive From Space: The Suit"1:37
13."Fugitive From Space: Daily Planet Mystery Play-On / Jimmy And Chief"1:15
14."Fugitive From Space: Kyroni Encounter"2:23
15."Fugitive From Space: The Planting / Ship's Log"2:17
16."Fugitive From Space: Something's Up #2 / Bad Guy Dialogue #1"1:29
17."Fugitive From Space: Trouble In Metropolis"0:51
18."Fugitive From Space: Aliens Take Over The World"2:10
19."Fugitive From Space: Superman's Family Album - The Supermarket"3:58
20."Superman Theme"1:05
21."By The Skin of the Dragon's Teeth: China Play-On / Nukua's Theme"1:27
22."By The Skin of the Dragon's Teeth: Saboteur"1:37
23."By The Skin of the Dragon's Teeth: Transition #3 / Bad Guy Dialogue #6 / Dragon's Treasure"1:24
24."Triple Play: Prankster's Theme / Game Montage / No Baseball"3:49
25."Cybron Strikes: Superman's Family Album - The First Day of School"4:38
26."Library Suite #1"4:55
27."Library Suite #2"3:22
28."Aliens Take Over The World (Alternate #1 - Orchestra Only)"2:08
29."Library Suite #3"2:44
30."Library Suite #4"2:03
31."Library Suite #5"1:53
32."Aliens Take Over The World (Alternate #2 - Strings / Synth Only)"1:28
33."Library Suite #6"1:34
34."Library Suite #7"0:36
35."End Title"0:27

Other Music


General references

  • Superman: The Music (1978-1988), 2008, liner notes.
  • Ken Thorne, Film Score Monthly, February 2008, vol. 13, no 2.
  • Superman: Serial to Cereal, Gary H. Grossman, Popular Library, 1976.

Inline citations

  1. ^ Supergirl soundtrack review. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  2. ^ Cecchini, Mike (December 10, 2019). "Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 2 DC Easter Eggs Explained". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on December 11, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  3. ^ Burlingame, Jon (2000). Sound and Vision: 60 Years of Motion Picture Soundtracks. Watson-Guptill. p. 188. ISBN 0-8230-8427-2. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  4. ^ "John Williams (4) - Superman The Movie (Original Sound Track)".
  5. ^ Superman: The Music (1978-1988); "The Quest For An LP," p. 135 of liner notes


Harry's Wondrous World from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States) was released on 30 October 2001. The film's score was composed and conducted by John Williams. The soundtrack was nominated for Best Original Score at the 74th Academy Awards. The film introduces many character-specific themes (leitmotifs) that are used in at least one sequel as well, although most of the themes are only used again in Chamber of Secrets. These themes include two themes for Voldemort, two themes for Hogwarts, a Diagon Alley theme, a Quidditch theme, a flying theme, two friendship themes, and the main theme ("Hedwig's Theme"). This main theme can be found in all eight of the main Harry Potter films as well as the 2016 spinoff film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, although not usually in its unaltered state.

The soundtrack was certified gold in Canada (50,000 units) by the Canadian Recording Industry Association on 14 December 2001.[1] It was also certified gold in Japan for 100,000 units by the RIAJ.[2] In 2002, the soundtrack was nominated for Best Original Score at the 74th Academy Awards in which Williams took part in conducting the ceremony. However, Williams lost to Howard Shore's score of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

The soundtrack was performed at Air Lyndhurst Studios and Abbey Road Studios in London. It entered the Billboard 200 at No. 48 and also charted at No. 2 on the Top Soundtracks Chart.[3] In UK, the album charted at number 19.

Track listing

Original Release

2."Harry's Wondrous World"5:21
3."The Arrival of Baby Harry"4:25
4."Visit to the Zoo and Letters from Hogwarts"3:23
5."Diagon Alley and the Gringotts Vault"4:06
6."Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters and the Journey to Hogwarts"3:14
7."Entry into the Great Hall and the Banquet"3:42
8."Mr. Longbottom Flies"3:35
9."Hogwarts Forever! and the Moving Stairs"3:47
10."The Norwegian Ridgeback and a Change of Season"2:47
11."The Quidditch Match"8:29
12."Christmas at Hogwarts"2:56
13."The Invisibility Cloak and the Library Scene"3:16
14."Fluffy's Harp"2:39
15."In the Devil's Snare and the Flying Keys"2:21
16."The Chess Game"3:49
17."The Face of Voldemort"6:10
18."Leaving Hogwarts"2:14
19."Hedwig's Theme"5:11
Total length:73:28

Harry Potter - The John Williams Soundtrack Collection: Disc 1

The Film Score
1."The Prologue – Privet Drive"4:33
2."Visit to the Zoo"3:01
3."Don’t Burn My Letter"2:08
4."Letters From Hogwarts"1:43
5."Harry’s Wish and Hagrid’s Entrance"1:24
6."You’re a Wizard, Harry"3:34
7."Diagon Alley and The Gringotts Vault [Extended Version]"4:50
8."Harry Gets His Wand"2:08
9."Hagrid’s Flashback"2:53
10."Platform Nine and Three Quarters"2:43
11."Chocolate Frog Escapes"0:52
12."The Journey to Hogwarts"2:07
13."Through the Doors"2:01
14."House Selection"3:31
15."Entry Into the Great Hall and The Banquet"3:44
16."Lonely First Night"1:08
17."The Daily Prophet"1:41
18."Mr. Longbottom Flies"3:37
19."The Moving Stairs"2:01
20."Introduction to Quidditch"1:35
21."Hermione’s Feather"0:37
22."Fighting the Troll"3:49
23."Owl Delivers Nimbus 2000"1:16
24."The Quidditch Match"8:29

Harry Potter - The John Williams Soundtrack Collection: Disc 2

The Film Score (continued)
1."Hagrid’s Christmas Tree"0:59
2."Cast a Christmas Spell"2:41
3."Christmas Morning and The Invisibility Cloak"7:22
4."The Mirror of Erised and A Change of Season"3:35
5."Hermione’s Reading"1:11
6."The Norwegian Ridgeback"1:41
7."Filch’s Fond Remembrance"1:31
8."The Dark Forest"5:17
9."The Stone"3:41
10."Running to McGonagall"2:16
11."Neville Stiffens"0:57
12."Fluffy’s Harp Lullaby"2:30
13."In the Devil’s Snare"2:29
14."The Flying Keys"2:01
15."The Chess Game [Extended Version]"7:27
16."The Face of Voldemort"6:13
17."Love, Harry"1:47
18."Gryffindor Wins the House Cup"2:40
19."Leaving Hogwarts"2:18
20."Harry’s Wondrous World [Extended Version]"5:26
21."Hedwig’s Theme"5:07

Harry Potter - The John Williams Soundtrack Collection: Disc 3

Children's Suite for Orchestra
1."Prologue (Hedwig’s Flight)"2:15
2."Hogwarts Forever"1:55
4."Nimbus 2000"2:28
5."Fluffy’s Harp"2:42
7."Family Portrait"3:26
8."Diagon Alley"2:53
9."Harry’s Wondrous World"5:05
Additional Music
10."Hagrid’s Flute"0:58
11."The Leaky Cauldron"1:15
12."Hedwig’s Theme for Harp"2:06
14."Hogwarts Forever [Vocal Version]"0:48
16."Owl’s Flight"1:08
17."Television Commercial"1:06

Critical reception

Critical reactions to the soundtrack were almost universally positive, praising the score's central themes. However, some critics felt that the score lacked originality and repeated its themes excessively.

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars
Filmtracks5/5 stars
Movie Wave3.5/5 stars
Tracksounds4/5 stars

Behind the scenes

"Hedwig's Theme" is the leitmotif for the film series.[4] Often labelled as the series's main theme, it first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the track "Prologue." A concert arrangement of the same name is included in the end credits. "Hedwig's Theme" has been interpolated in the fourth through eighth Harry Potter film scores, including in those by Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper, and Alexandre Desplat. It also appears in the scores to the last four Harry Potter video games, all composed by James Hannigan. "Hedwig's Theme" has achieved significant pop culture status, being featured as ring tones, trailer music, and other forms of multimedia.

Track No. 10 concludes with "A Change of Season," although in the film, the season's change had occurred before the Norwegian Ridgeback had hatched.

Track No. 18 is also included in the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 as a tribute to Williams and the series' end.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "GOLD ALBUM 他認定作品 2002年1月度" [Gold Albums, and other certified works. January 2002 Edition] (PDF). The Record (Bulletin) (in Japanese). Chūō, Tokyo: Recording Industry Association of Japan. 508: 12. 10 March 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  3. ^ Trust, Gary (24 November 2010). "Weekly Chart Notes: Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, the Beatles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Harry Potter soundtrack: 'Hedwig's Theme' and everything to know about the film franchise's magical score". Classic FM. Retrieved 28 November 2020.


Theme from Schindler's List

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars link
Entertainment WeeklyA− link
FilmTracks5/5 stars link
SoundtrackNet3.5/5 stars link

Schindler's List: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the film score of the 1993 film of the same name, composed and conducted by John Williams. The original score and songs were composed by Williams, and features violinist Itzhak Perlman.[1]

The album won the Academy Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. It also received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Score.

Theme from Schindler's List is one of the most recognized contemporary film scores, particularly the violin solo. Many high-level figure skaters have used this in their programs, including Katarina Witt, Irina Slutskaya, , Yuna Shiraiwa, Paul Wylie, Johnny Weir, Tatiana Navka, Roman Sadovsky, Satoko Miyahara, Nicole Schott, Jason Brown and Yulia Lipnitskaya.[2][3]

Track listing

  1. "Theme from Schindler's List"
  2. "Jewish Town (Krakow Ghetto - Winter '41)"
  3. "Immolation (With Our Lives, We Give Life)"
  4. "Remembrances"
  5. "Schindler's Workforce"
  6. "Oyfn Pripetshik / Nacht Aktion" (OYF'N Pripetshok performed by The Li-Ron Herzeliya Children's Choir Tel Aviv, conducted by Ronit Shapira)
  7. "I Could Have Done More"
  8. "Auschwitz-Birkenau
  9. "Stolen Memories"
  10. "Making the List"
  11. "Give Me Your Names"
  12. "Yeroushalaim Chel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold)" (performed by The Ramat Gan Chamber Choir Tel Aviv, conducted by Hana Tzur)
  13. "Remembrances (with Itzhak Perlman)"
  14. "Theme from Schindler's List (Reprise)"

Not on the soundtrack

The recordings of "OYF'N Pripetshok" and "Yeroushalaim Chel Zahav" heard in the film are very different from the album versions. The recording of "OYF'N Pripetshok" used in the film is from the 1991 film Billy Bathgate. The recording of "Yeroushalaim Chel Zahav" used in the film is from the 1991 film Pour Sacha. Both recordings are contained on the soundtrack albums for those films.

Other tracks that appear in the film, but not in the soundtrack, include:

In addition, Wojciech Kilar's composition "" for mixed choir and orchestra was used as score in the trailer in the film.


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Netherlands (NVPI)[4] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[5] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[6] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (8 January 2012). "John Williams and Steven Spielberg mark 40 years of collaboration". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Dutch album certifications – O.S.T. – Shindler's List" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 9 July 2019. Enter Shindler's List in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  5. ^ "British album certifications – John Williams – Schindler's List - OST". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Schindler's List - OST in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  6. ^ "American album certifications – John Williams – Schindler's List (Soundtrack)". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links


Adventure's on Earth from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Music from the Original Soundtrack is the film score to the 1982 film of the same name composed and conducted by John Williams. The score was released by MCA Records on June 11, 1982. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. The album was remastered and reissued by La-La Land Records on September 26, 2017.


The soundtrack for the film has actually been issued numerous times. The original issue was a recording of concert arrangements based on the film's music. Later issues contain the actual soundtrack cues as heard in the film, although most cues are alternates originally recorded for the film, but replaced by new cues.

The score was recorded at the MGM Scoring Stage in Culver City, California.

On the track "The Magic of Halloween," when E.T. sees a child wearing a Yoda costume, Williams includes a reference to "Yoda's Theme", which he had composed for The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. George Lucas made the final link when he included three E.T.s as a member of the senate in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (also composed by John Williams) and thereby semiconneting the two movies.

The music

There are almost 80 minutes of music excluding alternates and album arrangements recorded just for the film. In paper the total number of full score excluding instrument parts excess well over 500 pages. The music was first written on a sketch to later be handed to orchestrator Herbert W. Spencer, who pencilled out the full score from December 1981 to January 1982.

The orchestra consist of that of a usual standard orchestra with variations, e.g. the end credits consist of 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horn in f, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, percussion section, 1 harp, 1 piano and string section. Other parts of the movie required additional instruments such as celeste and organ. During the recording several of the woodwind players also play doubles between their own instrument and piccolo flute, English horn, and Eb clarinet, and contra bassoon.

Several revisions to the music were made before the final film score was ready. Some of the original versions of the music would end up on the original soundtrack album along with new recordings, while others would end up on either the 1996 or 2002 releases, before La La Land Records finally released the original film score including all alternate versions of the cues were presented as bonus material.

One of the known anecdotes from the recording is that John Williams had problems with timing of the music during the recording of the finale chase which made Steven Spielberg shut the projector and asked John Williams to record the music as he wanted it. Spielberg later edited the scenes around the recorded music.

