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Inspirations for Williams

Discussion in 'Score Study Resources' started by Fritz von Flotow, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. Hi there!

    My first post is an idea for a thread, which I hope a lot of people will contribute to!
    By studying scores and listening to master pieces, here and there I stumble across something that reminds of a Williams Theme. As in the Williams Classes explained: This is not at all in the spirit to talk bad about Williams, of course! Just, as I find interesting, what might have inspired him. In some cases the case is stronger, in others less ... ;-)
    Please feel free to post your findings.

    Happy catching!
  2. #2 Fritz von Flotow, Jul 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
    For a start, I just want to post one example, I just stumbled across. It might be not very strong to some, but I would like to test, in how far I am just hearing this, or others as well ... so, I will make the first one a riddle. What does the main melody of this piece (right in the beginning in the Violins) remind you of, if anything?

    T.j. Prinssen likes this.
  3. Love theme Temple of Doom? 3:54 secs in the end credits you'll hear sumin similar, but you could say this about many composers.
  4. Yeah, that is the one I thought off. As I said! It is not meant to diminish JW ...
    Pinda Dhanoya likes this.
  5. Always found this video a lot more convincing than the endless Holst comparisons

    I've never seen any of Walton's films but he seems to write "gestures" in a very similar way as JW.

    Also I think Haydn is an underrated influence on JW. They're both very structural composers but write with an easygoing, conversational fluidity that is good at disguising form! Being accessible without being obvious in other words. Haydn would have been an amazing songwriter.

    For JW's orchestration, it's all down to the French and Russians. For some reason in the States the college music curriculum focuses very heavily on the German masters. "Cinematic" orchestration owes a lot more to composers like Prokofiev.
  6. Agreed, Noam. Maybe for thematic ideas, the Holst/Planets thing is there, sure. But for orchestral colors, orchestration combinations, etc, I hear a lot more from early Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Ravel (esp. Daphnis and Chloe), and Debussy.

  7. I don't think looking at influences diminishes a person's uniqueness. We're all a product of influences, after all.
    George Streicher likes this.
  8. I just checked out Sir Walton, thank you for bringing him to my attention. And wow, his "Spitfire Prelude" had much influence on Star Wars Throne Room.
  9. Rohann makes a great point that I often think about when I'm making composition choices -- "Am I trying to reproduce some version of music I once heard?" The answer is yes. Knowing that, it's interesting to uncover influences of the greats.

    Slightly off topic but per Williams, I was searching for a video of NBC's Meet The Press the other day. I found this version from 1985. At about 00:25 I thought, "Hey, is this Williams!" I read the video notes and it was. 4/4, 3/4 cool. This might be the most listen to Williams music ever. ?? A strong piece of music.


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