This performance has already taken place
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.
Olympic Fanfare and Theme
Talk:Olympic Fanfare and Theme
The Olympic Fanfare and Theme is actually the song Bugler's Dream 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 entire 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)
Superman March from Superman
The various film and theatre appearances of the Superman character have been accompanied by musical scores.
Radio, cartoons, early films
Television and Broadway
- 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.
- 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.
- The theme for the 1990s series Lois & Clark, starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, was composed by Jay Gruska, the son in-law of John Williams, composer of the score for the 1978 film Superman. This was another dramatic orchestral rendition, with a triad again in evidence, but not so prominently placed in the theme's score.
- Smallville, starring Tom Welling, has a vocal, rock-oriented main theme rather than a traditional "heroic" one. Written by band Remy Zero, the song takes the name "Save Me", from its chorus. Composer Mark Snow employs traditional orchestral underscore regularly. In several episodes, he has also musically alluded to themes from John Williams' score for the 1978 film Superman. The Williams theme also featured prominently during the series finale's closing moments.
- The 1966 series The New Adventures of Superman, produced by Lou Scheimer's and Norm Prescott's Filmation Associates, was scored by John Gart, under the name John Marion. Its main theme was based on a rising four-note motif evocative of previous Superman themes, but jazzier in style. No commercially available recordings of Gart's music were known to exist as of early April 2016.
- 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. 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. For these mini episodes, Jones continued to follow Williams' lead by employing a Coplandesque Americana sound.
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.
- Shirley Walker's theme for the 1996 Superman: The Animated Series is yet another brassy orchestral piece with a triad-based melody. It was occasionally used as Superman's leitmotif in episodes of Justice League.
- When the later Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series were combined to form a "new" series, The New Batman/Superman Adventures, another new theme was composed by Shirley Walker.
The most widely available and well-known Superman music is from the four Christopher Reeve films (1978–1987) and the remainder of this article focuses on these, plus the 2006 film, starring Brandon Routh.
- The Superman score was composed by John Williams. Music recorded for the film was reused in Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.
- The Superman II and Superman III scores were composed by Ken Thorne, adapting Williams' themes extensively, as noted in the films' opening credits.
- The Superman IV: The Quest for Peace score was composed by Alexander Courage, adapting Williams' original and combining it with three new themes composed by Williams as well as two motifs of his own.
- The Superman Returns score was composed by John Ottman, also using some of Williams' compositions, as noted in the opening credits.
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.
A leitmotif is a melody associated with a particular character or story element in any mode of drama in which music is employed, such as a musical play, opera, ballet, or film.
Leitmotifs introduced in Superman
- "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". 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.
- "Personal" motif. A melody related to the duality of Superman and Clark Kent which musically connects the "Fanfare" to the "Love Theme".
- "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. It bears a similarity to a theme written by John Williams for the 1972 John Wayne western film The Cowboys.
- "The March of the Villains" or "Lex Luthor theme". A comedic Prokofiev-inspired march associated with the villain Lex Luthor and his henchman Otis.
Leitmotifs introduced in Superman II
Composer/arranger Ken Thorne was mandated to reuse the first film's themes for Superman II. 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 associated with General Zod.
Leitmotifs introduced in Superman III
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.
Leitmotifs introduced in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
- "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.
- "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. Courage completed a 100-minute score for a version of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace that ran over two hours. It had been long rumored that a version of the film previewed in Orange County, California, in late June 1987 ran 134 minutes. Screenwriter Mark Rosenthal recalls a version of that length on his DVD commentary for the film, but existing documentation suggests that the film was actually 10 minutes shorter than that when previewed. In any event, 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. No music from the film was released for over twenty years until Film Score Monthly issued an 8-CD box set called Superman: The Music (1978-1988) which presents the complete score to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
Leitmotifs introduced in Superman Returns
Three new themes were composed for Bryan Singer's 2006 film, a "Bad Hat Harry" production, which loosely followed the continuity of the first two Reeve films: a personal theme for Superman, a motif for Lois and her son, and a darker theme for Lex Luthor. Singer's favorite composer, John Ottman, also incorporated several themes from the first film, such as Williams's "Superman March," Lois Lane's love theme ("Can You Read My Mind"), the "Smallville" theme, and the "Krypton" theme. A reprise of "The Fortress of Solitude" from the original 1978 soundtrack is heard at the end of the airplane rescue sequence as Superman is re-introduced to the public after Lois Lane sees him for the first time.
Diegetic (source) music
This refers to music which originates within the narrative of a film, i.e. the characters in the story are aware of the music.
Superman: 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.
- "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.
- "Roll Over Beethoven," the Chuck Berry hit as performed by The Beatles, and "Earth Angel" by The Penguins can be heard at Clark Kent's high school reunion. The use of a Beatles song was something of an in-joke referencing the films A Hard Day's Night and Help, both helmed by Superman III director Richard Lester. Giorgio Moroder was also commissioned to write several original songs for Superman III, some of which can be heard as source music in various scenes.
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace:
- "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. All songs except for Lewis' are included on 'Superman: The Music (1978-1988).
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".
Original recording information
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.
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.
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.
- December 20, 1978: 2-LP set from Warner Bros. Records.
Warner Bros. Records track listing
- "Theme from Superman (Main Title)" (4:24)
- "The Planet Krypton" (4:45)
- "Destruction of Krypton" (5:58)
- "The Trip to Earth" (2:23)
- "Growing Up" (2:34)
- "Love Theme from Superman" (5:00)
- "Leaving Home" (4:48)
- "The Fortress of Solitude" (8:29)
- "The Flying Sequence/Can You Read My Mind" (recitative vocal by Margot Kidder) (8:10)
- "Super Rescues" (3:24)
- "Lex Luthor's Lair" (2:52)
- "Superfeats" (5:00)
- "The March of the Villains" (3:33)
- "Chasing Rockets" (7:33)
- "Turning Back the World" (2:01)
- "End Title" (6:24)
Total Time: 79:21
This album was released on CD in 1987 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.
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.
Varèse Sarabande track listing
- "Prologue & Main Title" (5:31)
- "The Planet Krypton" (4:35)
- "The Destruction of Krypton" (5:27)
- "Trip to Earth" (2:38)
- "Growing Up" (2:05)
- "Jonathan's Death" (4:09)
- "Leaving Home" (4:46)
- "The Fortress of Solitude" (8:22)
- "Helicopter Rescue" (6:16)
- "The Penthouse" (1:50)
- "The Flying Sequence" (4:16)
- "The Truck Convoy" (1:54)
- "To The Lair" (2:18)
- "March of the Villains" (3:56)
- "Chasing Rockets" (5:12)
- "Pushing Boulders" (2:24)
- "Flying to Lois" (2:58)
- "Turning Back the World" (2:01)
- "The Prison Yard and End Title" (6:27)
- "Love Theme from Superman" (5:01)
- 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.
Rhino track listing
- "Prelude and Main Title March" (5:29)
- "The Planet Krypton" (6:39)
- "Destruction of Krypton" (7:52)
- "Star Ship Escapes" (2:21)
- "The Trip to Earth" (2:28)
- "Growing Up" (2:34)
- "Death of Jonathan Kent" (3:27)
- "Leaving Home" (4:49)
- "The Fortress of Solitude" (9:17)
- "Welcome to Metropolis" (2:11)
- "Lex Luthor's Lair" (4:48)
- "The Big Rescue" (5:55)
- "Super Crime Fighter" (3:20)
- "Super Rescues" (2:14)
- "Luthor's Luau" (source music) (2:48)
- "The Planet Krypton" (alternate) (4:24)
- "Main Title March" (alternate) (4:38)
Total Time: 75:18
- ""Superman" March" (alternate) (3:48)
- "The March of the Villains" (3:36)
- "The Terrace" (1:36)
- "The Flying Sequence" (8:12)
- "Lois and Clark" (0:50)
- "Crime of the Century" (3:24)
- "Sonic Greeting" (2:21)
- "Misguided Missiles and Kryptonite" (3:26)
- "Chasing Rockets" (4:56)
- "Super Feats" (4:53)
- "Super Dam and Finding Lois" (5:11)
- "Turning Back the World" (2:06)
- "Finale and End Title March" (5:42)
- "Love Theme from Superman" (5:06)
- "Can You Read My Mind" (Alternate) (performed in recitation by Margot Kidder) (2:56)
- "The Flying Sequence/Can You Read My Mind" (album version) (performed in recitation by Margot Kidder) (8:12)
- "Can You Read My Mind" (alternate: Instrumental) (2:56)
- "Theme from Superman" (concert version) (4:24)
Total Time: 73:38
Restored complete score release
- 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.
A new remaster of the complete score was issued as a stand-alone CD from on February 22, 2019 with the addition of a new alternate section of "The Fortress of Solitude" on Disc 2, and a reconstructed original album version of Disc 3. Otherwise, the track listing is similar to the FSM release.
FSM track listing
- "Theme From Superman" (4:23)
- "Prelude and Main Title" (5:02)
- "The Planet Krypton" (6:36)
- "Destruction of Krypton" (7:53)
- "The Kryptonquake" (2:24)
- "The Trip to Earth" (2:30)
- "Growing Up" (2:32)
- "Jonathan's Death" (3:23)
- "Leaving Home" (4:48)
- "The Fortress of Solitude" (9:18)
- "The Mugger" (2:07)
- "Lex Luthor's Lair" (4:48)
- "Helicopter Sequence" (5:55)
- "The Burglar Sequence/Chasing Crooks" (3:18)
- "Super Rescues" (2:16)
- "The Penthouse" (1:31)
- "The Flying Sequence" (8:10)
- "Clark Loses His Nerve" (0:46)
Total Time: 78:36
- "The March of the Villains" (3:35)
- "The Truck Convoy/Miss Teschmacher Helps" (3:24)
- "To the Lair" (2:18)
- "Trajectory Malfunction/Luthor's Lethal Weapon" (3:24)
- "Chasing Rockets" (4:57)
- "Superfeats" (4:54)
- "Pushing Boulders/Flying to Lois" (5:21)
- "Turning Back the World" (2:03)
- "The Prison Yard/End Title" (6:37)
- "Love Theme From Superman" (4:58)
- "Prelude and Main Title" (original version) (3:46)
- "The Planet Krypton" (alternate) (3:16)
- "The Dome Opens" (alternate) (2:30)
- "The Mugger" (alternate) (1:24)
- "I Can Fly" (Flying Sequence segment) (2:01)
- "Can You Read My Mind" (film version) (3:02)
- "Trajectory Malfunction" (alternate) (1:01)
- "Turning Back the World" (alternate) (2:16)
- "The Prison Yard/End Title" (film version) (5:44)
Total Time: 67:27
- "Prelude and Main Title" (film version) (5:19)
- "The Flying Sequence" (album version) (8:11)
- "Can You Read My Mind" (original version) (2:51)
- "Can You Read My Mind" (non-vocal version) (3:02)
- "Kansas High School" (source) (1:56)
- "Kansas Kids" (source) (1:49)
- "Lois Car Radio" (source) (2:02)
- "Luthor's Luau" (source) (2:43)
Total Time: 28:13
- 1980 on LP from Warner Bros. Records.