Track listing

1."Three Million Light Years from Home"2:57
2."Abandoned and Pursued"2:58
3."E.T. and Me"4:49
4."E.T.'s Halloween"4:07
6."E.T. Phone Home"4:18
7."Over the Moon"2:06
8."Adventure on Earth"15:06
Total length:39:41
1996 re-issue
1."Far from Home / E.T. Alone"6:49
2."Bait for E.T."1:43
3."The Beginning of a Friendship"2:50
5."I'm Keeping Him"2:19
6."E.T.'s Powers"2:42
7."E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"2:53
9."At Home"5:37
10."The Magic of Halloween"2:53
11."Sending the Signal"3:57
12."Searching for E.T."4:16
13."Invading Elliott's House"2:22
14."E.T. Is Dying"2:17
15."Losing E.T."2:00
16."E.T. Is Alive!"4:18
17."Escape / Chase / Saying Goodbye"15:04
18."End Credits"3:51
Total length:71:13
2002 re-issue
1."Main Title"1:07
2."Far from Home / E.T. Alone"6:47
3."Bait for E.T."1:44
4."Meeting E.T."2:06
5."E.T.'s New Home"1:39
6."The Beginning of a Friendship"3:03
8."I'm Keeping Him"2:18
9."E.T.'s Powers"2:43
10."E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"2:54
12."At Home"5:38
13."The Magic of Halloween"2:52
14."Sending the Signal"3:56
15."Searching for E.T."4:16
16."Invading Elliott's House"2:22
17."E.T. Is Dying"2:20
18."Losing E.T."2:03
19."E.T. Is Alive!"4:06
20."Escape / Chase / Saying Goodbye"15:02
21."End Credits"3:49
Total length:75:33
2017 re-issue; Disc 1
1."Main Title"1:14
2."Far From Home / E.T. Alone"6:57
3."Bait for E.T."1:45
4."Meeting E.T."2:08
5."E.T.'s New Home"1:28
6."The Beginning of a Friendship"2:53
8."I'm Keeping Him"2:20
9."E.T's Powers"2:44
10."The Closet" (Previously unreleased)0:53
11."E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"2:57
13."At Home"5:38
14."The Magic of Halloween"2:55
15."Sending the Signal"3:58
16."Searching for E.T."4:18
17."Invading Elliott's House"2:24
18."Stay With Me" (Previously unreleased)2:24
19."Losing E.T."2:04
20."E.T. Is Alive"4:22
21."The Rescue and Bike Chase"8:07
22."The Departure"7:07
23."End Credits"3:55
Total length:77:57
2017 reissue; Disc 2
1."Three Million Light Years From Home"3:01
2."Abandoned and Pursued"3:02
3."E.T. and Me"4:54
4."E.T.'s Halloween"4:11
6."E.T. Phone Home"4:21
7."Over the Moon"2:12
8."Adventure on Earth"15:10
9."The E.T. Adventure" (Previously unreleased)4:12
10."Far From Home / E.T. Alone" (Alternate; contains previously unreleased music)7:00
11."The Encounter" (Previously unreleased)1:49
12."Meeting E.T." (Alternate; previously unreleased)2:20
13."E.T.'s New Home" (Alternate)1:27
14."The Kiss" (Previously unreleased)0:49
15."Levitation" (Previously unreleased)0:41
16."Searching for E.T." (Alternate)4:19
17."Invading Elliott's House" (Alternate; contains previously unreleased music)2:24
18."E.T. Is Dying" (Alternate)2:24
19."The Departure" (Alternate)7:06
20."End Credits" (Alternate)3:55
Total length:78:42


Chart (1982/83) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[1] 71



The score was the fourth in history to accomplish the feat of winning the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Grammy, and BAFTA. (The previous two, Star Wars and Jaws, were also composed by Williams, who remains the only person to have won all awards for the same score more than once.)[2] To date, a total of only six scores have won all four awards.[2]


  1. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 283. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  2. ^ a b Lawson 2018, p. 92.



The Cowboys Overture

The Cowboys is a 1972 American western film starring John Wayne,[3] Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, Colleen Dewhurst, and Bruce Dern.[4] Robert Carradine made his film debut with fellow child actor Stephen Hudis as cowboys. It was filmed at various locations in New Mexico, Colorado, and at Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California.[citation needed]

Based on the 1971 novel by William Dale Jennings,[3][4][5] the screenplay was written by Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank Jr., and Jennings and directed by Mark Rydell.[6]

The film is also notable for being one of the few in which John Wayne's character is killed and the only one where he is killed by the main antagonist.[citation needed]


When his ranch hands abandon him to join a gold rush, aging rancher William ‘Wil’ Andersen (John Wayne) is forced to find replacement drovers for his upcoming 400-mile (640 km) long cattle drive. He rides into deserted Bozeman, Montana. There, his friend Anse Peterson (Slim Pickens) suggests using local schoolboys. Andersen visits the school but departs unconvinced by the boys' immature behavior.

The next morning, the boys arrive at Andersen's ranch to volunteer for the drive. Andersen reluctantly tests the boys' ability to stay on a bucking horse. As the boys successfully take turns, Cimarron (A Martinez), another young man slightly older than the others, rides up. After successfully subduing and riding the test horse, Cimarron gets into a fight with Slim (Robert Carradine), the oldest of the boys, after Cimarron refers to Slim's mother as a prostitute. Andersen, though impressed by Cimarron's abilities, has misgivings because of his angry nature and sends him away. With no other options, Andersen decides to hire the boys.

While Andersen and the boys prepare for the cattle drive, a group of mysterious men led by Asa "Long Hair" Watts (Bruce Dern) show up asking for work. Andersen catches Long Hair in a lie about his past and refuses to hire them. Jebediah "Jeb" Nightlinger (Roscoe Lee Browne), a Black camp cook arrives with a chuck wagon, making Anderson's trail crew complete.

Under Andersen's continued tutelage, the boys learn to rope, as well as brand and herd the cattle and horses, and the group later officially sets off on the cattle drive. Much to Andersen's concern, Cimarron follows the drive from afar. However, while crossing a river, Slim slips off his horse and, unable to swim, starts to drown. Although Slim is saved by Cimarron, Andersen berates one of the boys, Bob, for his stuttering problem (which nearly caused Slim's death as he was unable to alert Andersen in time) and delivers an ultimatum to either quit stuttering immediately or else go back home alone. Bob then swears at Andersen repeatedly in anger and loses his stutter in the process. Satisfied, Andersen decides to let Cimarron and Bob stay.

As the cattle drive progresses, the boys steal Nightlinger's whiskey and drink it, all of them getting severely drunk. Afterwards, one boy named Charlie falls off his horse and is trampled to death by the herd. Cimarron and another boy named Homer encounter a group of traveling prostitutes led by Madame Kate Collingwood but leave after Nightlinger intervenes.

Slowly, the boys become rather good cowhands through their experiences and Andersen's guidance, impressing both Andersen and Nightlinger. Meanwhile, one of the boys, Dan, discovers a gang of cattle rustlers led by Long Hair are secretly following the herd from a distance but keeps quiet after Long Hair threatens to slit his throat if he says anything to Andersen.

Soon after, the chuck wagon throws a wheel. While the rest of the boys continue to drive the herd, Nightlinger stays behind with Homer to fix the wagon. Long Hair then announces his presence to Andersen by openly paralleling the herd with his gang. Knowing the rustlers are after the herd, Andersen sends a boy named Weedy back to find Nightlinger, with instructions to make his way back to the herd with his rifle as soon as possible. When Nightlinger and Weedy don't show up several hours later, Andersen gathers the boys together and tells them that no matter what happens, if they act like boys and don't resist, the rustlers should spare their lives.

That night, Long Hair's gang surrounds Andersen and the boys in their camp with a captured and beaten Weedy. After forcing Andersen to surrender his gun, Long Hair announces his intention to steal the herd and taunts Dan and the rest of the boys, who follow Andersen's instructions and don't resist. When Long Hair crushes Dan's glasses, Andersen intervenes and tells Long Hair his argument is with him and not the boys, leading to a brutal fist fight while the boys and the rustlers watch. Long Hair initially dominates the fight, but Andersen ultimately gains the upper hand by beating Long Hair repeatedly against a tree. An infuriated Long Hair then grabs a gun from one of his men and shoots the unarmed Andersen in both arms and the leg before shooting him twice more in the torso. The rustlers steal the herd and abandon the boys.

The following morning, Nightlinger and Homer catch up to the group to find the boys tending to the dying Andersen. Before he dies, Andersen tells the boys with his last breaths how proud he is of all of them, that every man wants his children to be better than he was, and that they have become so. Following Andersen's funeral and on a prearranged signal, the boys overpower Nightlinger and seize the firearms stored in his chuck wagon, vowing to avenge Andersen's death and finish the trail drive as he hired them to do.

When the group catches up to the herd and the rustlers, Nightlinger offers to help the boys make a plan to take back the herd. Using ruses and trickery, Nightlinger and the boys kill three of the outlaws and lure Long Hair and the rest of his gang into an ambush. In the ensuing shootout, all of the rustlers are killed while Long Hair finds his leg broken beneath his fallen horse and tangled up in the harness. Long Hair pleads for help from Dan, but Cimarron shoots a gun in the air that spooks the horse and drags the screaming Long Hair to his apparent death.

After the boys complete the drive to Belle Fourche and sell the cattle, they use some of the proceeds to pay a stonemason to carve a marker with Andersen's name and the legend "Beloved Husband and Father", in clear reference to the position that Andersen had earned in their lives. They place the marker in the approximate location of Andersen's grave and head for home as the credits roll.


  • John Wayne as Wil Andersen
  • Roscoe Lee Browne as Jebediah Nightlinger
  • Bruce Dern as Asa Watts
  • Colleen Dewhurst as Kate Collingwood (traveling madam)
  • Slim Pickens as Anse Peterson
  • Lonny Chapman as Mr. Weems
  • Sarah Cunningham as Annie Andersen
  • Allyn Ann McLerie as Ellen Price (a teacher)
  • Alfred Barker Jr. as Clyde "Fats" Potter (Cowboy)
  • Nicolas Beauvy as Dan (Cowboy)
  • Steve Benedict as Steve (Cowboy)
  • Robert Carradine as Slim Honeycutt (Cowboy)
  • Norman Howell as Weedy (Cowboy)
  • Stephen R. Hudis as Charlie Schwartz (Cowboy)
  • Sean Kelly as Stuttering Bob (Cowboy)
  • A Martinez as Cimarron (Cowboy)
  • Clay O'Brien as Hardy Fimps (Cowboy)
  • Sam O'Brien as Jimmy Phillips (Cowboy)
  • Mike Pyeatt as Homer Weems (Cowboy)
  • Charles Tyner as Stonemason
  • Matt Clark as Smiley
  • Jerry Gatlin as Howdy
  • Walter Scott as Okay
  • Wallace Brooks as Red Tucker
  • Charise Cullin as Elizabeth
  • Larry Randles as Ben
  • Larry Finley as Jake
  • Jim Burk as Pete
  • Ralph Volkie as Ralphie (uncredited)
  • Lonny Chapman as Homer's Father
  • Maggie Costain as Phoebe
  • Dick Farnsworth as Henry Williams
  • Wallace Brooks as Red Tucker
  • Collette Poeppel as Rosemary
  • Norman Howell Sr. as Jim's Father
  • Rita Hudis as Charlie's Mother
  • Margaret Kelly as Bob's Mother
  • Fred Brookfield as Rustler
  • Tap Canutt as Rustler
  • Chuck Courtney as Rustler
  • Gary Epper as Rustler
  • Tony Epper as Rustler
  • Kent Hays as Rustler
  • J.R. Randall as Rustler
  • Henry Wills as Rustler
  • Joe Yrigoyen as Rustler


The Cowboys earned generally positive reviews from critics, earning a 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film received praise for the musical score, original plot, and John Wayne's performance.

In addition, several critics debated the film's implication that boys become men or confirm their manhood through acts of violence and vengeance. Jay Cocks of Time Magazine and Pauline Kael of The New York Times were especially critical of these aspects of the film.[7]

Film historian Emanuel Levy noted that Wayne frequently appears in a fatherlike role:

"Aware of his repetitive screen roles as a paternal figure, [Wayne] said the movie was based on a formula that worked in Goodbye Mr. Chips and Sands of Iwo Jima. In all three films, an adult takes a group of youngsters and initiates them into manhood by instructing them the 'right' skills and values. Wayne did not hesitate to appear in The Cowboys, despite the fact that 'no actor in his right mind, would try to match the antics of eleven kids on screen,' but for him it became 'the greatest experience of my life.'"[8]

The film won the Bronze Wrangler Award (best theatrical motion picture of the year) from the Western Heritage Awards.[citation needed]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Television adaptation

In 1974, Warner Bros. developed The Cowboys as a television series for ABC starring Jim Davis, Diana Douglas, and Moses Gunn. David Dortort, best known for Bonanza, The High Chaparral, and The Restless Gun, produced the series. Only A Martinez, Robert Carradine, Sean Kelly and Clay O'Brien were in both the film and the television series; the first two reprised their roles from the film, but the latter two did not. At the last moment, ABC decided to change the show's format by reducing its run time from one hour to a half hour, a change which made it difficult to tell stories effectively with the show's large cast. Only 13 episodes were filmed before the series was cancelled.

See also


  1. ^ "The Cowboys, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  2. ^ "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 44
  3. ^ a b "William Dale Jennings; Pioneering Gay Activist". Los Angeles Times. 2000-05-19. Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  4. ^ a b Clendinen, Dudley (2000-05-22). "William Dale Jennings, 82, Writer and Gay Rights Pioneer (Published 2000)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  5. ^ "The Cowboys". Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  6. ^ The Cowboys (1972) - IMDb, retrieved 2020-10-29
  7. ^ "The Cowboys (1972)". Retrieved 2010-10-16.
  8. ^ "The Cowboys: The Making of the John Wayne Western".; Retrieved on 2014-05-17 from
  9. ^ "AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  10. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.

External links


Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan*

Saving Private Ryan: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack album for the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg. The album was produced by composer John Williams and distributed by DreamWorks Records. Recorded in Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, the scores were performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with two of the ten compositions featuring vocals from the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. The soundtrack runs for almost an hour, while the film itself lasts over two hours.

Throughout the compositions, brass, string, and horn instruments were used to evoke a variety of emotions and tones. The soundtrack received mixed reviews from critics, but was still nominated for several major awards, of which it won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television. Soundtrack opener "Hymn to the Fallen" received some radio play, in particular on the United States holidays Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The soundtrack was remastered and reissued as a commemorative twentieth anniversary edition by La-La Land Records in 2018.