WB Records track listing
- "Preface" (1:04)
- "Main Title March" (5:32)
- "Lift Into Space - Release Of The Villains" (1:38)
- "Lex Escapes" (2:09)
- "Honeymoon Hotel" (3:16)
- "Lex & Miss Teschmacher To Fortress" (2:07)
- "Clark Exposed As Superman" (3:17)
- "Lover Fly North" (0:52)
- "Mother's Advice" (1:56)
- "TV. President Resigns - Clark To Fortress" (2:48)
- "Aerial Battle - Superman Save Spire" (2:51)
- "Sad Return" (1:43)
- "Ursa Flies Over The Moon" (2:28)
- "Clark Fumbles Rescue" (2:11)
- "End Title March" (4:16)
Total Time: 38:08
This album and the original album for Superman III were combined for an out-of-print Japanese CD release.
Restored complete score release
- 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.
FSM track listing
- "Preface/Villains in Zone/ Main Title March" (8:18)
- "Superman to Paris/ Lois Climbs Tower" (2:47)
- "Walkie-Talkies/Gelignite Bangs/ Superman Saves Lift" (2:08)
- "Lift Into Space—Releasing the Villains" (1:32)
- "Orange Juice/Prison Intro/ My Little Black Box" (1:48)
- "Ursa Flies Over Moon/Spacecraft Wrecked/Moon to Earth" (4:04)
- "Lex Escapes" (2:03)
- "Sleeping Arrangements/Relaxing at Niagara/Looks Familiar/Superman Saves Boy" (3:31)
- "Lex and Miss Teschmacher to Fortress/Lex Plans Partnership" (2:35)
- "Suspecting Lois Takes the Plunge/ Clark Fumbles Rescue/Villains Land by Lake" (3:33)
- "Clark Exposed as Superman" (3:11)
- "Sheriff and Duane Meet Villains/ Lovers Fly North" (2:21)
- "Daddy's Rise and Fall/Flight for Flowers/East Houston Battle" (3:03)
- "Lovers at Dinner Table/ Zod Meets General" (1:35)
- "Mother's Advice" (1:49)
- "To Bed—Mount Rushmore— Sweet Dreams" (1:32)
- "President Kneels Before Zod" (1:53)
- "Fight in Diner" (1:04)
- "TV President Resigns— Clark to Fortress" (2:42)
- "Return of the Green Crystal/Bored Zod" (2:16)
- "Non Wrecks Office" (1:27)
- "Aerial Battle/Zod Throws Slab/ Superman Saves Spire" (4:49)
- "Superman Saves Petrol Tanker/ Superman Fights Zod/Superman Flies Off" (4:29)
- "Villains Take Lex and Lois to Fortress/School Games" (3:11)
- "Superman Pulls Big Switch/Superman Triumphs Over Villains" (1:56)
- "Sad Return" (1:38)
- "Lois Forgets" (1:46)
- "Happy Lois Back to Normal/ Superman Replaces Stars and Stripes/End Title March" (5:34)
Total Time: 79:46
- "Honeymoon Hotel" (3:11)
- "Country & Western" (2:07)
- "East Houston Café" (2:13)
- "Car Radio for Ride Back" (0:56)
- "Diner Jukebox #1" (2:14)
- "Diner Jukebox #2" (2:16)
Total Time: 13:17
- 1983 on LP from Warner Bros. Records.
WB Records track listing
- "Main Title" (5:23)
- "Saving The Factory - The Acid Test" (6:09)
- "Gus Finds A Way" (0:59)
- "The Two Faces Of Superman" (2:50)
- "The Struggle Within - Finale" (4:16)
- "Rock On - Marshall Crenshaw" (3:35)
- "No See, No Cry - Chaka Khan" (3:18)
- "They Won't Get Me - Roger Miller" (3:20)
- "Love Theme - Helen St. John" (3:14)
- "Main Title March" (4:20)
Total Time: 37:24
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.
Restored complete score release
- 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.
FSM track listing
- "Main Title (The Streets of Metropolis)" (5:27)
- "Gus on Computer After the Cents" (1:06)
- "Saving the Factory—The Acid Test" (6:11)
- "Pay Day for Gus/School Gym—Earth Angel/Vulcan" (1:37)
- "Lana and Clark in Cornfield/Clark Rescues Ricky" (2:27)
- "Gus Shows the Booze/Gus Finds a Way" (1:20)
- "Montage" (3:10)
- "Colombian Storm" (1:30)
- "Kryptonite/Gus Down Building/Searching for Kryptonite" (2:16)
- "Lana and Clark on Telephone/Kryptonite Sting/Superman Affected by Kryptonite/Superman Too Late" (1:48)
- "Tower of Pisa/What Will It Do for Me" (1:58)
- "Superman and Lorelei on Statue/Superman Ruins Tanker" (2:19)
- "Boxes in Canyon/Drunken Superman" (3:22)
- "The Two Faces of Superman" (2:52)
- "The Struggle Within" (2:27)
- "The Final Victory" (2:15)
- "Preparing Balloons/Superman Coming/Computer" (3:02)
- "Rockets/Video Games/Big Missile" (3:11)
- "Superman Confronts Ross/Computer Takes Over/ Gus Fights Ross" (2:13)
- "The Computer Comes Alive/Superman Leaves Computer Cave" (2:32)
- "Metal Vera/Computer Blows Up" (2:55)
- "Gus Flying With Superman" (1:19)
- "Diamond Sting/Thank You Superman/Superman Gus/Clark Gives Lana Diamond Ring" (1:40)
- "End Credits" (4:28)
Total Time: 64:18
- "Main Title (The Streets of Metropolis)" (alternate) (5:26)
- "Pay Day for Gus" (alternate) (0:40)
- "Colombian Storm Part 1" (1:05)
- "Olympic Parade" (0:25)
- "Après Ski" (1:04)
Total Time: 8:57
Yes, Giorgio: Songs
- "Rock On" - Marshall Crenshaw (3:35)
- "No See, No Cry" - Chaka Khan (3:18)
- "They Won't Get Me" - Roger Miller (3:20)
- "Love Theme" - Helen St. John (3:14)
- "Main Title March" (4:20)
Total Time: 18:00
Adventures of Superman: The Original 1950s TV Series
Released by Varèse Sarabande in 2000.
- "Main Title"
- "The Slap"
- "Violin Scream"
- "Tympani Beat Tension"
- "Build to Sting"
- "The Skeleton"
- "Last Reel Fight"
- "Creeping Misterioso"
- "Murder Will Out"
- "Spectral Thumps"
- "Mounting Drama"
- "The Fight"
- "Hit and Run!"
- "A Nightmare"
- "Quiet Tension"
- "Spreading Misterioso"
- "Blood And Thunder / Just In Time"
- "Beating Heart"
- "The Battle"
- "Brutal Regiment I"
- "Moleska's Plight II"
- "Tender Secret III"
- "Cue For String Orchestra IV"
- "Tragic Tension V"
- "June Waltz"
- "La Tengo"
- "Smallville Pastorale I"
- "Years Go by II"
- "He Was a Good Father III"
- "Mother's Farewell, A IV"
- "Shadows on the Wall"
- "Superman End" - (long version)
- (Untitled) - (hidden track)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
- Complete score release, February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly; reissued in 2018 as a stand-alone 2-CD set from La-La Land Records.
Although an album release for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was produced in 1987, it was aborted when the film was shortened shortly before release. 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).
FSM track listing
- "Fanfare/Space Saver" (1:48)
- "Main Title/Back in Time" (5:40)
- "Pow!/Good Morning" (2:45)
- "Smoke the Yokes/Nefarious" (1:04)
- "To Work/Train Stopper" (2:06)
- "Someone Like You (Lacy's Theme)" (3:17)
- "Jeremy's Theme" (2:13)
- "For Real/The Class" (1:43)
- "Hair Raisers" (0:59)
- "Lacy/The Visit" (2:27)
- "First Nuclear Man" (5:24)
- "Nuke 1 Fight/Ashes" (3:45)
- "Headline" (2:48)
- "Fresh Air" (4:33)
- "United Nations/Net Man" (4:42)
- "Sunstroke/Enter Nuclear Man 2" (5:25)
- "Flight to Earth/Introducing Nuclear Man 2" (3:27)
- "Lacy" (disco version) (2:13)
- "Lacy's Place" (5:23)
- "Ear Ache/Confrontation/Tornado" (8:09)
- "Volcano" (2:18)
- "Statue of Liberty Fight" (3:44)
Total Time: 76:44
- "Nuclear Man Theme" (2:45)
- "Down With Flu" (3:12)
- "Two-Faced Lex/Missile Buildup" (1:39)
- "Persuader/Awakened" (3:13)
- "Abducted/Mutual Distrust" (4:43)
- "Metropolis Fight/Lift to the Moon" (3:36)
- "Moon Fight/Goodbye Nuke" (5:06)
- "Come Uppance/Lifted/Quarried/Flying With Jeremy/End Credits" (9:34)
- "Fresh Air" (album version) (4:35)
- "Someone Like You (Lacy's Theme)" (slow version) (3:33)
- "Red Square Band" (0:52)
- "Superfly Guy" (4:11)
- "Headphone Heaven" (3:23)
- "Revolution Now" (4:26)
- "Saxy Sadie" (4:47)
- "Krypton Nights" (4:44)
- "Life's Too Dangerous" (3:14)
- "Workout" (2:27)
- "Lois Love" (4:56)
Total Time: 75:44
Tracks 12-19 of this disc are songs and source music by Paul Fishman. This same content was replicated for the 2018 La-La Land CD reissue.