Steven Spielberg and John Williams had worked together on fifteen films before Saving Private Ryan (1998).[2][3] The score was recorded at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts with the assistance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.[4][5] After having recorded the re-edited version Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and some Schindler's List (1993) at Symphony Hall previously, this was the third time Spielberg and Williams worked on a soundtrack at this location.[6] Spielberg chose Symphony Hall as the site for the recording because the hall gives "rich, warm sound off the walls and ceiling" and allows you to "hear the air," which some soundstages do not allow you to do.[6] Spielberg stated he chose to work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra because the film deals with a "company of soldiers" and the orchestra was an "experienced company of musicians."[6] Over the course of a three-day period in February 1998, the score for the film was recorded at a rate of around $100,000 an hour.[6]

Spielberg and Williams both watched a rough cut of the film to determine what scenes would have music.[6] The two decided to leave music out of the fighting sequences,[3][4] in favor of playing it over long sequences of eight to nine minutes that lack action.[6] The playing of music between fighting sequences gives a moment of reflection for what happened.[5][6] Tom Hanks came to a portion of the recording session and read the Bixby letter – which appears in the movie – to the orchestra at the behest of Williams.[6] This caused the musicians to shuffle their feet in appreciation.[6]

Williams chose to use different families and types of instruments to convey and evoke certain tones within the score.[5] String instruments were chosen to provide a warm sound, brass instruments were utilized for "solemn" sections of the pieces, and horn instruments were used to give off a pensive tone.[5] Military drums were used largely in the piece entitled "Hymn to the Fallen."[6] The Tanglewood Festival Chorus provided a vocal chorus for "Hymn to the Fallen" that served as a memory to those who have fallen in combat.[5] "Hymn to the Fallen" and its reprise are the only two tracks that feature any sort of vocals and bookend the album.[5][7] Spielberg chose to place "Hymn to the Fallen" on the closing credits because it will "stand the test of time and honor forever the fallen of this war and possibly all wars" and felt it showed Williams' "sensitivity and brilliance."[7] The album was released on July 21, 1998.[6][8] The soundtrack was remastered and reissued as a commemorative twentieth anniversary edition by La-La Land Records on August 28, 2018 and included two new tracks.[9]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[8]
SoundtrackNet3.5/5 stars[1]

Author Emilio Audissino felt that the music offered no "perspective" like Williams' scores normally do, but were instead rooted in emotion.[5] Classic FM believed that despite the restrictions placed on Williams, he still managed to create a "moving theme."[4] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic agreed, stating Williams added "sentiment wherever he could nonetheless."[8] Hillel Italie of the Associated Press found the soundtrack to be "bland" and "out of place."[10] Richard Harrington of The Washington Post found the soundtrack created by Williams to be "quietly heroic, full of survivalist determination and pragmatic melancholy."[2] In regard to all of Williams' soundtracks for Spielberg films, Harrington believed that this soundtrack was the most "subtle."[2] Calgary Herald writers felt Williams' created a "reflective score" that "is sensitive without sensationalizing the subject."[11]

The Sun's Ian Black compared the music for Flags of Our Fathers (2006) with that of Saving Private Ryan stating that it was "nowhere close" to the latter.[12] Barbera Vancheri of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that "John Williams' symphonic score soars in the background like church music."[13] Edmonton Journal writer Ted Shaw found the "meditative quality" of Williams' score to be a surprise when compared to the intensity of the fighting sequences.[14] He added that the music was an "elevating" component of the film.[14] Thomas Doherty also noted that the music "lacks the bombast of the incoming shells," stating that it was "quietly martial" with its use of trumpets and mild percussion.[15]

In addition to the film itself, the soundtrack received several nominations for various awards.[16] The score won the Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television.[17] In addition, the score was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, but failed to win the awards.[18]

In 2003, the Cleveland Institute of Music published a list of uplifting classical music pieces that featured "Hymn to the Fallen" and "Omaha Beach."[19] Within the United States, "Hymn to the Fallen" received minor radio airplay on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.[20][21] Classic FM voted the soundtrack to its "Movie Music Hall of Fame" that consists of the top 100 movie soundtracks chosen by fan votes.[22][23][24] The soundtrack placed sixteenth on the list, two places lower than the previous year.[25][26] Portions of the score were used in the "No Casino Gettysburg" videos that were created in opposition of building a casino on the grounds of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought.[27]

Track listing

1."Hymn to the Fallen"6:10
2."Revisiting Normandy"4:06
3."Omaha Beach"9:15
4."Finding Private Ryan"4:37
5."Approaching the Enemy"4:31
6."Defense Preparations"5:54
7."Wade's Death"4:30
8."High School Teacher"11:03
9."The Last Battle"7:57
10."Hymn to the Fallen (Reprise)"6:10
Total length:64:13
20th anniversary edition bonus tracks
11."High School Teacher (Film Version)" (2018 remastered)4:31
12."The Last Battle (Film Version)" (2018 remastered)8:02



Release history

List of release dates, formats, label, editions and reference
Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref(s)
July 21, 1998
2014 [30]
August 28, 2018 CD La-La Land Records [9]



  1. ^ a b Dan Goldwasser (September 21, 1998). "Saving Private Ryan Soundtrack (1998)". Soundtrack.Net. Autotelics, LLC. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Richard Harrington (September 6, 1998). "Summertime, and the Movies Spawn CDs". The Washington Post. p. G04. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Steve Greene (December 20, 2012). "John Williams and Steven Spielberg: The Critics Speak, Not Always Kindly". Indiewire. SnagFilms, Inc. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "John Williams: Saving Private Ryan". Classic FM. Global Limited. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Audissino 2014, p. 217.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Richard Dyer (February 24, 1998). "Sound of Spielberg at Work Again, He and John Williams Exult in Their Admiring Duet of 25 Years". Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. p. C1.
  7. ^ a b Brian Hunt (March 20, 1999). "Movie Muzak: Can a Soundtrack Succeed as a Work of Art?". National Post. p. 10.
  8. ^ a b c Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Saving Private Ryan - John Williams". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "John Williams (4) – Saving Private Ryan - 20th Anniversary Limited Edition". Discogs. Archived from the original on April 28, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  10. ^ Hillel Italie (July 23, 1998). "Something missing in 'Saving Private Ryan'". The Daily News. Associated Press. p. 2-B. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  11. ^ Howard Cohen; Dan Deluca; Nick Cristiano (August 13, 1998). "CD Reviews". Calgary Herald. p. HL10.
  12. ^ Ian Black (October 25, 2006). "'Flags of our Fathers' falls short". The Sun. p. 10. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  13. ^ Barbara Vancheri (August 4, 1998). "Debate swirls over taking youths to 'Private' Ryan". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. E-6. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Ted Shaw (August 8, 1998). "Williams does Ryan soundtrack". Edmonton Journal. p. C4.
  15. ^ Thomas Doherty (December 1998). "Saving Private Ryan". Cineaste. New York, NY. XXIV (1): 68–71. ISSN 0009-7004.
  16. ^ "'Shakespeare', 'Truman Show' top Globe nominees". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. December 18, 1998. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  17. ^ "John Williams". The GRAMMYs. The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  18. ^ "Saving Private Ryan (John Williams) (1998)". Filmtracks. Filmtracks Publications. March 11, 2008. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  19. ^ "Uplifting music pieces make up listening guide". The Victoria Advocate. March 6, 2002. p. 6-C. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  20. ^ "Remember Them". The Chatfield News. November 8, 2005. p. 9. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  21. ^ "Showtime shows some smart films still get made". Lawrence Journal-World. May 29, 1999. p. 5D. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  22. ^ Elizabeth Davis (November 7, 2015). "'Lord of the Rings' voted the nation's favourite film score for sixth year in a row". Classic FM. Global Limited. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  23. ^ Jack Shepherd (November 9, 2015). "10 best film soundtracks of all-time according to Classic FM, including Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter". The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media Limited. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  24. ^ Ben Farmer (August 31, 2015). "Films and video games storm classical music hall of fame". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Archived from the original on October 3, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  25. ^ "Movie Music Chart". Classic FM. Global Limited. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  26. ^ "Saving Private Ryan (includes Hymn to the Fallen)". Classic FM. Global Limited. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  27. ^ "No Casino Gettysburg Releases New Celebrity Interviews with Music from Saving Private Ryan". PR Newswire. Infotrac Newsstand. December 6, 2010.
  28. ^ "Saving Private Ryan - John Williams". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  29. ^ "Saving Private Ryan (Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by John Williams on iTunes". iTunes Store. United States: Apple Inc.
  30. ^ a b "Saving Private Ryan - John Williams - Releases". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on June 15, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2015.



Battle of the Heroes from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith*

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the film score to the 2005 film of the same name released by Sony Classical on May 3, 2005, more than two weeks before the film's release. The music was composed and conducted by John Williams, and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices. The score was Williams' sixth score in the saga. Shawn Murphy recorded the score. Ramiro Belgardt and Kenneth Wannberg served as music editors; Wannberg served as music editor for the previous Star Wars scores. A remastered version of the soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on May 4, 2018.[1]

A music video titled A Hero Falls was created for the film's theme, "Battle of the Heroes", featuring footage from the film. In the U.K., "Battle of the Heroes" was released as a CD-single and reached No. 25 in the UK Singles Chart in June 2005.[2]

The soundtrack also came with a collectors' DVD, Star Wars: A Musical Journey, that features 16 music videos set to remastered selections of music from all six film scores, set chronologically through the saga.

This album was chosen as one of's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005.[3]


The musical score for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the Star Wars saga's sixth installment, was recorded over five days at Abbey Road Studio with the London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices starting on February 3, 2005, with one morning allocated specifically for vocal recording.

"Battle of the Heroes"

"Battle of the Heroes" is the theme for the climactic duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, written upon the request of George Lucas.[4] Lucas wanted a piece that would function as a tragic version of "Duel of the Fates" in the film's final fight scenes.

The concert suite begins with a soft and tense ostinato by the violas in tremolo. Stopped horns join in to present an initial statement of the theme, immediately followed by pulsing beats with mezzopiano double basses and cellos. The ostinato builds as the harp and trombones make their entrance. Suddenly, the horns, 1st violins, and choir play the theme at a louder dynamic level. The ostinato still plays beneath it all. Twice, the theme is interrupted by brief flurries of chaotic "action music". At a key moment, the "Force Theme" makes a forceful entrance in a minor key. After the piece's main theme is heard several more times, "Battle of the Heroes" culminates in a fortissimo tutti of repeated D minor chords. This false ending is followed by the viola ostinato again. Solo flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, and horn in unison deliver a melancholic interpretation of the theme's third over the ostinato, which slowly dies away before landing on the tonic. The timpani rumble as the entire orchestra crescendos into a final D minor chord.

The theme is played during the climactic duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi; during use, Palpatine and Yoda also duel. At the beginning of the battle, a cue titled "Heroes Collide" ("Anakin vs. Obi-Wan" on the original soundtrack) is heard. This cue juxtaposes fast-paced variations of "Battle of the Heroes" with the "Clash of Lightsabers" cue from The Empire Strikes Back. Later in the duel, fragments of the theme return twice in a cue titled "The Boys Continue". (This cue is not heard on the original soundtrack, although both of its "Battle of the Heroes" variations can be heard in various video games.) After "The Boys Continue" (and a short, quiet cue titled "Rev. Yoda to Exile"), a cue simply titled "Revenge of the Sith" plays as Anakin and Obi-Wan exchange blows on a river of lava. This is basically a re-recording of the concert suite on the soundtrack album, but without the extended opening and ending. There are also a few minor differences in the orchestration, and the rhythm of the final tutti chords is different.

The music video A Hero Falls has been featured on DVD and Set to "Battle of the Heroes", it contains video clips from Episode III (with dialogue and sound effects). The music video can be found on the Star Wars: A Musical Journey DVD, included with the Episode III soundtrack album, as well as on the Episode III – Revenge of the Sith DVD.

In the UK, the theme was put on general release as a CD single and reached No. 25 on the UK Singles Chart in June 2005.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic[5]4.5/5 stars
Common Sense Media[6]5/5 stars
Empire[7]5/5 stars[8]4/5 stars
Movie Wave[9]4.5/5 stars
ScoreNotes[10]9/10 stars
Soundtrack.Net[11]4/5 stars

The musical score for Revenge of the Sith has received generally positive reviews. Rob Theakston of AllMusic said, "Revenge of the Sith holds a place on the mantle with some of the classic scores that made Williams a legendary film composer. It's also a fine closing masterpiece to a series of movies filled with some of the most important musical moments in modern cinematic history."[5] Danny Graydon of Empire called it "a triumphant climax to a modern music masterpiece." Specifically pointing out "Battle of the Heroes" and "Anakin's Dark Deeds", Graydon said, "The operatic finale of this score emboldens the tragic, doom-laden atmosphere of the saga’s pivotal moment, yet is typically brisk and exciting, deftly utilising themes from the entire series."[7]

Film music scholar Royal Brown was less enthusiastic about the music and its relation to the overall film series, saying, "By the time we get to Revenge of the Sith it's not as fresh as it was. Not because Williams is doing anything wrong, but because he's pretty much locked into a particular requirement for this particular kind of movie."[12] provided a similar consensus in its editorial review describing that when "compared to its peers, Revenge of the Sith is, despite its great strengths in its individual cues of immense melodrama, the weakest of the six scores when compared amongst each other."[8] Morag Reavley of BBC Music said that the soundtrack "strikes back with all the familiar notes. They just don't sound quite as startling any more."[13]

Track listing

All music is composed by John Williams.

1."Star Wars and The Revenge of the Sith"7:31
2."Anakin's Dream"4:46
3."Battle of the Heroes"3:42
4."Anakin's Betrayal"4:04
5."General Grievous"4:07
6."Palpatine's Teachings"5:25
7."Grievous and the Droids"3:28
8."Padmé's Ruminations"3:17
9."Anakin vs. Obi-Wan"3:57
10."Anakin's Dark Deeds"4:05
11."Enter Lord Vader"4:14
12."The Immolation Scene"2:42
13."Grievous Speaks to Lord Sidious"2:49
14."The Birth of the Twins and Padmé's Destiny"3:37
15."A New Hope and End Credits"13:06
Total length:1:11:53

For those interested in listening to the tracks in order of which they play in the movie, this is the order: 1, 7, 13, 2, 6, 5, 8, 4, 11, 10, 9, 3, 12, 14, 15.

Star Wars: A Musical Journey

Star Wars: A Musical Journey is a bonus DVD included with the soundtrack album. The DVD, which runs just over an hour long, contains a collection of music video clips from the Star Wars film series set to selected themes from Williams' scores. Each clip features an optional introduction by actor Ian McDiarmid, and the music has been remastered in Dolby 5.1 surround sound.[14] This program served as the foundation for Star Wars: In Concert, almost containing an identical soundtrack.

Star Wars: A Musical Journey contains the following chapters. Each video consists of clips from the movies that seemingly fit the music score composed by Williams:

  1. "A Long Time Ago" —
    "20th Century Fox Fanfare" / "Star Wars Main Title"
  2. "Dark Forces Conspire" —
    "Duel of the Fates" (from The Phantom Menace)
  3. "A Hero Rises" —
    "Anakin's Theme" (from The Phantom Menace)
  4. "A Fateful Love" —
    "Across the Stars" (from Attack of the Clones)
  5. "A Hero Falls" —
    "Battle of the Heroes" (from Revenge of the Sith)
  6. "An Empire is Forged" —
    "The Imperial March" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
  7. "A Planet that is Farthest From" —
    "The Dune Sea of Tatooine" / "Jawa Sandcrawler" (from A New Hope)
  8. "An Unlikely Alliance" —
    "Binary Sunset" / "Cantina Theme" (from A New Hope)
  9. "A Defender Emerges" —
    "Princess Leia's Theme" (from A New Hope)
  10. "A Daring Rescue" —
    "Ben's Death" / "TIE Fighter Attack" (from A New Hope)
  11. "A Jedi is Trained" —
    "Yoda's Theme" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
  12. "A Narrow Escape" —
    "The Asteroid Field" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
  13. "A Bond Unbroken" —
    "Luke and Leia" (from Return of the Jedi)
  14. "A Sanctuary Moon" —
    "The Forest Battle (Concert Suite)" (from Return of the Jedi)
  15. "A Life Redeemed" —
    "Light of the Force" (from Return of the Jedi)
  16. "A New Day Dawns" —
    "Throne Room" / "Finale" (from A New Hope)

Recording information

Cue list

  • 1M1 20th Century Fox Fanfare (The Phantom Menace Recording)
  • 1M2 Main Titles (The Phantom Menace Recording)
  • 1M3 Boys Into Battle February 12, 2005
  • 1M4 They're Coming Around February 14, 2005
  • 1M4a "Get 'Em, R-2!" February 7, 2005
  • 1M5 The Elevator Scene February 17, 2005
  • 1M6 Count Dooku's Entrance February 14, 2005
  • 1M7 The Death of Dooku February 2, 2005
  • 2M1 Grievous and the Droids February 9, 2005
  • 2M3 Another Happy Landing February 3, 2005
  • 2M4 Revisiting Padmé February 3, 2005
  • 2M5 Grievous Travels to Palpatine February 3, 2005
  • 2M6 Scenes and Dreams February 12, 2005
  • 2M7 Be Careful of Your Friend February 13, 2005
  • 3M1 Council Meeting February 14, 2005
  • 3M2 Hold Me February 13, 2005
  • 3M2a Palpatine's TV Set February 7, 2005
  • 3M3 Palpatine's Big Pitch February 9, 2005
  • 3M5 Goodbye Old Friend February 3, 2005
  • 3M6 Going to Utapau February 13, 2005
  • 3M7 Riding the Lizard February 12, 2005
  • 3M8 Obi-Wan Fares [sic] Droids February 12, 2005
  • 4M1x Drawing Swords February 3, 2005
  • 4M1a Good Guys Arrive February 8, 2005
  • 4M3 Palpatine's Seduction February 2, 2005
  • 4M4 Rolling With Grievous February 13, 2005
  • 4M4a Fighting With Grievous February 8, 2005
  • 4M5 Dialogue With Mace February 17, 2005
  • 4M5a Padmé's Ruminations February 8, 2005
  • 4M6 I am the Senate February 14, 2005
  • 5M1 Palpatine Instructs Anakin February 3, 2005
  • 5M3 Lament February 7, 2005
  • 5M3a Bail's Escape February 14, 2005
  • 5M4 "Swimming, Droids and Yoda Farewell" February 9, 2005
  • 5M5 News of the Attack February 12, 2005
  • 5M6 Moving Things Along February 9, 2005
  • 5M7 Anakin's Dark Deeds February 3, 2005
  • 6M1 It Can't Be February 17, 2005
  • 6M2 A Moody Trip February 12, 2005
  • 6M3 Padmé's Visit February 2, 2005
  • 6M4 Heroes Collide February 2, 2005
  • 6M5New **Choir Only** Not Assigned
  • 6M6 Yoda Falls February 3, 2005
  • 6M7 The Boys Continue February 8, 2005
  • 6M8 Rev. Yoda to Exile February 12, 2005
  • 6M9 Revenge of the Sith February 3, 2005
  • 7M1 The Immolation Scene February 8, 2005
  • 7M2 Anakin Crawling February 8, 2005
  • 7M3 The Birth of the Twins February 7, 2005
  • 7M4 The Death of Padmé February 7, 2005
  • 7M5 Plans for the Twins February 8, 2005
  • 7M6 Padmé's Funeral February 7, 2005
  • 7M7 A Home for the Twins February 7, 2005
  • 7M8 End Credits February 17, 2005


  1. ^ "Disney Music Group Set To Release First 6 Remastered Star Wars Original Motion Picture Soundtracks On May 4". Burbank, California: Walt Disney Records. PR Newswire. March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Battle of the Heroes - Star Wars". Official Charts Company. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "John Williams - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  4. ^ DVD featurette "Within a Minute"
  5. ^ a b Theakston, Rob. "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Kamen Goldmark, Kathi. "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Soundtrack Music Review". Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on December 27, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Graydon, Danny. "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Empire Review". Empire. Bauer Media Group. Archived from the original on June 26, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (John Williams)". Filmtracks Publications. April 15, 2005. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  9. ^ Southall, James. "Williams: Revenge of the Sith". Movie Wave. Archived from the original on May 6, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "Revenge of the Sith". ScoreNotes. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  11. ^ Goldwasser, Dan (May 6, 2005). "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Soundtrack (2005)". Soundtrack.Net. Autotelics, LLC. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  12. ^ Freymann-Weyr, Jeffrey (May 22, 2005). "John Williams and the Music of 'Star Wars'". NPR. National Public Radio, Inc. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  13. ^ Reavley, Morag (2005). "John Williams Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Review". BBC Music. BBC. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  14. ^ Vukcevic, Filip (May 6, 2005). "Star Wars: A Musical Journey". IGN. Ziff Davis. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.

External links


Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace for Orchestra*

"Duel of the Fates (Darth Maul's Theme)" is a musical theme recurring in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the Expanded Universe. It was composed by John Williams and recorded for the film soundtrack of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and the London Voices. This symphonic piece is played with both a full orchestra and a choir. The lyrics are based on a fragment of an archaic Welsh poem Cad Goddeu (Battle of the Trees), and sung in Sanskrit.[1] The piece debuts during the final lightsaber duel in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. With the music video for this theme, the LSO became the only classical group to ever have a video debut on MTV’s Total Request Live.[citation needed] "Duel of the Fates" lasted 11 days on the countdown.[2]


"Duel of the Fates" was composed by John Williams and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and the London Voices for the Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace film soundtrack. The symphonic piece is played with both a full orchestra and a choir. The lyrics are based on a fragment of an archaic Welsh poem Cad Goddeu (Battle of the Trees), and sung in Sanskrit.[1] The translation was loose and Williams arranged it by ear, while rearranging the syllables, so the pronunciation of the Sanskrit isn't accurate and the meaning of the stanza is lost in the actual singing.

Although Williams conducted "Duel of the Fates" to appear as a concert suite in the end credits (rather than the film), Williams did record similar cues using the ostinato motif, and in one instance, a 'cut down' version, labelled the "Great Duel". John Williams stated the chorus was introduced to give a religious, temple-like feel to the epic lightsaber duel.[3] Williams compared the setting of the battle to a pagan altar, and that the duel itself "seems like a dance or a ballet, a religious ceremony of some kind, probably ending in the death of one of the combatants".[4] For Episode I, John Williams recorded a choirless version of "Duel of the Fates", then recorded the choir performing on its own, then layered the vocals over the choirless recordings.[citation needed]

Appearances in Star Wars

The music had its debut during the final lightsaber duel between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The beginning portion used on the soundtrack is replaced with the beginning of a separate track titled Qui-Gon's Noble End;[5] however, the full version of the original recording is used during the film's end credits.[6]

An abridged version is played in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones when Anakin Skywalker used a swoop bike to search for his mother.

The piece "Battle of the Heroes", which was played in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, during the battle sequence between Yoda and Emperor Palpatine in the senate chamber on Coruscant, and the simultaneous battle between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar, had a piece of "Duel of the Fates", but rewritten in a tragic mode.[citation needed] Lucas had expressed in a documentary of The Phantom Menace that he wanted to use “Duel of the Fates” in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith as he liked the feeling of the work. However, he decided not to use it mainly because it did not match the tragic mood of the duel between Obi-Wan and Vader.[citation needed] “Duel of the Fates” makes an appearance during the Yoda/Palpatine fight scene. For this instance, John Williams re-recorded the choir and layered it over the vocal-less recording from Episode I.[citation needed]

"Duel of the Fates" can be heard in a number of Star Wars video games, including Star Wars Episode I: Racer, The Clone Wars, Lego Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith video game, Star Wars: Empire at War, Star Wars Battlefront II, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Angry Birds Star Wars II.[citation needed] The theme also plays during Soulcalibur IV, whenever The Apprentice fights within either of the game's three Star Wars-themed stages, as well as during his extended ending. "Duel of the Fates" also plays when Darth Maul appears during the Jedi Training Academy show featured at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland.

A special of Lego Star Wars called "The Empire Strikes Out" features a short section of “Duel of the Fates”, in which Darth Maul hums along with the music while declaring how "awesome" he is.

Another Lego Star Wars special, entitled The Yoda Chronicles: Menace of the Sith, also featured “Duel of the Fates”. Count Dooku plays the music on a radio during a demonstration of the Sith clone Jek-14's power. Darth Maul complains that “Duel of the Fates” is his theme song, to which Asajj Ventress replies "Can somebody say diva?".

It also appears in the second season of Star Wars: Rebels in the episode "The Future of the Force" when Ahsoka Tano confronts Imperial Inquisitors Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother.

"Duel of the Fates" can also be heard softly in the background when Maul appears in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

"Duel of the Fates" is not heard in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. However, it is present in one TV spot titled "Duel", mixed in with "The Imperial March".[7] Additionally, "Duel of the Fates" would be the title of the ninth movie, before The Rise of Skywalker was chosen.[8]

A reorganised version of the song can be heard in The Clone Wars episode "The Phantom Apprentice" while the characters Ahsoka Tano and Maul duel.


Despite only being slightly used in the film The Phantom Menace, the theme "Duel of the Fates" has gone on to define the music of the prequel trilogy.[9] It was so loved by fans and viewed as a redeeming quality of the first film, that it went on to be blended into the theme "Battle of the Heroes" in Revenge of the Sith.[10]

Use outside of Star Wars

"Duel of the Fates" has also been used to reference and satirize Star Wars. For instance, in The Simpsons episode "Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em", the song plays in a sequence parodying Star Wars, during an allergen-stick battle between Bart Simpson and Seymour Skinner.[11][12]

The song was also used as the theme for the 2003 Broadcast of the Drum Corps International World Championships on PBS.[citation needed]

"Duel of the Fates" was used in the original BBC broadcast of Top Gear Series 9 Episode 2 in 2007, during the segment in which host James May drives a Bugatti Veyron to its top speed at the Volkswagen test track at Ehra-Lessien.[citation needed]

The song was used in series 4, episode 4 of the British obstacle-based gameshow Total Wipeout when the three finalists were interviewed near the end.[13]

Tottenham Hotspur F.C. uses "Duel of the Fates" to announce the appearance of the players from the tunnel.

J.P. Anderson's band Rabbit Junk used a sample of "Duel of the Fates" in the song "Demons", which appears on the album Reframe.

The Boston Pops performed the piece as the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins entered Gillette Stadium for the 2016 NHL Winter Classic.[14]

The YouTube channel Element Animation included a villager-sung version of the song called "Daladas of the Fates" in their Villager News animation.[15]

See also


  1. ^ a b Dyer, Richard (March 28, 1999). "Making 'Star Wars' sing again" (PDF). Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts: Boston Globe, L.P. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 5, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
  2. ^ "The TRL Archive - Debuts". ATRL. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2008.
  3. ^ Movie Music DVD Special Featurette, [2001]
  4. ^ Karlin, F. & Wright, R. (2004). On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring (2nd. ed.). New York: Routledge. 165-168.
  5. ^ Star Wars Episode 1 Soundtrack- Qui Gon's Noble End" on YouTube
  6. ^ "Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace End Credits" on YouTube
  7. ^ "Duel TV Spot". ign. November 29, 2019.
  8. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (14 January 2020). "Colin Trevorrow's 'Star Wars' Episode IX' Was Called 'Duel Of The Fates' & It's True, All Of It". The Playlist. Archived from the original on 30 July 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  9. ^ Southall, James. "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace". Movie Wave. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  10. ^ Southall, James. "Williams: Revenge of the Sith". Movie Wave. Archived from the original on 18 May 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em". The Simpsons. Season 18. Episode 1803 F80147 SI-1720. September 24, 2006. FOX.
  12. ^ "The Simpsons: -". Retrieved 2008-10-30.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Habs, Bruins enter Gillette Stadium in style". Retrieved 2016-01-01.
  15. ^ "VILLAGER NEWS: WAR! (animation)". Element Animation. Retrieved 2019-09-27.


Main Title from Star Wars Suite for Orchestra

John Williams, composer of the music of all nine Star Wars saga films.

The music of the Star Wars franchise is composed and produced in conjunction with the development of the feature films, television series, and other merchandise within the epic space opera franchise created by George Lucas. The music for the primary feature films (which serves as the basis for the rest of the related media) was written by John Williams. Williams' scores for the nine saga films (and a suite for a spin-off film) count among the most widely known and popular contributions to modern film music, and utilize a symphony orchestra and features an assortment of about fifty recurring musical themes to represent characters and other plot elements: one of the largest caches of themes in the history of film music.