Superman: The Ultimate Collection
A 1999 Varèse Sarabande album conducted and arranged by Randy Miller based in various Superman versions for cinema, shorts and TV.
- "The Adventures of Superman" (Adventures of Superman (TV series) theme)
- "Superman: The Movie" (Main theme by John Williams)
- "The Trip To Earth" (from Superman: The Movie)
- "Leaving Home" (from Superman: The Movie)
- "Superfeats" (from Superman: The Movie)
- "Love Theme" (from Superman: The Movie)
- "Superman: The Columbia Serial" (Main theme from 1948 serial with Kirk Alyn)
- "It's Superman" (from musical Broadway "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman!")
- "Fanfare and Clark Screws Up" (from Superman II)
- "Love theme and Flying" (from Superman II)
- "Phnatasmagoria" (from musical Broadway "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman!")
- "Honeymoon Hotel" (from Superman II)
- "March of the Villains" (from Superman: The Movie)
- "Supergirl" (Main theme by Jerry Goldsmith for Supergirl)
- "The Streets of Metropolis" (from Superman III)
- "Superman - The Max Fleischer Cartoons" (Main theme for 1941 shorts)
Superman 1988's series
- Complete score release, February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.
FSM track listing
- "Main Title"
- "Drone / Blown Drone" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
- "Talk with Lex" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
- "Trouble in the Park / Fire Rescues" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
- "Supe Quits / Fake Quake" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
- "Saved From Lava / Plans" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
- "Super Defendroid / Operation Nugget" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
- "Droid Wars / Warning" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
- "Superman's Family Album: The Adoption" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
- "Main Title Alternate"
- "Alien Discovery" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "The Suit" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "Daily Planet Mystery Play-On / Jimmy and Chief" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "Kyroni Encounter" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "The Planting / Ship's Log" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "Something's Up #2 / Bad Guy Dialogue #1" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "Trouble in Metropolis" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "Aliens Take Over the World" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "Superman's Family Album: The Supermarket" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "Superman Theme" - from "Fugitive From Space"
- "China Play-On / Nukua's Theme" - from "By the Skin of the Dragon's Teeth"
- "Saboteur" - from "By the Skin of the Dragon's Teeth"
- "Transition #3 / Bad Guy Dialogue #6 / Dragon's Treasure" - from "By the Skin of the Dragon's Teeth"
- "Prankster's Theme / Game Montage / No Baseball" - from "Triple-Play"
- "Superman's Family Album: The First Day of School" - from "Cybron Strikes"
- "Library Suite #1"
- "Library Suite #2"
- "Aliens Take Over the World" (alternate #1 -- orchestra only)
- "Library Suite #3"
- "Library Suite #4"
- "Library Suite #5"
- "Aliens Take Over the World" (alternate #2 – strings / synth only)
- "Library Suite #6"
- "Library Suite #7"
- "End Title"
June 27, 2006: on CD from Warner Sunset/Rhino Records.
- "Main Titles" (3:47)
- "Memories" (3:05)
- "Rough Flight" (5:11)
- "Little Secrets/Power of the Sun" (2:47)
- "Bank Job" (2:19)
- "How Could You Leave Us?" (5:47)
- "Tell Me Everything" (3:11)
- "You're Not One of Them" (2:20)
- "Not Like the Train Set" (5:10)
- "So Long Superman" (5:29)
- "The People You Care For" (3:25)
- "I Wanted You to Know" (2:54)
- "Saving the World" (3:10)
- "In The Hands of Mortals" (2:09)
- "Reprise/Fly Away" (4:17)
Total Time: 54:59
- December 3, 2013: 2-CD set from La-La Land Records.
La-La Land track listing
- "As Time Goes By/The Planet Krypton" (1:22)
- "Main Titles" (2:44)
- "Dying Wish" (2:41)
- "Homecoming/Tell Me Everything/Stars in the Sky" (5:52)
- "Memories" (3:15)
- "Put Here for a Reason/The World Keeps Spinning/Closet Case/Daily Planet" (2:22)
- "Things Have Changed/Chip Off the Old Block" (1:41)
- "Genesis Project/Like Sea Monkeys" (1:42)
- "A Drop in the Bucket/Is It Rite?" (3:09)
- "Boosters Non-Responsive/Rough Flight/Home Run" (6:54)
- "He's Back!" (1:37)
- "Superman Scoop/Eavesdropping" (1:19)
- "To Lois' House/You're Not One of Them" (2:52)
- "Bank Job" (3:23)
- "Kitty Decoy" (3:38)
- "Supermania" (1:07)
- "Kryptonite" (0:34)
- "Little Secrets" (1:06)
- "How Could You Leave Us?" (7:05)
- "They're Gone/Bad Idea/They Make Great Chandeliers/Beach Front Property/Lineage?" (3:35)
- "Not Like the Train Set" (5:48)
- "We Have to Go/Who to Save?" (3:00)
Total Time: 67:28
- "Metropolis Mayhem" (4:03)
- "Out to Sea" (5:55)
- "So Long Superman" (7:12)
- "Saving Superman/Power of the Sun" (5:29)
- "Saving the World" (6:22)
- "In the Hands of Mortals" (1:16)
- "Family Unit/I Wanted You to Know" (5:15)
- "Lex's Paradise/Change of Heart/Parting Words" (4:55)
- "Reprise/Fly Away" (4:15)
- "End Titles" (3:55)
- "Return to Krypton" (synth mockup) (5:05)
- "Prelude/Main Titles" (original extended version) (4:01)
- "Daily Planet" (alternate) (0:21)
- "GDIATFH Medley" (source) (0:44)
- "Heart and Soul" (source) (0:39)
Total Time: 60:01
Man of Steel
June 11, 2013: on CD from WaterTower Music.
Disc 1 – Flight
- "Look to the Stars" (2:58)
- "Oil Rig" (1:45)
- "Sent Here for a Reason" (3:46)
- "DNA" (3:34)
- "Goodbye Son" (2:01)
- "If You Love These People" (3:22)
- "Krypton's Last" (1:58)
- "Terraforming" (9:49)
- "Tornado" (2:53)
- "You Die or I Do" (3:13)
- "Launch" (2:36)
- "Ignition" (1:19)
- "I Will Find Him" (2:57)
- "This Is Clark Kent" (3:47)
- "I Have So Many Questions" (3:47)
- "Flight" (4:18)
Disc 2 – Experiments from the Fortress of Solitude
- "What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?" (5:27)
- "Man of Steel" (Hans' Original Sketchbook) (28:16)
- "Are You Listening, Clark?" (2:48)
- "General Zod" (7:21)
- "You Led Us Here" (2:59)
- "This Is Madness!" (3:48)
- "Earth" (6:11)
- "Arcade" (7:25)
Total Time: 1:58:18
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
March 18, 2016: on CD from WaterTower Music.
- "Beautiful Lie" (3:47)
- "Their War Here" (4:34)
- "The Red Capes Are Coming" (3:32)
- "Day of the Dead" (4:01)
- "Must There Be a Superman?" (3:58)
- "New Rules" (4:02)
- "Do You Bleed?" (4:36)
- "Problems Up Here" (4:25)
- "Black and Blue" (8:30)
- "Tuesday" (4:00)
- "Is She With You?" (5:46)
- "This Is My World" (6:23)
- "Men Are Still Good (The Batman Suite)" (14:03)
- "Blood of My Blood" (4:25)
- "Vigilante" (3:53)
- "May I Help You, Mr. Wayne?" (3:27)
- "They Were Hunters" (2:45)
- "Fight Night" (4:20)
Total Time: 1:30:27
- 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.
- Supergirl soundtrack review. Filmtracks.com. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- 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.
- Superman: The Music (1978-1988); "The Quest For An LP," p. 135 of liner notes
- "John Williams (4) - Superman The Movie (Original Sound Track)".
Harry's Wondrous World from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (soundtrack)
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 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. It was also certified gold in Japan for 100,000 units by the RIAJ. 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. In UK, the album charted at number 19.
|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|
|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|
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.
Behind the scenes
"Hedwig's Theme" is the leitmotif for the film series. 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 throughout the rest of the 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.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "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.
- Trust, Gary (24 November 2010). "Weekly Chart Notes: Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, the Beatles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
Theme from Schindler's List
Schindler's List (soundtrack)
|Entertainment Weekly||A− 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.
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, Johnny Weir, and Yulia Lipnitskaya.
- "Theme from Schindler's List" – 4:15
- "Jewish Town (Krakow Ghetto - Winter '41)" – 4:40
- "Immolation (With Our Lives, We Give Life)" – 4:44
- "Remembrances" – 4:20
- "Schindler's Workforce" – 9:08
- "OYF'N Pripetshok / Nacht Aktion" – 2:56 (OYF'N Pripetshok performed by The Li-Ron Herzeliya Children's Choir Tel Aviv, conducted by Ronit Shapira)
- "I Could Have Done More" – 5:52
- "Auschwitz-Birkenau" – 3:41
- "Stolen Memories" – 4:20
- "Making the List" – 5:11
- "Give Me Your Names" – 4:55
- "Yeroushalaim Chel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold)" – 2:17 (performed by The Ramat Gan Chamber Choir Tel Aviv, conducted by Hana Tzur)
- "Remembrances (with Itzhak Perlman)" – 5:17
- "Theme from Schindler's List (Reprise)" – 2:59
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:
- the famous tango "Por Una Cabeza" by Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Le Pera is played in the opening nightclub scene
- the tango "Celos (Jealousy)" by Jacob Gade plays next in the nightclub
- the German schlager "Die Holzauktion" ("Im Grunewald ist Holzauktion") by and , performed by Rudolf Scherfling plays after that in the nightclub
- "Mein Vater war ein Wandersmann" is sung live by the patrons at the end of the nightclub scene as they take pictures with Schindler
- the German marching song Erika (Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein) by Herms Niel is sung by German troops marching into Krakow
- an instrumental arrangement of the song "Szomorú Vasárnap" by Rezső Seress
- an instrumental arrangement of the song "Deine Augen Sind Dein Herz"
- an instrumental arrangement of the song "In einem kleinen Café in Hernals"
- Polish pop song "Miłość ci wszystko wybaczy" "(Love Forgives All)" by Henryk Wars
- Polish song "To ostatnia niedziela" is played at Schindler's birthday party after he kisses the Jewish girl
- Bach’s English Suite No. 2, played during the liquidation of the ghetto
- Gute Nacht Mutter, performed by Wilhelm Strienz, plays on loudspeakers as the camp inmates are forced to run naked for inspection.