Released between 1977 and 2019, the music for the primary feature films was, in the case of the first two trilogies, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and, in select passages, by the London Voices chorus. The sequel trilogy was largely conducted by Williams and William Ross, and performed by the Hollywood Freelance Studio Symphony and (in a few passages) by the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Additional composers have since contributed music to other movies and media within the Star Wars universe. The music for several animated and live-action television series spin-offs has been written by Kevin Kiner, Ludwig Göransson and Ryan Shore.[1] Music for the spin-off films, other television programs, and video games, as well as the trailers of the various installments, were created by various other composers, with this material occasionally revisiting some of Williams' principal themes (and, with one spin-off film, with Williams actually writing a new theme for the composer to use).

The scores are primarily performed by a symphony orchestra of varying size joined, in several sections, by a choir of varying size.[2] They each make extensive use of the leitmotif, or a series of musical themes that represents the various characters, objects and events in the films. Throughout all of the franchise, which consists of a total of over 18 hours of music,[3] Williams has written approximately fifty themes in one of the largest, richest collection of themes in the history of film music.



Year Title Composer Conductor Orchestrator/Arranger Orchestra Choir
Saga films
1977 Star Wars John Williams John Williams Herbert W. Spencer London Symphony Orchestra
1980 The Empire Strikes Back London Voices (women)
1983 Return of the Jedi London Voices (men[4])
1999 The Phantom Menace Conrad Pope
John Neufeld
London Voices (SATB)

New London Children's Choir

2002 Attack of the Clones Conrad Pope
Eddie Karam
London Voices (SATB)

Boy choir (synth)

2005 Revenge of the Sith London Voices (SATB)

Boy choir (synth)

2015 The Force Awakens John Williams
William Ross
Gustavo Dudamel[5]
John Williams
William Ross
Hollywood Freelance Studio Symphony[6] Hollywood Film Chorale (bass)
2017 The Last Jedi John Williams
William Ross
Los Angeles Master Chorale (SATB, bass)
2019 The Rise of Skywalker John Williams
Spin-off films
2008 The Clone Wars Kevin Kiner
John Williams (Original Themes)
Kevin Kiner
Nic Raine
Kevin Kiner
Nic Raine
Takeshi Furukawa
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
2016 Rogue One Michael Giacchino
John Williams (Original Themes)
Tim Simonec William Ross
Tim Simonec
Brad Dechter
Jeff Kryka
Chris Tilton
Herbert W. Spencer[7]
Hollywood Freelance Studio Symphony Los Angeles Master Chorale
2018 Solo John Powell
John Williams (Han Solo Theme, Original Themes)
Gavin Greenaway (additional music and arrangements)

Batu Sener
Anthony Willis
Paul Mounsey

London Session Orchestra
Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles (Han Solo Theme)


Kevin Kiner composed the score to the film Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), the predecessor to the animated TV series of the same name. Both properties loosely use some of the original themes and music by John Williams. Kiner's own material for the film includes a theme for Anakin Skywalker's Padawan learner, Ahsoka Tano, as well as a theme for Jabba the Hutt's uncle Ziro. Kiner went on to score the TV series' entire seven seasons, which concluded in 2020. A soundtrack album was released in 2014 by Walt Disney Records.[8]

Kiner continued his work with the franchise for the animated series Star Wars Rebels (2014), which also incorporates Williams' themes.[9]

Ryan Shore serves as the composer for Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (2017–present). For the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, Oscar-winner Ludwig Göransson composes the score.

Year Title Composer Additional composers
2008–2020 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Kevin Kiner Takeshi Furukawa
David G. Russell
Matthew St. Laurent
Reuven Herman
Russ Howard III
2014–2018 Star Wars Rebels David G. Russell
Matthew St. Laurent
Jared Forman
Reuven Herman
2017–2018 Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Ryan Shore
2018–2020 Star Wars Resistance Michael Tavera
2019–present The Mandalorian Ludwig Göransson

Video games

Year Title Composer
1998 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron Chris Huelsbeck
2001 Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader Chris Huelsbeck
2002 Star Wars: Bounty Hunter Jeremy Soule
2003 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Jeremy Soule
2003 Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike Chris Huelsbeck
2003 Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords Mark Griskey
2005 Star Wars: Republic Commando Jesse Harlin
2006 Star Wars: Empire at War Frank Klepacki
2008 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Mark Griskey
Jesse Harlin
2010 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Mark Griskey
2015 Star Wars: Battlefront Gordy Haab
2017 Star Wars: Battlefront II Gordy Haab
2019 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Stephen Barton
Gordy Haab


Year Title Composer
1996 Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Joel McNeely
2019 Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge John Williams



The scores utilize an eclectic variety of musical styles, many culled from the Late Romantic idiom of Richard Strauss and his contemporaries that itself was incorporated into the Golden Age Hollywood scores of Erich Korngold and Max Steiner. The reasons for this are known to involve George Lucas's desire to allude to the underlying fantasy element of the narrative rather than the science-fiction setting, as well as to ground the otherwise strange and fantastic setting in well-known, audience-accessible music. Indeed, Lucas maintains that much of the films' success relies not on advanced visual effects, but on the simple, direct emotional appeal of its plot, characters and, importantly, music.[10]

Lucas originally wanted to use tracked orchestral and film music in a similar manner to 2001: A Space Odyssey, itself a major inspiration for Star Wars. Williams, however, advised to form a soundtrack with recurring musical themes to augment the story, while Lucas's choice of music could be used as a temporary track for Williams to base his musical choices on. This resulted in several nods or homages to the music of Gustav Holst, William Walton, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky in the score to Star Wars.[11] Williams relied less and less on references to existing music in the latter eight scores, incorporating more strains of modernist orchestral writing with each progressive score, although occasional nods continue to permeate the music. The love theme from Empire Strikes Back is closely related to Williams' composition for Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.[12] The score to Revenge of the Sith has clear resemblances to the successful scores of other contemporary composers of the time, namely Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings, Hans Zimmer's Gladiator and Tan Dun's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, with which the movie was most likely scored contemporarily.[a] Otherwise, however, his later scores were mostly tracked with music of his own composition,[14] mainly from previous Star Wars films.[15] Yet, In Williams' score to The Last Jedi he, for the first time in the series, went so as far as to incorporate direct quotes of other compositions, namely "Aquarela Do Brasil" by Ary Barroso (in a nod to the 1985 Terry Gilliam film Brazil) and from his own theme for The Long Goodbye (co-composed by Johnny Mercer).[16] Nevertheless, Williams also started to develop his style throughout the various films, incorporating other instruments, unusual orchestral set-ups (as well as various choral ensembles) and even electronic or electronically attenuated music as the films progressed. Williams often composed the music in a heroic but tongue-in-cheek style, and has described the scored film as a "musical".[17]


Star Wars was one of the film scores that heralded the revival of grand symphonic scores in the late 1970s. One technique that particularly influenced these scores is Williams' use of the leitmotif, which was most famously associated with the operas of Richard Wagner and, in early film scores, with Steiner. A leitmotif is a phrase or melodic cell that signifies a character, place, plot element, mood, idea, relationship or other specific part of the film. It is commonly used in modern film scoring as a device for mentally anchoring certain parts of a film to the soundtrack.[18] Of chief importance for a leitmotif is that it must be strong enough for a listener to latch onto while being flexible enough to undergo variation and development along the progression of the story. The more varied and nuanced the use of leitmotif is, the more memorable it typically becomes. A good example of this is the way in which Williams subtly conceals the intervals of "The Imperial March" within "Anakin's Theme" in The Phantom Menace, implying his dark future to come.

Also important is the density in which leitmotifs are used: the more leitmotifs are used in a piece of a given length, the more thematically rich it is considered to be. Film music, however, typically needs to strike a balance between the number of leitmotives used, so as to not become too dense for the audience (being preoccupied with the visuals) to follow. Williams' music of Star Wars is unique in that it is relatively dense for film scoring, with approximately 11 themes used in each two-hour film, of which about 90% is scored.[19]


Williams re-recorded some of his suites from the first trilogy with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra as an album. Several of his later themes were released as singles and music videos, and were later released a collection of suites from the six films as a compilation that played to a series of clips from the films, with sparse dialogue and sound effects. These became the basis for a series of hour-long concerts which featured Star Wars music to images from the films, Star Wars: In Concert, which took place in 2009 and 2010. First performed in London, it went on to tour across the United States and Canada, last playing in London, Ontario, Canada on July 25, 2010.

The scores of the first trilogy (in the form of its Blu-Ray release) and The Force Awakens are performed as Live to Projection concerts, but with greatly reduced forces. The performances follow the music of the finished film, with some of the music looped, tracked or omitted entirely, and do not feature any of the diegetic pieces and often omit the choral parts.[20]


John Williams sketched the score for his various orchestrations and wrote the music for a full symphony orchestra (ranging from 79 to 113 players overall[21]) and, in several passages, chorus (ranging from 12 to 120 singers overall) and a few non-orchestral instruments. The orchestration is not consistent throughout the different films,[22] but generally, the score makes use of a considerable brass section over a comparatively smaller string section, giving the series its heraldic, brassy sound.

Several of the scores require larger forces, including a large (over 100-piece) romantic-period orchestra, a mixed choir and even a boy choir, although none of the scores call for particularly immense forces compared to larger film or theater works.[23] Nevertheless, due to added high woodwinds and percussion parts, scores such as Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones call for 106 and 110 players, respectively. The former called for a third harp and fourth bassoon, while the latter (and all prequel scores) utilized a fuller string section. Revenge of the Sith also utilized a second set of timpani. Comparatively, the original Star Wars trilogy and the sequel trilogy films call for much smaller forces of as little as 82 players, and small choral accompaniment in select cues.[24] The first spin-off film, Rogue One, followed the prequel trilogy's instrumentation, using a 110-piece orchestra and 90-piece mixed choir.

In live performances, the forces are usually greatly reduced: Official Star Wars Concerts were held with as little as 60-piece orchestras and 50-piece mixed choral ensembles or with the choir omitted altogether.[25] However, to recreate the nine scores as they were originally recorded, the following instrumentation is required:

  • Woodwinds: 3 flutes (doubling on piccolos and an alto flute), 2 oboes (doubling on a cor anglais), 3 clarinets (doubling on a bass clarinet and an E-flat clarinet), 2 bassoons (doubling on a contrabassoon).
  • Brass: 6 horns (doubling on Wagner Tubas[26]), 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba.
  • Keyboards: Piano, celesta, synthesizer.[27]
  • Timpani: 4–6 kettledrums.
  • Percussion: at least three percussionists playing bass drums, tenor drums, snare drums (including guillotine drums, side drums, military drums), timbales, toms (floor tom and hanging toms), triangle, tambourine, cymbals (suspended, sizzle, crash and finger cymbals), tam-tam, xylophones, vibraphone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, and anvil on all episodes. Also required are temple blocks (I), claves (II, V, VI), ratchet (V–VIII), marimba (I, IV, VII–VIII), bongos (I, IV, VII–VIII), congas (I–III, VI–VII), log drums (I, IV, VI–VII), low wood block (IV), bell plates, clappers (IV), steel drum (IV, VIII), boobams (I, IV, VII), medium gong (VI–VII), kendhang, rattle, sistrum, shekere, guiro, bamboo sticks, cowbells, hyoshigi (VI), bell tree (III), one medium Thai gong (VI), three medium chu-daiko drums (II–III, one for VII–VIII), washboard, goblet drum, caxixi (VIII).[28][29]
  • Strings: 2 harps, 14 first violins, 12 second violins, 10 violas, 10 violoncellos, 6 double basses.
  • Additional instruments: 1 piccolo, 1 flute, 1–2 recorders, 2 oboes, 1 clarinet, 3 saxophones, 1–2 bassoons,[30] 2 horns, trumpet, bass trombone, tuba,[31] set of timpani, five percussionists,[32] 89-piece SATB choir, 10 basso profundo singers, 30 boys, 1 Tibetan throat singer,[33] narrator,[34] 4 violins divided, 2 violas, 2 contrabasses, 1 harp.[35]
  • Non-orchestral instruments: Cretan Lyra and cümbüş (I), electric guitar (II), toy piano (VI), kazzo, highland bagpipes, didgeridoo (VIII).[36]

Musical themes in the scores

John Williams wrote a series of themes and motifs for certain characters and ideas in each of the Star Wars films. The multiple installments allowed Williams to compose some fifty themes (and counting) and reprise some of them extensively, continually developing them over a long period of screen time.

Williams introduced a few themes in each episode (six themes on average) and focused on making each of his principal themes long-lined and melodically distinct from the others so as to increase their memorability. Williams occasionally forges small connections between some of these themes, sometimes for a narrative purpose and sometimes in the more general favor of cohesion. This technique allowed him (especially in his scores to the first trilogy) to have each theme play out for a large number of occasions (the Force Theme plays over one hundred times in the series) and over long periods of time.

Each score can be said to have a "main theme", which is developed and repeated frequently throughout the film, often to unusual extents (such as the frequency in which The Imperial March is revisited during Empire Strikes Back).[37] Besides the main theme and a handful of other principal themes, Williams forged several smaller motifs for each episode, which are generally not as memorable and at times interchangeable. A main theme for the franchise exists as well (which is the music of the main titles), but a main theme does not exist to represent a particular trilogy. Instead, each trilogy (and to a lesser extent, each film) has its own style or soundscape.[38]

Williams' Star Wars catalog remains one of the largest collections of leitmotifs in the history of cinema,[b] although – for comparison – it still falls short of Wagner's use of leitmotifs in the Ring Cycle or even Howard Shore's work on the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films.[39] Both works feature many more themes for a similar or shorter running time; and use the themes more clearly and with more nuance, where Williams prefers to write fewer themes (to allow him to focus on them better) and use them in a more straightforward manner and sometimes, solely for their romantic effect. Shore and Wagner's themes are also inter-related and arranged into sets of subsets of related themes through various melodic or harmonic connections, whereas Williams prefers greater distinction between his themes.[40]

Romantic application of Leitmotifs in the score

Williams' use of his themes in Star Wars is at times romantic rather than strictly thematic,[41] the themes sometimes being used randomly because their mood fits a certain scene, rather than for a narrative purpose. For instance, the Force Theme is commonly associated with Luke Skywalker,[42] while Star Wars' main theme is used as a generic "heroic theme" in conjunction with various characters without any connection to its namesake. Princess Leia's Theme is used for the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars, which has little to do with her character even though she is present in the scene.[43] Yoda's Theme appears several times during the Cloud City sequences in The Empire Strikes Back.[44] The concert piece Duel of the Fates is used several times throughout the prequel trilogy, appearing over the entire final battle in The Phantom Menace (as opposed to just the lightsaber duel for which it was written); Anakin Skywalker's search for his mother in Attack of the Clones;[45] and the unrelated Yoda and Darth Sidious's duel in Revenge of the Sith. Williams' original composition for the Geonosis Battle Arena in Attack of the Clones, a variation on the Droid Army March, was used for the Utapau assault in Revenge of the Sith. Multiple uses of the Force Theme are also non-thematic.[46]

The Rebel Fanfare is applied to the Millennium Falcon throughout the original Star Wars, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi. It is also used for R2-D2's heroics during the opening action scene in Revenge of the Sith. Kylo Ren's secondary theme was meant to evoke his more conflicted side, but since he quickly makes his allegiances clear, it is instead generally used in tandem with his fanfare to evoke his menace.[12] The Emperor's theme is used in The Last Jedi when Supreme Leader Snoke tortures Rey, subtly lending credence to the revelation in The Rise of Skywalker that Snoke was the creation of Emperor Palpatine. Even the melodic connections between some of the themes sometimes do not represent a straightforward dramatic purpose, such as the connection of "Across the Stars" to Count Dooku's motif and the Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones. In fact, some of Williams' themes are written from the outset purely to convey a certain mood rather than evoke a character or setting, such as the Throne Room music of the original Star Wars or the Pursuit motif from The Force Awakens.

Some of this music was re-tracked into other parts of the film, or even another film in the series, by the filmmakers. Attack of the Clones, the first film to be shot digitally, had major edits made after the scoring process, leading to the inclusion of tracked music over many of the digitally created sequences such as the Droid Factory on Geonosis or the Clone Army's arrival to the battle. These scenes used music such as Yoda's theme or incidental music from The Phantom Menace with little dramatic connection to what is occurring on screen. In the original Star Wars, some of the music for the Death Star's Trash Compactor scene was used over an extended shot of the arrival into Mos Eisley inserted in the film's Special Edition. Musical similarities exist between the final scenes of The Phantom Menace with Finn's confession to Rey in The Force Awakens, probably a result of temp-track choice.[47] In other cases, the material was not tracked but rather lifted from the original composition and re-recorded, such as in the big action scenes of Return of the Jedi, both of which lift material from the Battle of Yavin and Ben's death.

Other composers for the franchise used Williams' principal themes in their own compositions, whether it be for the trailers to the main films, spin-off films, television series, or video games. More often than not, these composers also use the principal themes more for their emotional effect for their respective projects. Michael Giacchino, for instance, uses the Force Theme in some of the scenes where Rogue One's Starship takes off.

Thematic inconsistencies between installments

Because Williams scores one episode at a time[48] and attempts to base each score on new material as much as possible, the musical material does not have a particularly cohesive structure as a whole: the themes for each score are only devised during each film's post-production, so Williams will often come up with a new theme that, in hindsight, would have been preferably introduced, at least in embryonic form, in a previous score: This can be said for the love theme "Across the Stars" (for Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala), introduced only in "Attack of the Clones"[49] or even "The Imperial March", introduced in The Empire Strikes Back. The same can be said about some themes only composed for the prequels (such as Duel of the Fates), which would have been perfectly applicable to the films in the first trilogy, had they been produced in the narrative order. In fact, since the prequels featured both their own stock of leitmotifs and recurring themes from the previous films, they boasted a larger catalog of themes, whereas the use of the leitmotifs in a cycle of works typically involves increasing density towards the later installments in the narrative order. Also, the themes in the prequels appear in shorter, blockier statements and the motives themselves are often short, rhythmic ideas, as opposed to longer melodies used in the first trilogy. Also, in the prequels the motives are often associated with places and events, rather than with characters as they are in the rest of the scores, creating a further discrepancy in the musical narrative.

Even within each trilogy, Williams often abandons a motif after a single score or two (as he did with Anakin's theme), writes (across several films) multiple motifs that serve a similar function (e.g. the Rebel fanfare, the Throne Room March and the Triumph Fanfare in Return of the Jedi), or writes a motif that he only uses in one installment, such as the Droid motif. In other cases, a motif is supplanted by a new one, as the Imperial March replaced the original, Imperial motif – a problem only confounded when he returned to that theme with the prequels, only for it to disappear entirely for what is now supposed to be the fourth episode; sometimes, the existing motif simply changes its thematic meaning: Ben Kenobi's theme turned into a theme for the Force by The Empire Strikes Back, and Luke's theme – into the "Star Wars theme".

The Last Jedi, specifically, departs from Williams' method of relying primarily on new thematic material, and instead relies heavily on pre-existing themes, in keeping with Johnson's temp-track choices. As a result, a number of themes and motifs from the previous films are constantly repeated, often in very familiar settings, such as statements of Yoda's and Leia's theme that are lifted from the concert arrangements, a reprise of the Binary Sunset rendition of the Force theme, and recurring statements of Rey's and Kylo's themes. There are some incidental phrases similar to existing themes such as Battle of the Heroes, The Immolation scene, et cetera, and some deliberate, tongue-in-cheek references, such as a quote of the Death Star motif for a scene with a clothes iron that is shot to look like a landing Star Destroyer.

Listed below are as 61 recurring themes or leitmotifs, of which about 59 leitmotifs are clearly identified in Williams' scores;[c] as well as two leitmotifs written by Williams for John Powell's score to Solo (see Themes in the Anthology films: Solo).


Original trilogy

Star Wars (A New Hope)

The Empire Strikes Back

Returning: Throne Room Victory March (First re-statement[65]); Luke's Theme; Luke's Secondary Theme; The Rebel Fanfare; The Force Theme (Ben Kenobi's theme); Leia's Theme

Return of the Jedi

Returning: Spaceship Battle Motif; Luke's Theme; Luke's Secondary Theme; The Rebel Fanfare; The Force Theme; Leia's Theme; The Imperial March; Han Solo and the Princess; Yoda's Theme

Prequel trilogy

The Phantom Menace

Returning: Luke's Theme, Luke's Secondary Theme, The Rebel Fanfare, The Force Theme, The Imperial March, Yoda's Theme, Jabba's Theme, The Emperor's Theme

Attack of the Clones

Returning: Shmi's Theme; Luke's Theme, Luke's Secondary Theme, The Rebel Fanfare, The Force Theme, The Imperial March, The Emperor's Theme, Anakin's Theme, Trade Federation March, Duel of the Fates

Revenge of the Sith

Returning: Jedi Funeral Theme, Coruscant Fanfare; Luke's Theme, Luke's Secondary Theme, Leia's theme, The Rebel Fanfare, The Force Theme, The Imperial March, The Emperor's Theme, Anakin's Theme, Trade Federation March, Duel of the Fates, Across the Stars, Across the Stars Secondary Theme.

Sequel trilogy

The Force Awakens

Returning: Luke's Theme, Luke's Secondary Theme, The Rebel Fanfare (Millennium Falcon Motif[104]), The Force theme, Leia's Theme, The Imperial March, Han Solo and the Princess

The Last Jedi

Returning: Luke's Theme, Luke's Secondary Theme, The Rebel Fanfare (Millennium Falcon motif), The Force Theme, Leia's Theme, Yoda's Theme, Luke and Leia, Han Solo and the Princess, The Imperial March, Spaceship Battle Motif, Death Star motif, The Emperor's Theme, Poe's Theme, Rey's Theme, Kylo Ren's themes, Snoke's Theme, Battle of the Heroes, Jedi Steps[117]

  • "Rose Tico's Theme"[118][56][119][120]
  • "Luke's Island Motif"[118][56][119][121][61]
  • "Rebel Desperation Motif"[56][119]
  • "The Battle of Crait Motif"
  • "Resistance Deployed Motif"
  • "Resistance in Trouble Motif"
  • "Catastrophe Motif"
  • "Luke's Last Stand"
  • "Rey's Power"

The Rise of Skywalker

Returning: Luke's Theme, Luke's Secondary Theme, The Rebel Fanfare (Millennium Falcon motif), The Force Theme, Leia's Theme, Han Solo and the Princess, The Imperial March, The Emperor's Theme, Poe's Theme, Rey's Theme, Kylo Ren's themes, March of the Resistance, Luke and Leia, Yoda's Theme, The Pit of Carkoon, The Battle of Yavin, Yoda and the Force, Return to Tatooine

  • First re-statement: “Return to Tatooine"
  • First re-statement: “Finn’s Confession"
  • First re-statement: “Yoda and the Force"
  • First re-statement: "Seduction Motif"
  • "The Trio/Fellowship Theme"
  • "The Rise of Skywalker (Victory) Theme"
  • "Anthem of Evil (Psalm of the Sith) "
  • "Poe's Heroics Theme"
  • "Dagger Motif"
  • "Ben Solo's Theme"
  • "Kylo Ren's Redemption Motif"
  • "Wayfinder/Exegol Motif"
  • "Knights of Ren Motif"
  • "Speeder Chase Fanfare"
  • "Action Ostinato"
  • "A New Home"
  • "Journey to Exegol Motif"
  • "Master Leia’s Motif"
  • "Really Bad Feeling Motif"
  • "Across the Seas Motif"

Incidental motifs

Since neither Williams nor his office ever provided a full list of the leitmotifs used in every Star Wars film, there is some controversy around the exact number of themes, with some taking an inclusive approach that identifies various leitmotifs, even where the composer probably never intended for,[122] and others taking an exclusive approach.[123]

Thematic components and variants

One of the key differences between the two approaches in the way in which Williams' main, long themes are approached: some view them as composed of several leitmotives that can appear (for the very least once) in isolation (i.e. in a separate cue) from the unabridged theme, and may even represent a different facet of the plot element or character that the theme stands for,[124] while others see them as a single theme with multiple components, which can appear in fragmented form by use of only one of the said components to suggest the entire theme.

The featured list of themes follows what could be deduced to be Williams own approach: certain pieces are described as two separate themes when they were described as such by Williams and/or appear at least twice in isolation from each other (and usually emerge and develop separately to some extent) and serve a different dramatic purpose altogether. Other pieces such as the ostinato accompaniment and B-section of the Imperial March, the introduction figure to Kylo's secondary theme, to Rey's, or the various components of Duel of the Fates did not merit this treatment, because of lack of evidence to authorial intent on the part of Williams (especially given how seldom, in his body of work, he referred to individual sections of his themes as individual leitmotifs[125]) and/or because they only appear in isolation once and/or lack a defined dramatic purpose distinct from the other parts of the unabridged theme. Its also, largely, the approach taken by Matessino, Adams and Lehman.[126]

A particularly noteworthy but ultimately incidental instance is the ostinato accompaniment to the Rebel Fanfare: it is only used isolated from the fanfare in lifted material that appears in Return of the Jedi. Otherwise, it always precedes and accompanies the Rebel Fanfare, but often again it extends to underpin large sections of on-screen action and the respective material in the original Star Wars. However, since it's not really entirely detachable (on more than one instance, that is) from the Rebel Fanfare and never plays at the front of the orchestra, Adams comments that "It’s not a theme per se" and Lehman makes no note of it, even as an incidental motif.

Certain analysts will also list a single melody multiple times under various guises. For instance, the emperor's theme can also be labeled separately (in the same glossary) as the "dark side" theme, Darth Sidious' theme, etc...[12][127]

Setpiece material

The inclusive approach also tends to identify leitmotives even where they don't meet the criteria of recurrence.[128] This is the result of Williams' propensity (in these scores and otherwise) to write material that is either melodic, rhythmic, harmonic or timbral specifically to an individual setpiece or none-recurring plot-element in the film, such as The Battle of Hoth, the Chase through Coruscant, or The Battle of Crait. These individual pieces of music – whether they consist of a full melody, ostinati, diegetic pieces or a certain timbre – have sometimes been described as having thematic significance,[129] occasionally (in fleeting comments) even by Williams himself,[130] but since they do not recur in a different part of the narrative, nor are transformed from or into another motif, they do not comply with the definition of a leitmotif, even if they form the highlights of their respective scores or even featured prominently in the "making of" material (e.g. Chase through Coruscant).[q] A case of particular note is the piece Williams designated as the "Jawa theme."[12][52][53][56] While it is a fully realized melody, clearly evoking the "little scrap and robot collectors", as Williams called them, it does not recur across two discrete cues, rather being interrupted briefly by Imperial music (the interruption slightly extended in the film by silence[131]) and then resuming.[54]

Incidental material

Even when some of these figures do recur, it is often unclear whether they are substantial enough to be assigned with thematic significance, as these instances often includes material that is incidental in nature, such as several figures used in the finale of The Empire Strikes Back;[132] material with overly broad (and therefore vague) association to the story such as tragic music written for the Starkiller sequence in The Force Awakens returning for Han Solo's death[133] or "Tension" music from Episodes 7 and 8;[56] material that is purely rhythmic or timbral like various "bouncing" horn figures for Luke's landspeeder search in the original Star Wars,[130] the use of the synthesizer to represent Vader's menace in The Empire Strikes Back,[134] a women's chorus for the underwater scenes of The Phantom Menace; material that is of a generic nature, such as his use of "mournful homophonic" choir in The Last Jedi for climactic moments; or material that is part of Williams' stylistic choices as a composer, more than a thematic statement unique to the series. For instance, his use of tritones often denotes mystery, a device he uses for the droids landing on Tatooine and again in the concert arrangement of "The Throne Room." He uses a related device to reflect the mystery of Luke's whereabouts in The Force Awakens. However, similar devices are also used in Indiana Jones to represent the mysteries of the Ark[135] and the Crystal Skull. Hence, it is more of a way for Williams to evoke mystery, than a motif conceived specifically for any one of these scores.