- Mamatschi (or Mamatschi, kauf mir ein Pferdchen), performed by German Cabaret singer Mimi Thoma, played on loudspeakers in the camp to lure the children out of their hiding places and onto trucks
- "God Bless the Child", performed by Billie Holiday plays as Schindler stays awake at night, deciding to buy the imprisoned Jews from Goeth
- "La Capricieuse, Op. 17" by Edward Elgar, arranged by Jascha Heifetz, performed by Itzhak Perlman and Samuel Sanders, used as score for the scene where Schindler interviews secretaries
In addition, Wojciech Kilar's composition "" for mixed choir and orchestra was used as score in the trailer in the film.
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- Keegan, Rebecca (8 January 2012). "John Williams and Steven Spielberg mark 40 years of collaboration". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
Adventure's on Earth from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (soundtrack)
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.
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.
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 pensled out the full score during the period 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.
|1.||"Three Million Light Years from Home"||2:57|
|2.||"Abandoned and Pursued"||2:58|
|3.||"E.T. and Me"||4:49|
|6.||"E.T. Phone Home"||4:18|
|7.||"Over the Moon"||2:06|
|8.||"Adventure on Earth"||15:06|
|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|
|7.||"E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"||2:53|
|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|
|16.||"E.T. Is Alive!"||4:18|
|17.||"Escape / Chase / Saying Goodbye"||15:04|
|2.||"Far from Home / E.T. Alone"||6:47|
|3.||"Bait for E.T."||1:44|
|5.||"E.T.'s New Home"||1:39|
|6.||"The Beginning of a Friendship"||3:03|
|8.||"I'm Keeping Him"||2:18|
|10.||"E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"||2:54|
|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|
|19.||"E.T. Is Alive!"||4:06|
|20.||"Escape / Chase / Saying Goodbye"||15:02|
|2017 re-issue; Disc 1|
|2.||"Far From Home / E.T. Alone"||6:57|
|3.||"Bait for E.T."||1:45|
|5.||"E.T.'s New Home"||1:28|
|6.||"The Beginning of a Friendship"||2:53|
|8.||"I'm Keeping Him"||2:20|
|10.||"The Closet" (Previously unreleased)||0:53|
|11.||"E.T. and Elliott Get Drunk"||2:57|
|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|
|20.||"E.T. Is Alive"||4:22|
|21.||"The Rescue and Bike Chase"||8:07|
|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|
|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|
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.) To date, a total of only six scores have won all four awards.
Dvořák's Dumky trio
Many observers have noted that the E.T. theme music sounds extremely similar to a passage near the end of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's Dumky trio, leading some to accuse Williams of "stealing" the music. However, others have pointed out that it is not an uncommon practice for contemporary composers to borrow from classical music.
- Lawson 2018, p. 92.
- Tucker, Evan (2011-11-27). "Mein Blog: How John Williams Stole the ET Theme". Mein Blog. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
- "Patterico's Pontifications » John Williams, Thief Borrower: The Proof". Retrieved 2016-07-28.
- Lawson, Matt; MacDonald, Laurence (2018), 100 Greatest Film Scores, U.S.A.: Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 9781538103685
The Cowboys Overture
The Cowboys is a 1972 American western film starring John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, Colleen Dewhurst, and Bruce Dern. 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.
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.
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 show up 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 Slim refers to Cimarron'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 Long Hair
- 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)
- Nicholas 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.
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.'"
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- 2005: AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores – Nominated
- 2006: AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – Nominated
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.
- "The Cowboys, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 44
- "The Cowboys (1972)". Tcm.com. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- "The Cowboys: The Making of the John Wayne Western". emanuellevy.com; Retrieved on 2014-05-17 from http://www.emanuellevy.com/comment/the-cowboys-the-making-of-john-waynes-western-1/#sthash.bIL1BRPV.dpuf.
- "AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.
Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan*
Saving Private Ryan (soundtrack)
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 on August 28, 2018.
Steven Spielberg and John Williams had worked together on fifteen films before Saving Private Ryan (1998). The score was recorded at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts with the assistance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 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. 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. 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." 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.
Spielberg and Williams both watched a rough cut of the film to determine what scenes would have music. The two decided to leave music out of the fighting sequences, in favor of playing it over long sequences of eight to nine minutes that lack action. The playing of music between fighting sequences gives a moment of reflection for what happened. 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. This caused the musicians to shuffle their feet in appreciation.
Williams chose to use different families and types of instruments to convey and evoke certain tones within the score. 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. Military drums were used largely in the piece entitled "Hymn to the Fallen." 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. "Hymn to the Fallen" and its reprise are the only two tracks that feature any sort of vocals and bookend the album. 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." The album was released on July 21, 1998.
Author Emilio Audissino felt that the music offered no "perspective" like Williams' scores normally do, but were instead rooted in emotion. Classic FM believed that despite the restrictions placed on Williams, he still managed to create a "moving theme." Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic agreed, stating Williams added "sentiment wherever he could nonetheless." Hillel Italie of the Associated Press found the soundtrack to be "bland" and "out of place." Richard Harrington of The Washington Post found the soundtrack created by Williams to be "quietly heroic, full of survivalist determination and pragmatic melancholy." In regard to all of Williams' soundtracks for Spielberg films, Harrington believed that this soundtrack was the most "subtle." Calgary Herald writers felt Williams' created a "reflective score" that "is sensitive without sensationalizing the subject."
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. Barbera Vancheri of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that "John Williams' symphonic score soars in the background like church music." 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. He added that the music was an "elevating" component of the film. 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.
In addition to the film itself, the soundtrack received several nominations for various awards. The score won the Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television. 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.
In 2003, the Cleveland Institute of Music published a list of uplifting classical music pieces that featured "Hymn to the Fallen" and "Omaha Beach." Within the United States, "Hymn to the Fallen" received minor radio airplay on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Classic FM voted the soundtrack to its "Movie Music Hall of Fame" that consists of the top 100 movie soundtracks chosen by fan votes. The soundtrack placed sixteenth on the list, two places lower than the previous year. 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.
|1.||"Hymn to the Fallen"||6:10|
|4.||"Finding Private Ryan"||4:37|
|5.||"Approaching the Enemy"||4:31|
|8.||"High School Teacher"||11:03|
|9.||"The Last Battle"||7:57|
|10.||"Hymn to the Fallen (Reprise)"||6:10|
|July 21, 1998|||
|August 28, 2018||CD||La-La Land Records|
- 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.
- Richard Harrington (September 6, 1998). "Summertime, and the Movies Spawn CDs". The Washington Post. p. G04. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- 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.
- "John Williams: Saving Private Ryan". Classic FM. Global Limited. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Audissino 2014, p. 217.
- 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.
- Brian Hunt (March 20, 1999). "Movie Muzak: Can a Soundtrack Succeed as a Work of Art?". National Post. p. 10.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Saving Private Ryan - John Williams". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Hillel Italie (July 23, 1998). "Something missing in 'Saving Private Ryan'". The Daily News. Associated Press. p. 2-B. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- Howard Cohen; Dan Deluca; Nick Cristiano (August 13, 1998). "CD Reviews". Calgary Herald. p. HL10.
- Ian Black (October 25, 2006). "'Flags of our Fathers' falls short". The Sun. p. 10. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- Barbara Vancheri (August 4, 1998). "Debate swirls over taking youths to 'Private' Ryan". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. E-6. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- Ted Shaw (August 8, 1998). "Williams does Ryan soundtrack". Edmonton Journal. p. C4.
- Thomas Doherty (December 1998). "Saving Private Ryan". Cineaste. New York, NY. XXIV (1): 68–71. ISSN 0009-7004.
- "'Shakespeare', 'Truman Show' top Globe nominees". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. December 18, 1998. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- "John Williams". The GRAMMYs. The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- "Saving Private Ryan (John Williams) (1998)". Filmtracks. Filmtracks Publications. March 11, 2008. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- "Uplifting music pieces make up listening guide". The Victoria Advocate. March 6, 2002. p. 6-C. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- "Remember Them". The Chatfield News. November 8, 2005. p. 9. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- "Showtime shows some smart films still get made". Lawrence Journal-World. May 29, 1999. p. 5D. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Movie Music Chart". Classic FM. Global Limited. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- "Saving Private Ryan (includes Hymn to the Fallen)". Classic FM. Global Limited. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- "No Casino Gettysburg Releases New Celebrity Interviews with Music from Saving Private Ryan". PR Newswire. Infotrac Newsstand. December 6, 2010.
- "Saving Private Ryan - John Williams". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- "Saving Private Ryan (Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by John Williams on iTunes". iTunes Store. United States: Apple Inc.
- "Saving Private Ryan - John Williams - Releases". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on June 15, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Audissino, Emilio (2014). John Williams's film music : Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the return of the classical Hollywood music style. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-29733-6.
Battle of the Heroes from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith*
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (soundtrack)
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 StarWars.com. 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.
|Common Sense Media|
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." 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."
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." Filmtracks.com 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." 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."