Similarly, other gestures taken from pre-existing music (such as Williams' use of the Dies Irae melody to denote impending doom) have been falsely identified as leitmotifs, even though Williams clearly described sections of music that rely on this gesture, such as his original take of the binary sunset, as non-thematic.[136]

In fact, sometimes the supposedly recurring material is similar, but not in fact identical. A good example would be the variety of gestures relating to the dark side, following a piece of music used in the opera-house scene. Lehamn however clarifies that those alleged following statements are "similar but inexact" to the earlier gesture.[56] In other cases, variations on the same thematic ideas are erroneously labeled as two or more separate themes, such as a secondary droid motif or a motif for Anakin's immolation,[127][100] which is in fact a variation on his lament theme. Similarly, the proposed motifs for Mustafar[79] or Anakin's Dark Deeds[100] are in fact variations on Grievous' material, redirected to the evil Anakin.[137][100][138]

Sometimes, the recurring material is question is not part of the original composition but is rather tracked after-the-fact, or at least lifted, from existing material into a different section of the film, or from material that is recapitulated in a concert piece or end-credits suite. This includes the Podracing fanfare and the ostinato accompaniment of the Rebel Fanfare,[12][139] which otherwise does not appear isolated from the unabridged theme more than once; the mournful writing for French horn at Shmi's funeral, the Arena March from Attack of the Clones[86][56] etc. Occasionally, track titles are mistaken for themes.[127]

Williams has created themes out of non-recurring material by quoting them again in a following score: e.g. the funeral music for Qui-Gon being reused (and repurposed) as a general funeral theme in Revenge of the Sith. This, however, does not extend to such gestures being quoted in spin-off scores (e.g. the Asteroid Field in Solo, the material for Imperial Walkers in Rogue One) nor for more fleeting, non-narrative references which Williams provides in his scores.[117]

Themes in the Anthology films

Michael Giacchino, the composer of Rogue One

The first Star Wars Anthology score for Rogue One, written by Michael Giacchino, utilizes several themes (and recurring interstitial material) from John Williams, mostly for their Romantic sweep (such as The Force Theme and hints of the Main Theme). It has its own catalog of themes, independent from Williams' material, including a new, third theme for the Empire, although Giacchino also quotes both the original Imperial Motif and The Imperial March.

Rogue One

Returning: Luke's Theme; Rebel Fanfare; The Force Theme; Leia's Theme; Imperial Motif; Death Star Motif; The Imperial March

  • Jyn's Theme
  • Hope Theme
  • Guardians of the Whills Theme
  • Imperial Theme (Krennic's Theme)



For Solo, John Williams wrote and recorded a concert arrangement for a new theme for Han Solo. In the process of composing the theme, Williams ended up using two separate ideas, each conveying a different aspect of the character, and went as far as to spot the film for places to use each motif; all other leitmotifs and other material were written and adapted by John Powell, the main composer for the film.[142]

Returning: Spaceship Battle motif; Luke's (Star Wars) Theme; Rebel Fanfare; Duel of the Fates; The Imperial March; The Imperial motif; Death Star Motif; The Asteroid Field; Imperial Cruiser Pursuit; Droids Motif

By John Williams:

  • Han Solo's Theme[142]
    • "Han Solo's Searching theme"[143]

By John Powell:

  • Chewbacca's Theme
  • Han and Qi'Ra's Love Theme
  • L3'S Theme
  • Crew theme
  • Enfys Nest Theme
  • Crime Syndicate Motif (Vos's Theme)

Concert suites

Instead of offering a full recording release of a particular film, Williams typically releases a condensed score on album,[144] in which the music is arranged out of the film order and more within the veins of a concert program. These album releases typically include several concert suites, written purely for the end credits or the album itself, where a specific theme is developed continuously throughout the piece. Williams also re-edited some of his existing cues after the fact in order to "concertize" theme on the behest of conductors such as Charles Gerhardt. Five of the eight films also have unique credit suites that feature alternate concert arrangements of themes and/or a medley of the main themes of a particular film.

Original Trilogy

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

  • "Main Title"
  • "Princess Leia's Theme"
  • "The Little People"
  • "Cantina Band"
  • "Here They Come!"
  • "The Battle"
  • "Throne Room and End Title"


Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back


Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi


Prequel Trilogy

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace


Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones


Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


Sequel Trilogy

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens[108]

  • "Rey's Theme"
  • "March of the Resistance"
  • "Adagio"[147]
  • "Scherzo for X-Wings"[148]
  • "The Jedi Steps"


Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

  • "The Rebellion is Reborn"[149]

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

  • "The Rise of Skywalker"
  • "The Speeder Chase"
  • "Anthem of Evil"

From the spin-offs

From Rogue One

  • "Jyn Erso and Hope Suite"
  • "The Imperial Suite"
  • "The Guardians of the Whills Suite"


From Solo

  • "The Adventures of Han"[151]

Diegetic music

Diegetic music is music "that occurs as part of the action (rather than as background), and can be heard by the film's characters".[152] In addition to the orchestral scope that was brought on by John Williams' musical score, the Star Wars franchise also features many distinguishing diegetic songs that enrich the detail of the audio mise-en-scène. Some of this diegetic music was written by John Williams; some by his son, Joseph; and some by various other people.[153]

From Star Wars

  • "Cantina Band" and "Cantina Band #2". Written by John Williams, it is played in the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine. It is written for solo trumpet, three saxophones, clarinet, Fender Rhodes piano, steel drum, synthesizer and various percussion, including boobams and toms. According to the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, the diegetic title for the first Cantina band piece is "Mad About Me". The liner notes for the 1997 Special Edition release of the Star Wars soundtrack describe the concept behind these works as "several creatures in a future century finding some 1930's Benny Goodman swing band music ... and how they might attempt to interpret it". This piece also appears on an all the outtake easter eggs on the Episode I and Episode II and on the bonus disc of the 2004 original trilogy DVD set.

From Return of the Jedi

  • "Jabba's Baroque Recital". Mozart-esque John Williams composition (featuring a synthesized harpsichord) played while 3PO and R2 first arrive and play Jabba the message from Luke Skywalker.
  • "Lapti Nek". Written by Joseph Williams (John Williams' son) and translated into Huttese, this is played by the Max Rebo Band in Jabba the Hutt's palace (in the original cut of the movie).[r]
  • "Jedi Rocks" (composed by Jerry Hey). This was composed to replace "Lapti Nek" for the 1997 Special Edition of the film.
  • "Max Rebo Band Jams". Heard twice in the film, once after Jabba sends the Wookiee Chewbacca to jail, and again on Jabba's sail barge Khetanna (hence its title). A recording of the first can be found on the official Star Wars Soundboards.
  • "Ewok Feast" and "Part of the Tribe". By John Williams. Heard when Luke and company were captured by the Ewoks and brought to their treehouses.
  • "Ewok Celebration". The Victory Song, whose lyrics were written by Joseph Williams, can be heard at the end of the original release of Return of the Jedi.
  • "Victory Celebration". By John Williams. The Victory Song at the end of the Return of the Jedi 1997 re-edition.

From The Phantom Menace

  • "Tatooine Street Music". Joseph Williams wrote four separate pieces of unusual, vaguely Eastern sounding source music for the streets of Mos Espa, featuring a player on Cretan Lyra and Cumbus, and a solo, wailing female vocal.
  • "Augie's Municipal Band". By John Williams. Music played during the peace parade at the end of the film, it is a sped-up, attenuated trumpet and boy choir composition. It is closely related to the Emperor's Theme, but is not an outright quote of it.

From Attack of the Clones

  • "Dex's Diner"
  • "Unknown Episode II Source Cue". A second source cue is credited to Joseph Williams' name for Episode II, but is not heard in the film.
  • "Arena Percussion". Originally meant to accompany the Droid Factory sequence, Ben Burtt's attempt at composition is instead shifted to the arena, replacing the predominantly unused John Williams cue "Entrance of the Monsters."

From The Force Awakens

From The Last Jedi

  • "Canto Bight". Written by John Williams, it appears when Finn and Rose first arrive to the casino planet of Canto Bight. It is written in the style of big-band jazz and is stylistically akin to the "Cantina Band" music from Star Wars. The track features solo alto saxophone, two baritone saxophones, solo clarinet, trombones, kazoo, muted trumpets,[156] Fender Rhodes piano, bass, synthesizers, steel drums, and various percussion, including washboards and goblet drums. The track briefly quotes "Aquarela do Brasil" (which also features hi-hat and ride cymbals) by Ary Barroso as a reference to the 1985 Terry Gilliam film Brazil, and includes a brief piano statement of Williams' and Johnny Mercer's theme from The Long Goodbye.
  • "Caretaker party music": source cue of an unknown composition (possibly by Williams), which features highland bagpipes and a didgeridoo, and accompanies a deleted scene from the film.

From The Rise of Skywalker

  • "Lido Hey": Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and J.J. Abrams and performed by Shag Kava, a musical moniker for Miranda and Abrams. Plays as the main characters participate and traverse the Festival of Ancestors on the desert planet Pasaana.
  • "Oma's Place": Performed by Ricky Tinez and J.J. Abrams. Plays as the main characters enter a bar owned by Oma Tres (featuring composer John Williams in a cameo role) on the planet Kijimi.



In 2005, the 1977 soundtrack for Star Wars was voted as the "most memorable film score of all time" by the American Film Institute in the list AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores, based on the assessment of a jury of over 500 artists, composers, musicians, critics and historians from the film industry.[157]

Year Title Award Recipient Result
1978 A New Hope Academy Award for Best Original Score[158] John Williams Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score[159]
BAFTA Award for Best Film Music[160]
Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition[161]
Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special[161]
Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance[161]
Saturn Award for Best Music[162]
1981 The Empire Strikes Back Academy Award for Best Original Score[163] Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Film Music[164] Won
Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition[165]
Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special[165]
Saturn Award for Best Music Nominated
1984 Return of the Jedi Academy Award for Best Original Score[166]
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special
Saturn Award for Best Music
2000 The Phantom Menace Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition[167]
2003 Attack of the Clones Saturn Award for Best Music
2006 Revenge of the Sith Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media[168]
Saturn Award for Best Music
2016 The Force Awakens Academy Award for Best Original Score
BAFTA Award for Best Film Music Won
Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media Nominated
Saturn Award for Best Music Won
2017 Rogue One Saturn Award for Best Music Michael Giacchino Nominated
2018 The Last Jedi Academy Award for Best Original Score John Williams
Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
Saturn Award for Best Music
2019 Solo: A Star Wars Story Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition ("Mine Mission") John Williams, John Powell
2020 The Rise of Skywalker Academy Award for Best Original Score John Williams
BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
Other media
2020 Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition ("Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Symphonic Suite")[169] John Williams Won


The soundtracks to both Star Wars and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace have been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of at least 1 million units, with the albums for The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones being certified Gold (500,000 units).[170] The British Phonographic Industry certified Star Wars and Episode I as Gold for shipments of over 100,000 units in the UK.[171]


  1. ^ These inspirations are evident in some of the orchestration choices, including the wide use of an SATB choir and boy choir and even a soloist (including a moaning woman in "Padme's Ruminations", similar to Lisa Gerard's vocal work in Gladiator). The orchestra was augmented with a second set of timpani as was the case with Shore's Lord of the Rings scores, and with taiko drums, which have been used extensively by Shore and Zimmer. In particular, Anakin's Dark Deeds with the humming boy choir opening leading into a Gothic piece for an adult choir, is evocative of "The Treason of Isengard". Several tracks, including the music to the opening of the film, evoke the rhythmic music of the Orcs. [13]
  2. ^ Williams themes for Star Wars have been classified based on Williams own comments on the LP release, Mike Matessino's Special Edition Liner notes, and further analyses provided by Doug Adams, John Takis et al. On FilmScoreMonthly. Ancillary sources include Frank Lehman's "Complete Catalogue of the Musical Themes of Star Wars", which includes a lot of "incidental motifs" including stylistic gestures and tracked material.
  3. ^ Relative to the number of installments and length of the scores, this figure is consistent with Williams output to such series as Indiana Jones and Harry Potter. It is also consistent with the figures arrived at by Lehman (who puts the number of leitmotifs in the series at 57) and Adams (which puts the number of the first four films at as many as 33). Williams himself, as he was making Attack of the Clones, assessed the size of his glossary at "20 themes".[50]
  4. ^ This theme was composed for the character of Ben Kenobi but also used in a broader association with the concept of "The Force." With subsequent installments, the character connection was reduced and the theme became more of a theme for "The Force."
  5. ^ Williams commented to having originally written this theme as a love theme for Leia and Luke.
  6. ^ This music appeared in the finale of the original Star Wars, and was recapitulated over the end-credits. It first re-appears (and becomes a recurring theme) in the end-credits to Empire Strikes Back. Nevertheless, According to Adams this is "certainly not a theme in the leitmotivic sense", hence its classification remains in doubt.
  7. ^ This theme is also sometimes called "Han Solo's theme" although musically it belongs more to the princess.
  8. ^ Williams also composed what he described as a "playful version of Yoda's theme". Matessino refers to it as a "playful wind rendition of Yoda's theme" which Adams further describes as a "simpler spry tune in the second half of the unabridged theme."
  9. ^ Definite statements of the motif appear only in this film, but a "playful wind motif" that appears in Return of the Jedi "suggest the tune" of the theme, and has been erroneously described as a new motif for the Droids.
  10. ^ The bridge of the Ewok material, which recalls their diegetic horn calls, is referred to by Adams and Lehman as a separate, secondary Ewok theme. While it is different to the main Ewok material, it really only appears twice in the underscore, and only in one of these instances does it appear by itself: all other appearances are in the concert arrangement, and the concert version of the cue in which they originally appear.
  11. ^ This motif was also re-tracked into the Special Edition of A New Hope from Return of the Jedi.
  12. ^ Other than the introduction fanfare, this theme is the first "none-pitched theme", based on whispering voices and percussion figures. The latter have been confused for a separate, secondary motif, specifically for Darth Maul or even for his probe droids, but Adams refers to them as mere "drum patterns" that are simply part of the theme.
  13. ^ This secondary phrase of Across the Stars also includes an end-cap figure of "brooding rhythms" (as Jeff Bonds calls them)[93] based on the Dies Irae figure, looped into an ostinato. The whole section of the theme, which emerges separately to the main phrase, denotes the "angst-ridden side" (to quote John Takis) of the relationship between Anakin and Padme. This theme, and especially the ending figure, transform into the lament theme in Revenge of the Sith. While Williams never spoke of this section as a theme, another telling sign of this theme's dramatic designation in his mind is the video which accompanies it on "Star Wars: A Musical Journey", where the B-phrase and its ending figure both score images that convey the gloomy aspect of the relationship.
  14. ^ This motif, otherwise known as the "Conspiracy" or "conflict" motif, represents all the antagonists of the film: namely, Dooku, but also the rest of the separatists, and the bounty hunters Zam Wesell and Jango Fett. It is probably the motif that Williams reportedly was intending to write for Jango when he was composing the piece. When Jango fights Obi Wan, Williams' derives an ostinato from it which underscores the fight scene. This motif, like the ostinato for "Chase through Curoscant" has been described as a leitmotif, but Takis describes those figures just as ostinati and "rhythmic patterns" and not as outright themes. Doug Adams later commented Archived October 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine that the various action ostinati of the scores are "shorter, clunkier motives seldom longer than a measure or two, and often more rhythmic than melodic" and calls those passages "episodic." Jeff Bonds adds that this writing is "ultimately fleeting."
  15. ^ Williams never commented on this motif, but he tellingly used the very same gesture for Voldemort, the villain in his contemporary score to "Chamber of Secrets", reinforcing the idea that this was his intended "villain" motif.
  16. ^ This theme is written for voices in the Basso Profundo range, and has drawn tenuous comparisons to Palpatine's Teachings, although the latter is based rather on overtone singing.
  17. ^ One unusual case involves the revised music of the victory celebrations of Return of the Jedi, with Adams classifying it as thematic out of an expectation (ultimately to be proven false) of Williams to weave it into the prequel scores.
  18. ^ Later used in the Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures episode "Jabba the Hutt – Galactic Gangster".[154]