All music is composed by John Williams.
|1.||"Star Wars and The Revenge of the Sith"||7:31|
|3.||"Battle of the Heroes"||3:42|
|7.||"Grievous and the Droids"||3:28|
|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|
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. 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:
- "A Long Time Ago" —
"20th Century Fox Fanfare" / "Star Wars Main Title"
- "Dark Forces Conspire" —
"Duel of the Fates" (from The Phantom Menace)
- "A Hero Rises" —
"Anakin's Theme" (from The Phantom Menace)
- "A Fateful Love" —
"Across the Stars" (from Attack of the Clones)
- "A Hero Falls" —
"Battle of the Heroes" (from Revenge of the Sith)
- "An Empire is Forged" —
"The Imperial March" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
- "A Planet that is Farthest From" —
"The Dune Sea of Tatooine" / "Jawa Sandcrawler" (from A New Hope)
- "An Unlikely Alliance" —
"Binary Sunset" / "Cantina Theme" (from A New Hope)
- "A Defender Emerges" —
"Princess Leia's Theme" (from A New Hope)
- "A Daring Rescue" —
"Ben's Death" / "TIE Fighter Attack" (from A New Hope)
- "A Jedi is Trained" —
"Yoda's Theme" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
- "A Narrow Escape" —
"The Asteroid Field" (from The Empire Strikes Back)
- "A Bond Unbroken" —
"Luke and Leia" (from Return of the Jedi)
- "A Sanctuary Moon" —
"The Forest Battle (Concert Suite)" (from Return of the Jedi)
- "A Life Redeemed" —
"Light of the Force" (from Return of the Jedi)
- "A New Day Dawns" —
"Throne Room" / "Finale" (from A New Hope)
- 1M1 Fox Fanfare (The Empire Strikes Back Recording)
- 1M2 Star Wars Main Theme (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
- "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.
- "Battle of the Heroes - Star Wars". Official Charts Company. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "John Williams - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- DVD featurette "Within a Minute"
- Theakston, Rob. "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (John Williams)". Filmtracks.com. Filmtracks Publications. April 15, 2005. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- Southall, James. "Williams: Revenge of the Sith". Movie Wave. Archived from the original on May 6, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "Revenge of the Sith". ScoreNotes. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace for Orchestra*
Duel of the Fates
"Duel of the Fates" 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. 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. "Duel of the Fates" lasted 11 days on the countdown.
"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. 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. 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". 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.
Appearances in Star Wars
The piece "Battle of the Heroes", which was played in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, during the battle sequence between the 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. 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. “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.
"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, and Angry Birds Star Wars II. 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, and again in the season finale, "Twilight of the Apprentice", when she duels Maul.
"Duel of the Fates" can also be heard softly in the background when Maul appears in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The music video for this theme debut on Total Request Live, leading the London Symphony Orchestra to become the only classical group to have a video debut on Total Request Live. "Duel of the Fates" lasted 11 days on the countdown.
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.
"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.
Tottenham Hotspur F.C. uses "Duel of the Fates" to announce the appearance of the players from the tunnel.
- 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.
- "The TRL Archive - Debuts". ATRL. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2008.
- Movie Music DVD Special Featurette, 
- Karlin, F. & Wright, R. (2004). On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring (2nd. ed.). New York: Routledge. 165-168.
- "Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em". The Simpsons. Season 18. Episode 1803 F80147 SI-1720. September 24, 2006. FOX.
- "The Simpsons: - TV.com". TV.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- "Habs, Bruins enter Gillette Stadium in style". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
Main Title from Star Wars Suite for Orchestra
Music of Star Wars
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 2017, 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. Williams also scored the seventh and eighth episodes in the franchise's sequel trilogy, and he is currently slated to score the ninth (and last) episode as well. 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 Star Wars. The music for several animated television series spin-offs has been written by Kevin Kiner and Ryan Shore. 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 the latest spin-off film, with Williams actually writing a new theme for the composer to use. Michael Giacchino was the composer of the first Anthology film, Rogue One, while John Powell scored the second film, Solo.
The scores are primarily performed by a symphony orchestra of varying size joined, in several sections, by a choir of varying size. 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, Williams has written approximately fifty themes in one of the largest, richest collection of themes in the history of film music.
|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)|
|1999||The Phantom Menace||Conrad Pope|
|London Voices (SATB)|
New London Children's Choir
|2002||Attack of the Clones||Conrad Pope|
|London Voices (SATB)|
Boy choir (synth)
|2005||Revenge of the Sith||London Voices (SATB)|
Boy choir (synth)
|2015||The Force Awakens||John Williams|
|Hollywood Freelance Studio Symphony||Hollywood Film Chorale (bass)|
|2017||The Last Jedi||John Williams|
|Los Angeles Master Chorale (SATB, bass)|
|2008||The Clone Wars||Kevin Kiner|
John Williams (Original Themes)
|City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra|
|2016||Rogue One||Michael Giacchino|
John Williams (Original Themes)
|Tim Simonec||William Ross|
Herbert W. Spencer
|Hollywood Freelance Studio Symphony||Los Angeles Master Chorale|
John Williams (Han Solo Theme, Original Themes)
|Gavin Greenaway||Batu Sener|
Paul Mounsey (additional music and arrangements)
John Ashton Thomas (lead orchestrator)
|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 six seasons, which concluded in 2014. A soundtrack album was released that same year by Walt Disney Records.
|2008–2014||Star Wars: The Clone Wars||Kevin Kiner||Takeshi Furukawa|
David G. Russell
Matthew St. Laurent
Russ Howard III
|2014–2018||Star Wars Rebels||David G. Russell|
Matthew St. Laurent
|2017–present||Star Wars: Forces of Destiny||Ryan Shore|
|2018–present||Star Wars Resistance||Michael Tavera|
|1998||Star Wars: Rogue Squadron||Chris Huelsbeck|
|2001||Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader||Chris Huelsbeck|
|2003||Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike||Chris Huelsbeck|
|2008||Star Wars: The Force Unleashed||Mark Griskey|
|2010||Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II||Mark Griskey|
|2015||Star Wars: Battlefront||Gordy Haab|
|2017||Star Wars: Battlefront II||Gordy Haab|
|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.
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. Williams relied less and less on references to existing music in the latter seven 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. 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 temporarily.[a] Otherwise, however, his later scores were mostly tracked with music of his own composition, mainly from previous Star Wars films. 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). 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".
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. 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.
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.
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) 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, 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. 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. 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. However, to recreate the eight 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 a E-flat clarinet), 2 bassoons (doubling on a contrabassoon).
- Brass: 6 horns (doubling on Wagner Tubas), 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass tuba.
- Keyboards: Piano, celesta, synthesizer.
- 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), 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).
- 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, 2 horns, trumpet, bass trombone, tuba, set of timpani, five percussionists, 89-piece SATB choir, 10 basso profundo singers, 30 boys, 1 Tibetan throat singer, narrator, 4 violins divided, 2 violas, 2 contrabasses, 1 harp.
- Non-orchestral instruments: Cretan Lyra and cümbüş (I), electric guitar (II), toy piano (VI), kazzo, highland bagpipes, didgeridoo (VIII).
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). 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.
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. 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.
Romantic application of Leitmotifs in the score
Williams' use of his themes in Star Wars is at times romantic rather than strictly thematic, the themes sometimes being used randomly because their mood fits a certain scene, rather than for a narrative purpose. For instance, the theme for Luke Skywalker is also used as the main theme for the entire franchise, as well 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. Yoda's Theme appears several times during the Cloud City sequences in The Empire Strikes Back. 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; 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.
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, meant to evoke his more conflicted side, but since he quickly makes his allegiances clear, its generally used in tandem with his fanfare to evoke his menace, instead. The Emperor's theme is used in The Last Jedi when Supreme Leader Snoke tortures Rey. 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. 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 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" 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 51 recurring themes or leitmotifs, of which about 49 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). Williams is expected to expand upon this catalog further in his upcoming composition to Episode IX. Whether that score will merit as many themes as his most sparse efforts (The Last Jedi at three themes), his most dense (The Force Awakens with eight) or in-line with his average (six themes), Williams will have written between 54 and 60 themes for the series.
Star Wars (A New Hope)
- "Luke's Theme (Star Wars Theme)"
- "The Rebel Fanfare"
- "Ben Kenobi's Theme (The Force Theme)"[d]
- "Princess Leia's Theme"[e]
- "Imperial Motif"
- "Death Star Motif"
- "Stormtroopers Motif"
- "Planet Fanfare"
- "Jawa's Theme"
- "Sandpeople Motif"
- "Spaceship Battle Motif"
- "The Trash Compactor Motif"
- "The Battle of Yavin Motif"
- "The Throne Room Theme (Victory March)"
The Empire Strikes Back
Returning: Throne Room Victory March (First re-statement); Luke's Theme; Luke's Secondary Theme; The Rebel Fanfare; The Force Theme (Ben Kenobi's theme); Leia's Theme
- First re-statement: "Throne Room Victory March"[f]
- "The Imperial March" (Darth Vader's Theme)
- "Han Solo and the Princess" (help·info)[g]
- "Yoda's Theme" (help·info):[h]
- "Droids Motif"[i]
- "Cloud City March (Lando's Theme)"
- "Boba Fett Motif"
- "The Battle of Hoth Motif"
- "The Asteroid Field Motif"
- "Mynock Cave Motif"
- "Millenium Falcon Escaping Motif"
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
- First re-statement: "Spaceship Battle motif"
- "Parade of the Ewoks" (help·info)[j]
- "Jabba The Hutt Theme"[k]
- "The Emperor's Theme"
- "Brother and Sister Motif"
- "Triumph Fanfare"
- "Luke and Leia Theme"
- "Speeder Bike Chase Motif"
- "Forest Battle Motif"
- "The Battle of Endor A Motif"
- "The Battle of Endor B Motif"
- "The Battle of Endor C Motif"
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
- "Duel of the Fates"
- "Anakin's Theme"
- "Trade Federation Droid March"
- "Qui-Gon's Motif"
- "Darth Maul Motif"[l]
- "Jar Jar's Theme"
- "The Queen's Protectors Theme (Panaka's Theme"
- "The Escape from Naboo Motif"
- "Shmi's Motif"
- "The Flag Parade Theme"
- "Corusant Fanfare"
- "Funeral 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
- First re-statement: "Shmi's Theme"
- "Across the Stars"
- "Across the Stars secondary theme"[m]
- "Separatist Motif"[n][o]
- "Kamino Motif"
- "Corusant Chase Motif"
- "Jedi Business Motif"
- "Courting on Naboo Motif"
- "Shmi's Death Motif"
- "The Republic March"
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.
- First re-statement: "Funeral Theme"
- First re-statement: "Corusant Fanfare"
- "Battle of the Heroes"
- "General Grievous' Motif"
- "Landing Motif"
- "Lament for Anakin Theme"
The Force Awakens
Returning: Luke's Theme, Luke's Secondary Theme, The Rebel Fanfare (Millennium Falcon Motif), The Force theme, Leia's Theme, The Imperial March, Han Solo and the Princess
- "Rey's Theme"
- "Kylo Ren's Fanfare"
- Map's Motif"
- "March of the Resistance"
- "Pursuit Ostinato"
- "Poe Dameron's Motif"
- "Snoke's Theme"[p]
- "First Order's Motif"
- "Starkiller's Motif"
- "Jedi Steps"
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
- "Rose Tico's Theme"
- "Luke's Island Motif"
- "Rebel Desperation Motif"
- The Battle of Crait Motif"
The Rise of Skywalker
Returning: Every theme ever written for Star Wars
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, and others taking an exclusive approach.
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, 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) 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.
A particularly noteworthy but ultimately incidental instance is the ostinato accompaniment to the Rebel Fanfare: its 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...
The inclusive approach also tends to identify leitmotives even where they don't meet the criteria of recurrence. 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, occasionally (in fleeting comments) even by Williams himself, 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." 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) and then resuming.
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; 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 or "Tension" music from Episodes 7 and 8; material that is purely rhythmic or timbral like various "bouncing" horn figures for Luke's landspeeder search in the original Star Wars, the use of the synthesizer to represent Vader's menace in The Empire Strikes Back, 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 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.
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. 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, which is in fact a variation on his lament theme. Similarly, the proposed motifs for Mustafar or Anakin's Dark Deeds are in fact variations on Grievous' material, redirected to the evil Anakin.
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, 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 etc. Occasionally, track titles are mistaken for themes.
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.
Themes in the Anthology films
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.
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.
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:
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)
Instead of offering a full recording release of a particular film, Williams typically releases a condensed score on album, 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 features alternate concert arrangements of themes and/or a medley of the main themes of a particular film.
From the main episodes
From Star Wars
From The Empire Strikes Back
From Return of the Jedi
- "Parade of the Ewoks"
- "Luke and Leia"
From The Phantom Menace
- "Duel of the Fates"
- "Anakin's Theme"
- "The Flag Parade"
From Attack of the Clones
- "Across the Stars"
From Revenge of the Sith
From The Force Awakens
From The Last Jedi
- "The Rebellion is Reborn"
From the spin-offs
From Rogue One
- "Jyn Erso and Hope Suite"
- "The Imperial Suite"
- "The Guardians of the Whills Suite"
- "The Adventures of Han"
Diegetic music is music "that occurs as part of the action (rather than as background), and can be heard by the film's characters". 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.
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
- "Jabba Flow" and "Dobra Doompa". Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and J.J. Abrams, these songs were played at Maz Kanata's castle.
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 bass saxophones, solo clarinet, trombones, kazoo, muted trumpets, 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.
The score for the original Star Wars film of 1977 won John Williams the most awards of his career:
- an Oscar at the 50th Academy Awards for Original Score
- a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score at the 35th Golden Globe Awards
- a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music at the 32nd British Academy Film Awards in 1978
- Three awards at the 1978 Grammy Awards for Best Instrumental Composition, Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special and Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Williams's score for the 1980 sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, also earned him a number of awards:
- BAFTA Award for Best Film Music at the 34th British Academy Film Awards in 1980
- two awards at the 1981 Grammy Awards for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special
Williams's subsequent Star Wars film music was nominated for a number of awards; in 1984 his score for Return of the Jedi was nominated for Best Original Score at the 56th Academy Awards. His compositions for the prequel trilogy also received nominations: the score for The Phantom Menace was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition at the 2000 Grammy Awards and Revenge of the Sith was nominated at the 2006 Grammy Awards for Best Soundtrack Album.
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.
In 2016, John Williams was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score, his 50th overall nomination, for his score to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He would later go on to win the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the film, his 23rd Grammy win overall. In 2018, Williams would go on to be nominated for Best Original Score at the 90th Academy Awards, for his score to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
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). The British Phonographic Industry certified Star Wars and Episode I as Gold for shipments of over 100,000 units in the UK.
- These inspirations are evident in some of the orchestration choices, including the wide use of a 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. 
- 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.
- 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".
- 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."
- Williams commented to having originally written this theme as a love theme for Leia and Luke.
- 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.
- This theme is also sometimes called "Han Solo's theme" although musically it belongs more to the princess.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- This motif was also re-tracked into the Special Edition of A New Hope from Return of the Jedi.
- 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.
- This secondary phrase of Across the Stars also includes an end-cap figure of "brooding rhythms" (as Jeff Bonds calls them) 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Later used in the Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures episode "Jabba the Hutt - Galactic Gangster".
- "5 Highlights from Star Wars Forces of Destiny: "The Padawan Path" | StarWars.com". StarWars.com. July 6, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
- 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.
- 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.
- Women were used for the special edition rescoring.
- "Dudamel Conducts Some Music for New 'Star Wars' Film". The New York Times. December 15, 2015.
- This orchestra consists of a group of individually contracted freelanced musicians, rather than being an organised orchestra that plays regularly as a group.
- according to the closing credit roll
- "'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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Episode 69: Rian Johnson On The Music Of Star Wars & Other Movies". audioBoom. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
- Star Wars, liner notes.
- Using a leitmotifs 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.
- 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.
- Episode III required 109 players (not including the conductor) due to expanded string and percussion sections. http://www.jw-collection.de/scores/epi3_stuff.htmhttp://soundtrackfest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/John-Williams-London-Symphony-Orchestra-Star-Wars.jpgThe Empire Strikes Back required 104 players, not including the conductor or synthesizer (rhttp://www.jw-collection.de/scores/tesblp.htmecalls) 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.
- 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.
- Star Wars Concerts were held with as few as 130 performers, and some Live to Projection Concerts can therefore by 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.
- 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.
- 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.https://nyphil.org/~/media/pdfs/program-notes/1718/WilliamsStarWarsANewHope.pdf
- Empire Strikes Back only.
- 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.
- 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.
- https://nyphil.org/~/media/pdfs/program-notes/1718/John-Williams-Star-Wars-The-Empire-Strikes-Back.pdf; https://nyphil.org/~/media/pdfs/program-notes/1718/John-Williams-Star-Wars-Return-of-the-Jedi.pdf; https://nyphil.org/~/media/pdfs/program-notes/1718/John-Williams-Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens.pdf
- 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 bassons, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For Star Wars: In Concert.
- 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.
- 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 unde 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.
- the theme recurs thirty times or more in a two-hour film.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 a 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 which 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, Dooku arriving at Coruscant. It is also used during wide shots of the Battle of Hoth for no discernable reason.
- It should be said, however, that some of the music in the later films was always intended to be acquired through tracking of pre-existing material, and that some of the tracking choices are very deliberate.
- 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.
- Larsen, Peter, and Irons, John (2007). Film Music, p. 168.ISBN 9781861893413.
- Star Wars LP liner notes
- Michael Matessino, Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition Liner notes.
- Karol Krok, themes of the original trilogy, films on wax.
- Frank Lehman, The Complete Catalogue of Musical Themes of Star Wars.
- In The Force Awakens, Williams wrote a concert arrangement using this theme in a fast, playful variation.
- Larsen & Irons (2007), p. 170.
- This theme appeared once in the previous film, and only acquired leitmotivic status by its restatement in this film.
- Michael Matessino, Empire Strikes Back: Special Edition liner notes.
- Empire Strikes Back LP liner notes
- This theme was also used briefly in Williams' score of E.T. when the figure of Yoda (here a boy in a costume) appeared on screen.
- This rhythmic motif was used in the TIE Fighter Attack setpiece cue. The material was lifted for the revised Sail Barge Assault cue, and – more importantly the Superstructure Chase sequence, tying it to spaceship battles involving the Millennium Falcon. The material returns for a similar instance in the Falcon's involvement in the Battle of Crait.
- Doug Adams, A Return or a New Hope? In: Film Score Monthly, Volume 4, number 7, pp. 32–34.
- Michael Matessino, Return of the Jedi: Special Edition liner notes
- Karol Krok, The themes of the Prequel Trilogy, Films-on-wax.
- The components of this theme, such as the ostinato, choral verses, introduction fanfare, the theme itself, etc. – are often treated as separate leitmotifs (see Lehman's catalog) although Williams never referred to them as such, nor assigned them with an identifiable dramatic purpose in the score. In fact, none of the components of the theme are used apart from the main theme more than once. Adams does mention that the ostinato is treated "thematically" but doesn't classify it as a separate theme, per se.
- In interviews, Williams mentions "Duel of the Fates", Anakin's theme, "Jar Jar's music", as well as Qui-Gon's theme and the Trade Fedeeration Droid Army March, from an interview in the making of the film.
- This gesture appeared only once in The Phantom Menace, and became a leitmotif after-the-fact when Williams revisited it twice here. Nevertheless, John Takis called it "tender music" which is "recalling Shmi."
- John Takis, Star Wars Episode Tunes: Attack on the Score, Film Score Monthly, pp. 18–23.
- Mark Richards, Across the Stars: Analysis.
- Mark Richards, Battle of the Heroes: Analysis.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 22, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Jon and Al Kaplan mention Archived October 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine "minor-mode arpeggiations" as dominating this score, presumably referring to this motif. Adams also says that the leitmotives in that score were "rhythmic" in nature. While Williams himself has said little of the leitmotives of this score (outside of Across the Stars), Lucas is quoted on the album saying that Williams "heightens the mystery and suspense that drives the first half of the film", most likely referring to this motif, which is indeed confined to the first half of the film.
- This theme is also apparent from the album presentation: Williams having edited the first track specifically to showcase its appearances.After the initial Kamino scenes, Williams continues to showcase the motif in a skeletal form - an arpeggiation often considered to be a separate "mystery" motif (although Lehman classifies it an "incidental" figure). This figure is also heavily present in the album.
- This is a piece of music written originally for Qui-Gon's funeral in The Phantom Menace. It was reprised and repurposed here as a general "funeral" theme, being woven into the lament material in "Anakin's Betrayal" and used for Padme's death and her later funeral.
- This fanfare from "He is the Chosen One", recurs Archived October 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine in "Palpatine's Teachings" for a transition to the view of Curoscant from Padme's abode. It was used in the finished film rather for a shot of Obi-Wan entering Bail Organa's ship.
- the themes and motifs of Episode III, JohnWilliamsFans.