  1. ^ "5 Highlights from Star Wars Forces of Destiny: "The Padawan Path" |". July 6, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Williams generally uses the choir for texture, as humming or wordless voices. Several sections rely on repeated syllables in Sanskrit, as is the case of Duel of the Fates or Snoke's theme. While the syllables are drawn from (loosely) translated texts such as Cad Goddeu or the writing of Kipling, Williams typically arranges them by ear and without heed to their meaning, so the choral text remains repetitive and meaningless. In other instances, the choir repeats a short albeit coherent sentence, such as with the Funeral theme or Anakin's Dark Deeds.
  3. ^ Including all the alternate takes of the recording, Williams has recorded about 21 hours of music for the series, although much of it remains unreleased.
  4. ^ Women were used for the special edition rescoring.
  5. ^ "Dudamel Conducts Some Music for New 'Star Wars' Film". The New York Times. December 15, 2015.
  6. ^ This orchestra consists of a group of individually contracted freelanced musicians, rather than being an organised orchestra that plays regularly as a group.
  7. ^ according to the closing credit roll
  8. ^ "'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' TV Series Soundtrack Announced". Film Music Reporter. November 4, 2014. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  9. ^ "Kevin Kiner to Score 'Star Wars Rebels'". Film Music Reporter. April 21, 2014. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  10. ^ Burlingame, Jon (February 8, 2012). "Spielberg and Lucas on Williams: Directors reminisce about collaborating with Hollywood's greatest composer". The Film Music Society. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  11. ^ That particular score was first intended to be tracked with existing music from the classical repertoire or from older film scores, as was the case of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which inspired George Lucas to write the film. After Williams convinced Lucas to have an original score (which would excel a tracked score in that it will have set themes for characters, Williams argued), those musical pieces were used as a temp track and Williams followed them closely, turning portions of the score into an homage to earlier film score and to romantic music in general.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Doug Adams, Sounds of the Empire: Analysing the themes of the Star Wars Trilogy, in: Film Score Monthly (Volume 4, number 5), pp. 22–47.
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ "Episode 69: Rian Johnson On The Music Of Star Wars & Other Movies". audioBoom. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Star Wars, liner notes.
  18. ^ Using a leitmotif merely as a "stand-in" for a character would be a devolved form of using leitmotifs, compared to the operatic practice. A theme can be used symbolically, such as hinting at Darth Vader's theme when the decision to train Anakin is made in Episode I.
  19. ^ Williams full score often slightly overtakes the length of the film due to the recording of concert suites and several alternate takes. However, the amount of music written for the film proper varies from 80 percent, to scoring effectively the entire film. The finished film is always subjected to tracking, looping and muting (especially Attack of the Clones), so about 85% of each finished film is scored.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Episode III required 109 players (not including the conductor) due to expanded string and percussion sections. The Empire Strikes Back required 104 players, not including the conductor or synthesizer (r due to the inclusion of a fourth flute, and sections that required a third harp, five oboes overall, an added piccolo and eight percussionists overall. If the Empire Strikes Back is to augmented with the string section size of Revenge of the Sith or the Skwalker Symphony Recording, it would require about 112 players and a small women choir. A Star Wars in Concert production that would follow the orchestration of the recording, would have to feature some of the expansions of the various episodes, requiring about 110 players, as well as the mixed choir and possibly the bass choir.
  22. ^ Star Wars and the sequel trilogy film use an 84-piece arrangement, with the latter also incorporating a 24-piece men choir. Empire Strikes Back uses 106 pieces and about ten women vocalists, Return of the Jedi uses a 100-piece orchestra, about ten men, and a few women for the Special Edition; The Phantom Menace uses a 100-piece orchestra, 88-piece SATB choir and 30 boys; Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith use a 112-piece orchestra, 89-piece SATB choir and a synthesized boy choir.
  23. ^ Star Wars Concerts were held with as few as 130 performers, and some Live to Projection Concerts can therefore be played by as few as sixty players. By comparison, each of Howard Shore's Middle Earth scores require a minimum of 230 musicians to stage (ranging to as many as 500), and several stage works such as Gurre Lieder or Mahler's Eighth Symphony can range from 300 to over a thousand musicians. Nevertheless, amateur performances (like the NJYS Playathon) of Williams score, among other film scores (including the aforementioned Howard Shore ones) have utilized orchestral forces of 450-piece or more.
  24. ^ The Last Jedi used 101 instrumental players (including the diegetic band), probably a result of added percussion and high woodwind players, a 65-piece SATB choir, and a few additional pieces for the all-male choir.
  25. ^ Keyes, Allison (July 24, 2010). "'Star Wars In Concert' Puts The Force In The Music". NPR. Archived from the original on December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015. The Live to Projection presentations also feature various reductions, namely in the brass section, in line with Williams' reduced orchestration for his "Star Wars Suite", and generally omit the unusual orchestrations of Empire Strikes Back and synthesize or remove the choral parts The roster is between 50 and 90 pieces.
  26. ^ Empire Strikes Back only.
  27. ^ Star Wars featured one player on a piano and a second player on celesta. The second player also doubles on Electric Piano. For select sections of Empire Strikes Back, both played on pianos. The scores also used synthesizers for electronic sounds and to mimic the Celesta (a real Celesta was not used since Return of the Jedi) and the Harpsichord (for Return of the Jedi and Attack of the Clones). In the Skywalker Symphony recording, one player doubles on all keyboards. From Attack of the Clones going forward, the synth is performed by the electric keyboard player.
  28. ^ Most of the episodes feature six percussionists, although sections of the prequels and Empire Strikes Back require as many as eight, including two Xylophone parts, etc. Star Wars, however, only requires only three and the sequel trilogy scores require only four.
  29. ^;;
  30. ^ Star Wars uses the original arrangement, but its two sequels call for an additional of one of each woodwind. The prequel trilogy scores use three flutes, oboes and bassoons, as well as four clarinets, and the sequel trilogy scores omit the fourth clarinet part. Sections of Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith and The Last Jedi call for expanded higher woodwind: four flutes and an added piccolo part and five oboes. The former score also calls for a fourth bassoon for Boba Fett's motif. Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace also feature recorders. Star Wars and The Last Jedi use three saxophones, as well.
  31. ^ Up to the sequel trilogy, Star Wars scores had utilized eight horns and two tubas, although the Skywalker Symphony recording omits those parts and adds a fifth trumpet. The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones also omit the second tuba.
  32. ^ In Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. A second set of timpani is used in the former, and in The Last Jedi.
  33. ^ The full SATB choir is used for the prequels: The Last Jedi only requires a 64-piece Tibetan Throat chanting is used in Revenge of the Sith. The boy choir is used in The Phantom Menace but synthesized in the later two scores. Empire Strikes Back uses a small women choir and Return of the Jedi uses a small male choir. The Force Awakens uses a 24-piece basso profundo orchestra, which is about ten more pieces than would be in a 90-piece SATB choir.
  34. ^ For Star Wars: In Concert.
  35. ^ Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi call for two added contrabass parts, and the former also calls for a third harp. The Skywalker Symphony uses a fuller string section, but omits the second harp. The prequels also use the fuller string section.
  36. ^ Williams is not usually keen to stray far from the orchestral instrumentation. The Cretan Lyra and Cumbus are used briefly for diegetic Tatooine music for Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, composed by his son, Joseph, and were originally played by one instrumentalist. Williams also recalls "reed flutes" (most likely referring to the ney flute) used in the score, probably for those cues. The prequel scores aren't performed live, but seeing as diegetic pieces are not played even in the scores that are performed live, these would probably be omitted under such circumstances, as well. The electric guitar is used in small inserts during the chase through Curoscant in Attack of the Clones (albeit muted in the film on the request of George Lucas). Williams also used three saxophones for the Cantina Band, although those could be doubled by the clarinet players. He also once claimed to have used Kazoos in that sequence, although the liner notes make no mention of it. Didgeridoos are used in the diegetic Caretaker party music, which scores a deleted scene. They are also featured in The Phantom Menace ultimate edition release, where they were originally used as diegetic sound effects, and layered over the soundtrack.
  37. ^ the theme recurs thirty times or more in a two-hour film.
  38. ^ The scores to the original three films are melodic and romantic, as is – largely – the score to The Phantom Menace. However, Episodes II and even III feature much more rhythmic music, and Revenge of the Sith, in particular, is more operatic in its use of choir and even solo vocals. The sequel scores feature another evolution of Williams' musical style, which is less obtrusive, with more lilting musical themes like Rey's theme, reminiscent of some of Williams' work on Harry Potter.
  39. ^ Williams wrote some fifty themes for over 19 hours of cinema, with an average of six new themes per film and an average 12 themes used in each film overall. By comparison, Howard Shore wrote over 160 leitmotifs for 21 hours of cinema in the Middle Earth films, of which he uses 40 or more in each film. Richard Wagner wrote 176 leitmotifs for the 15-hour Ring cycle.
  40. ^ In thematic works such as those of Wagner or Shore, all the leitmotifs which are thematically connected (e.g. all of Alberich's themes or all of the Hobbits' themes) are connected in melody, harmony, key and orchestration, so as to create sets and subsets of inter-connected thematic "families." This allows the composer to introduce new themes later in the work while having the new theme evoke associations that the audience already felt towards existing related themes. Williams' various themes do share certain connections, but they are basic enough as to nullify any attempts to categorize them except in the broadest of strokes, such as themes for the protagonists and themes for the antagonists.
  41. ^ Using leitmotifs as a suggestion of mood or emotion rather than as themes, is a common practice for all composers in symphonies, operas and especially in film. Nevertheless, classical and romantic composers (and even some film composers like Howard Shore in his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit cycle) are generally much more strict with the application of leitmotif than Williams.
  42. ^ Ross, Alex (January 3, 2018). "A Field Guide to the Musical Leitmotifs of "Star Wars"". The New Yorker.
  43. ^ Since the princess is present at Ben's death, her theme is said to "represents Luke's and the Princess' reaction to leaving Ben behind" (Star Wars, Liner Notes) although the romantic explanation has been favored by Adams and Michael Matessimo, the author of the special edition liner notes.
  44. ^ Yoda's theme in Cloud City is said to denote Luke gaining courage as he "remembers Yoda's teachings and tries to apply them in this", but the theme is later used in relation to Leia's attempt at retrieving Han and even Lando's order to evacuate Cloud City, giving more weight to the outright dramatic explanation.
  45. ^ Duel of the Fates as used in Tatooine, was often interpreted as signifying the internal struggle of Anakin, although no other occurrence of the theme is consistent with that line of thought. In fact, the internal struggle only presents itself in the next scene, where the theme is not used.
  46. ^ In Star Wars, the theme was conceived and used more as a theme for the character of Ben Kenobi rather than as a theme for The Force itself. Therefore, Williams originally did not have it play during the Binary Sunset sequence (which has nothing to do with Ben), and only did so on the request of George Lucas. He did use it, however, for the Throne Room sequence, although it has little to do with Ben. Since the theme became more associated with The Force in following installments, it was used more often, but sometimes against images that do not evoke the idea of The Force, such as numerous wide shots in Attack of the Clones, e.g. Anakin and Padmé departing for Naboo or Dooku arriving at Coruscant, as well as during wide shots of the Battle of Hoth.
  47. ^ However, some of the music in the later films was always intended to be acquired through tracking of pre-existing material, and some of the tracking choices are very deliberate.[citation needed]
  48. ^ Hence, claims that Williams conceives his themes with foresight and subsequent attempts to draw tenuous connections between such pieces of music as Snoke's theme and the drone in Palpatine's Teachings are dubious. In fact, Williams himself always notes that he only scores the film by watching the finished film, rather than reading a story outline or script. He, for instance, claimed to have had no idea that his score to the original Star Wars would result in sequels and further scores, and even shared the fact that he had, at the time, written a love theme for Luke and Leia, only to discover by Return of the Jedi that the two had now been written to be brother and sister.
  49. ^ a b c d
  50. ^
  51. ^ a b Larsen, Peter, and Irons, John (2007). Film Music, p. 168. ISBN 9781861893413.
  52. ^ a b c d e f g Star Wars LP liner notes
  53. ^ a b c d e f g Michael Matessino, Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition Liner notes.
  54. ^ a b c d e