- Williams recalls to have written "three or four pieces of new material" for this installment, including "a couple of[...]lamentations[...]of Anakin's turn from the light to the dark", a "piece with a lot of percussion for Grievous" and "Battle of the Heroes[...]a motif based on four pitches." Ian Freer who was present at the recording, noted the lament and "variations to Qui-Gon’s funeral." Also based on the recording, John Crichton speaks of "the new theme" (Battle of the Heroes) which has "nine notes", the lament, Across the Stars, and "a reprise of a choral track from a previous score. This is probably the reprise of Qui-Gon’s funeral music."
- The Rebel Fanfare is often (but not always) used in the sequel trilogy scores with the Millennium Falcon. In his score to Solo, John Powell continued this trend, having said that in talking to Williams the former claimed that it was the motif's intended association all along.
- Mark Richards, The Force Awakens themes.
- As with other long-lined themes on this list, components of Rey's theme have been described as independent leitmotives, namely the wind and chime introduction figures of the unabridged theme. In his commentary on the score, Doug refers to the piece as a single theme. He also refers to the variation heard in the end-credits as "Rey's theme in counterpoint[...]with The Force theme."
- According to an interview with Williams, he composed themes for Rey, Kylo, Rey, the Ressistance, Poe and Snoke. His end-credits suite, traditionally used to recapitulate the entire thematic glossary of the film, features the themes for Rey, Kylo (both themes), Poe, the Resistance and the Pursuit ostinato. Snoke's theme is not visited, although it has a dedicated track on the album.
- John Williams refers to a "more ruminative part" besides Kylo Ren's main theme, which he thought of as a "relative of Darth Vader." (the unabridged interview appears here: http://projectorandorchestra.com/john-williams-on-the-force-awakens-and-the-legacy-of-star-wars/) The arpeggiated material that often introduces this motif often appears as a shorthand for the entire theme, and Lehman classifies it as a separate motif and Maurizio Caschetto follows in his lead.
- The arpeggiated introduction figure to this theme (Lehman's C theme for Kylo Ren) is the basis for the material surrounding The First Order itself, the so-called "First Order motif".
- This theme is often used in conjunction with the character of Finn, and was therefore often mistaken to be his theme, as well as for the Millennium Falcon. Rather, it is a motif for the more comedic action sequences in the film, in which Finn's propensity to flee is used for comedic effect.
- While this theme, which appears in the very end of The Force Awakens, technically only re-appears once in The Last Jedi (in a scene recreating the one from The Force Awakens), it is primarily the product of thematic transformation, being based on the inversion of Luke's (Star Wars) theme and as such, its single appearance can be seen as a culmination of that theme's development.
- The score seems to feature a multitude of lesser, more tongue-in-cheek call-backs to the music of the Battle in the Snow, snowspeeders, space slug, etc...https://moviemusicuk.us/2017/12/19/star-wars-the-last-jedi-john-williams/
- Mark Richards, The Last Jedi themes.
- http://www.waltdisneystudiosawards.com/media/pdf/SW_PRODUCTION_NOTES.pdf. Williams mentions a theme for Finn, but is most likely misremembering.
- Such an approach is taken by the programs to the live-to-projection priemerie, which is seemingly not based on new insight from Williams himself. Such an approach was taken by the programs to the live-to-projection premiere of the Star Wars films, where numerous motifs were identified (seemingly with no new insight from Williams himself), including a rancor motif, a motif for the droids in the original Star Wars, etc... Others to have taken to such an approach are Alfred Surenyan and Aaron Krerowicz. Even Ed Chang does this with several minor motifs he attributes to the various Star Wars scores, including a "Imperial rhythmic motif", a " rhythmic Imperial skirmish motif", "exotic Bespin motif", "'one with the Force' motif", "trap theme", a "taking off motif", a secondary Droid march, an Utapau "motoric" motif, and a "Millennium Falcon rhythmic motif." Also see previous versions of this page.
- Doug Adams analysis of the first four scores only includes just about 35 "themes" (with Adams himself casting doubt over some of them), and Frank Lehman's analysis of the entire series contains only 55 leitmotives, in spite of including "retroactively inserted or tracked themes", material that is revisited in Giacchino's Rogue One, and "B-themes[...and]detachable polyphonic subcomponents" but "only when they are heard as detached in the underscore."
- Such an approach is taken by Frank Lehman. Even Adams does this with the ostinato accompaniment to The Rebe Fanfare (albeit admitting that its "not a theme, per se") and with the B-phrase of Luke's theme, the former due to tracking, and the latter most likely due to certain, fleeting comments made by Williams in a preceding interview. Adams also mentions that components of various themes, such as the ostinato accompaniment of Duel of the Fates or Yoda's playful side, are "used thematically" but doesn't describe them as separate themes, per se, as he does Luke's B-theme, for instance. Aaron Krerowicz also does this with Luke's theme and the Jawa theme, which he describes as no less than three thematic identities. Ed Chung does this with the rhythmic accompaniments to multiple themes, which he describes as "Imperial rhythm motif", "Imperial skirmish motif", a "Droid Army Attack motif", etc...
- Outside of Star Wars, the only known instance is the introduction figure to the Superman fanfare. Indiana Jones' theme, the Raiders March, originated as two choices for the theme to Raiders of the Lost Ark, the latter of the two becoming the bridge to the former (when Spielberg asked to use both), and both serve the same narrarive function. Williams has also made a fleeting comment about Luke's theme B-phrase, and similar comments about the B-theme of "The Adventures of Han" were relayed by John Powell.
- Adams does also identify (after the fact) a secondary Ewok theme, although the material in question (which mimics the Ewoks diegetic horn calls) only appears twice in the score, and only once in isolation from the main Ewok theme. All other appearances are not isolated and are part of either the concert arrangement of the Ewok material or a concert version of the film cue in which the piece originally appears. Adams also notes a "Playful Yoda theme" and that the ostinato accompaniment of "Duel of the Fates" is used "thematically" but does not list either of them as separate themes, per se. Lehman identifies both the secondary Ewok theme, the various components of Duel of the Fates and the introduction figures to Rey and Kylo's themes as separate leitmotives.
- See http://starwarsmusic.pashamusic.com/index.html and Lewister's article on the score.
- For instance, a multitude of motifs identified in these reviews:http://scoresheet.tripod.com/alpha.html
- Alfred Surenyan describes themes for the Flag Parade, the Arrival on Tatooine, Jango's Escape, Taun We (which is mentioned in Takis analysis, but as a setpiece-specific piece), Anakin's Dark Deeds, The Dune Sea, The Emperor's Throne Room, Starkiller Base, etc. Ed Chung describes an "escape theme" from the opening space battle of Revenge of the Sith, an Utapau motoric figure appearing in the fight with Grievous, an "exotic Bespin motif" for the finale of Empire Strikes Back, a "taking off" motif from "The Phantom Menace", etc...
- Williams refers to the use of "bouncing" horns in Star Wars as a "motif" for Luke's Landspeeder, although it is based on no fixed recurring melodic or rhythmic idea. He also once referred to the material for the Battle of Hoth as "thematic", but Matessino's notes ultimately conclude that "thematic material is deffered" in the piece. Lehman makes no mention of either motif, even as "incidental" motifs, and in fact stressed that "Themes for self-contained, non-repeating set-pieces are not included." Adams also does not list any setpiece-specific material in his thematic analyses, but did mention Archived October 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine that "the walker attack on Hoth[...]was assigned a memorable and fully realized standalone melody" but, unlike the melody of "The TIE fighters chasing the Millennium Falcon away from the Death Star", which went on to recur in a later installment, this motif (like the Asteroid Field music) is used "with less thought toward a score-length arc of material than toward a series of self-contained vignettes." In the prequels, ostinati-based pieces such as Chase through Coruscant or Jango Fett's escape are described by Adams not as melodies but as "shorter, chunkier motives seldom longer than a measure or two, and often more rhythmic than melodic" and as "terse" and "episodic." Jeff Bonds also mentions that the former sequence features "no theme hitting them [the audience] over the head."
- The finale features two interwoven pieces of music: rhythmic phrases in the strings for the shootout, and an "ascending horn phrase" for three individual and unrelated moments: Luke spotting Boba Fett, him confronting Darth Vader, and lastly, Boba taking off with Han's effigy onboard. The latter has been described as a possible "ambush" motif, or as a secondary theme for Boba, but both seem to be too setpiece-specific to possess any leitmotivic significance, and are not described by neither Adams, Matessino or Lehman as leitmotifs of any kind, nor mentioned by Williams himself.
- Adams, who also identifies this idea's appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark, identified these as "mystery chords", stating that they "may or may not" have been conceived as a leitmotif, but concludes that they "probably didn't mean anything." Lehman identifies the gesture from the original Star Wars as one to do with descending unto a planet, and the one from The Force Awakens as a motif for the map leading to Luke.
- Lehman classifies all these types of recurring material as "incidental motifs" rather than proper leitmotifs. These include the aforementioned "chromatic choral writing" from The Phantom Menace underwater scenes, suspenseful string writing in The Force Awakens, "Mournful homophonic choral progressions" in The Last Jedi and a multitude of other material such as "heroic descending tetrachords", "cascading trumpet lines", etc...
- Mikko Ojala, About the themes of Revenge of the Sith
- Adams comments Archived October 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine that the Grievous material appears in "in several developmental guises", probably referring to these applications later in the score.
- The "podrace motif" recurs in tracked music and in a dedicated concert rendition of the flag parade. The action ostinato is an incidental accompaniment used for the Rebel Fanfare in the Battle of Yavin, which would end up tracked into Sail Barge Assault in Return of the Jedi, along with the third appearance of the X-Wing attack motif which Adams identifies therein.
- According to John Powell, "The Adventures of Han" contains two themes which Williams develops separately (to the point of spotting them for a couple of actual cues), one more heroic, the other - more reflective.
- The first three scores received an expanded Anthology release and finally an effectively complete release in 1996. The Phantom Menace was also released in an "Ultimate Edition", featuring a lot of added cues but also multiple instances of tracked music, hence lacking a lot of original music that wasn't used as intended by the composer in the finished film. The Last Jedi received an isolated score release, albeit again not including unused material and maintaining tracked sequences.
- While the original track is a film cue, Williams created a new suite based on it in 2018.
- There's an alternate presentation over the end-credits, featuring a hint of Anakin's theme as an ending coda.
- Features a variation of "The Starkiller", premired in 2019.
- Features a variation of Luke's theme.
- This suite uniquely features not one but two of the three thematic ideas that make up the entire score: Rose's theme, and Luke's Island motif, notably stressing the former.
- This is a suite of Han's themes which was written by John Williams, and the suite was arranged and conducted by Williams, as well.
- The dictionary definition of 'Diegetic' at Wiktionary.
- "Jabba the Hutt - Galactic Gangster | Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures". YouTube. May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
- Raftery, Brian (December 21, 2015). "The 9 Best Songs Ever Played in a Star Wars Movie". Wired. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- The Kazoos were inserted into the mutes to produce a nasal sound.
- "The 50th Academy Awards (1978) Nominees and Winners". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "The 35th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1978)". Golden Globe Awards. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "Soundtrack 1978". BAFTA Awards Database. British Acacdemy of Film & Television Awards. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "1977 20th Annual Grammy Awards". Past Winners database. Grammy Awards. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "Past Saturn Awards". Saturn Awards. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "Soundtrack 1980". BAFTA Awards Database. British Acacdemy of Film & Television Awards. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "1980 – 23rd Annual Grammy Awards". Grammy Awards. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "The 53rd Academy Awards (1981) Nominees and Winners". The Academy Awards of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "The 56th Academy Awards (1984) Nominees and Winners". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "Final Nominations for the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards". Billboard: 73. January 15, 2000.
- "Grammy Award Nominees". Billboard: 60. December 17, 2005. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "Star Wars Tops AFI's List of 25 Greatest Film Scores of All Time". AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores. American Film Institute. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- "Star Wars – Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- Certified Awards Search – BPI
Imperial March from Star Wars Suite for Orchestra
The Imperial March
"The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)" is a musical theme present in the Star Wars franchise. It was composed by John Williams for the film The Empire Strikes Back. Together with "Yoda's Theme", "The Imperial March" was premiered on April 29, 1980, three weeks before the opening of the film, on the occasion of John Williams' first concert as official conductor-in-residence of the Boston Pops Orchestra." One of the best known symphonic movie themes, it is an example of a leitmotif, a recurrent theme associated with characters or events in a drama.
Use in Star Wars
"The Imperial March" is sometimes referred to simply as "Darth Vader's Theme." In the movies (except for the original Star Wars), the march is often played when Darth Vader appears. It is also played during Palpatine's arrival on the Death Star in Return of the Jedi, though it does segue into the Emperor's own theme as he appears.
"The Imperial March" is first heard in The Empire Strikes Back in low piccolos as the Galactic Empire sends probe droids across the galaxy in search of Luke Skywalker. Its major opening occurs as Star Destroyers amass and Darth Vader is first presented in the film, 19 minutes into the movie. The theme and related motifs are also incorporated into tracks such as "The Battle of Hoth" and "The Asteroid Field". Return of the Jedi makes similar use of the theme, though its final statement is significantly different, making quiet use of a harp as a redeemed Anakin Skywalker dies in his son's arms.
"The Imperial March" appears on a few occasions in the prequel trilogy, most often used to foreshadow Anakin Skywalker's future as Darth Vader. An innocent theme for the nine-year-old Anakin in The Phantom Menace is thematically based on "The Imperial March". "The Imperial March" is also heard towards the end, as Yoda acknowledges Anakin as Obi-Wan's apprentice in saying "The Chosen One, the boy may be. Nevertheless, grave danger I fear in his training". It is also heard softly at the end of the final credit roll, where it fades into the character's signature breathing, showing the rest of the prequel trilogy will reveal how Anakin became Darth Vader. In the second prequel, Attack of the Clones, "The Imperial March" is sometimes played subtly when an event foreshadows Anakin's future: It is first played when Yoda senses Anakin slaughtering a tribe of Tusken Raiders to avenge his mother's death and later with more force when Anakin tells Padmé Amidala what he did. It is played most prominently and recognizable during the final sequence when clone troopers assemble and depart Coruscant, foreshadowing that they will become the Imperial stormtroopers. Although "Across the Stars" is featured most prominently in the film's end credits, several notes from "The Imperial March" are heard beneath it near the end.
In Revenge of the Sith "The Imperial March" is first played when Anakin rebukes the Jedi Council for denying him the rank of Jedi Master, although being appointed to the Council. The track can also be heard when Anakin tells Mace Windu about Palpatine's true identity. It is later played when Anakin is dubbed as the Sith Darth Vader, shortly after the death of Mace Windu. "The Imperial March" is quoted when Clone Troopers find dead Wookiees on Kashyyyk and when Padmé confronts Anakin on Mustafar. A few notes of the "March" are played when Vader arrives on Mustafar to kill the Separatists. The piece is played more clearly during the "Battle of the Heroes" scene between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader at the movie's climax and in the simultaneous battle between Yoda and Palpatine. It is also played when Darth Vader receives his armor and when he looks up at the first Death Star.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
"The Imperial March" has influence in short but dark moments revolving around Anakin. For example, in episode 62 "Citadel Rescue", Anakin and Captain Wilhuff Tarkin both mentioned during their escape their good relationship with the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Anakin shakes hands with Tarkin at the end of the episode, while Tarkin said he would inform the Chancellor of Anakin's good performance. During that handshake, a hint is to be heard in the music referring to "The Imperial March". Other episodes that feature the theme include "Brain Invaders" (when Anakin strangles Poggle), "Voyage of Temptation" (when Anakin kills Merrik), "Overlords" (multiple times), "Ghosts of Mortis" (multiple times), "Kidnapped" (when Obi-Wan talks with Anakin then Ashoka), "Deception" (multiple times) and "Friends and Enemies" (multiple times), "Crisis on Naboo" (when Anakin argues with Obi-Wan), "The Lawless" (during Darth Sidious scenes), "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much" (multiple times). The theme is used prominently during the sixth and final season.
Star Wars Rebels
In "Empire Day", the episode's title referring to the Empire's anniversary, "The Imperial Anthem", an arrangement of "The Imperial March", is heard during the parade. The march is also heard in "Call to Action" when Grand Moff Tarkin arrives on Lothal, in the final scene of "Fire Across the Galaxy" when Darth Vader arrives on Lothal, and multiple scenes in "The Siege of Lothal".
The Force Awakens
In the 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens, two bars from the brass motif of "The Imperial March" are played after antagonist Kylo Ren clutches the charred remains of Darth Vader's helmet, vowing to finally succeed where the Galactic Empire failed.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Trailers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featured the track prominently; the first notes of "The Imperial March" can be heard at the end of the trailer as the letters turn to reveal the name of the upcoming movie. Prior to this, Darth Vader can be heard breathing and his appearance is seen in the reflection of the floor. In the film proper, scored by Michael Giacchino, the theme can be heard when Vader emerges from his sanctum to confer with Director Orson Krennic, and again after Vader warns Krennic about overstepping his bounds. The theme can be heard once more when Vader attacks the Rebel soldiers trapped in a hallway; it is slowed down enough to not be obvious and married with a chorus reminiscent of that from Revenge of the Sith. The theme is finally heard outright when Vader witnesses the Tantive IV fleeing into hyperspace.
The Last Jedi
Solo: A Star Wars Story
The track appears early in Solo: A Star Wars Story as diegetic music in the Corellia spaceport as part of a commercial encouraging viewers to join the Imperial Navy, encouraging Han Solo to enlist as his ticket off the planet. This brief appearance marks the first and thus-far only in-universe appearance of "The Imperial March" in a theatrical film.
Uses outside Star Wars
- In January 2003, during Super Bowl XXXVII, ABC Sports took to using "The Imperial March" as a leitmotif for the Oakland Raiders.
- In 2012, Volkswagen released a commercial for Super Bowl XLVI, featuring several dogs barking to the tune of "The Imperial March".
- Shortly before the Scottish independence referendum, a pro-independence campaigner rode a rickshaw alongside a group of anti-independence Labour party politicians, who had travelled by train from London to Glasgow for a highly publicised visit, as they paraded through the centre of the city, playing the Imperial March and announcing to Glaswegians: "Your Imperial Masters have arrived. Bow down before your Imperial Masters!"
- Larsen & Irons (2007), p.171.
- Michael Matessino, booklet for original soundtrack recording for Empire Strikes Back, Special Edition, page 17. RCA ASIN B000003G8G. "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme) is the now famous signature theme for Darth Vader."
- Michael Matessino, booklet for original soundtrack recording for Empire Strikes Back, Special Edition, page 6. RCA ASIN B000003G8G.
- Irena Paulus, "Williams versus Wagner or an Attempt at Linking Musical Epics" International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 31 2 (2000): 153. "John Williams used leitmotifs in the genuine sense of the word. He has come very close to the practice of Wagner in the various procedures in which he varies and transforms his themes, and in using the idea of the thematic image (the arch-theme that is the unifying element of the musical material). However, the similarity of Williams's and Wagner's leitmotifs is greatest in the area of kinship of themes (a series of new themes or motifs derive from a single motif or theme) on the basis of which both of them create a web of mutually related leitmotifs. The closeness of the procedures of the two can also be found in the area of melody, rhythm, form, harmony, instrumentation, and even in the domain of the ratio of the old and the new in their music. The ultimate objective of Richard Wagner was to create the music drama, music for the stage based on the old roots of opera, in which all the musical elements were subordinated to the drama. The ultimate aim of John Williams was to take part in the creation of a film in which his music would serve to define the film's substance and help all the other elements of it to function property."
- Urbanski, Heather (2007). Plagues, Apocalypses and Bug-Eyed Monsters: How Speculative Fiction Shapes Our Nightmares. New York: McFarland. pp. 132–133.
- "Volkswagen's 'The Bark Side': Dogs Bark The 'Star Wars' Imperial March For Super Bowl Commercial (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. January 19, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- Nsubuga, Jimmy (September 12, 2014). "Pro-independence rickshaw rider taunts Labour Party members with Star Wars' Imperial March down Glasgow high street". Metro UK. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
- Bland, Archie (September 13, 2014). "Scottish independence vote: Cameron's Scottish roots won't help the 'No' brigade". Independent. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
- "Labour MPs Blasted With Imperial Death March in Glasgow". uk.news.yahoo.com. Yahoo News Network. September 12, 2014. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014.
"The Imperial March" by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (HQ) – YouTube.
*With the Blackhawk Chorus
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