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John Williams Ch.59

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Savanna Sledge

on 19 November 2014

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Transcript of John Williams Ch.59

"The Walls Converge" from Star Wars
Star Wars IV
"The Walls Converge"
Each of the major characters has a distinctive melodic "icon."
This is derived from Richard Wagner's system of
This scene has little melody.
Williams uses instruments and devices associated with anticipation and anxiety.
High strung tremolos, low drum rolls, and a slow drum beat.
Sparse and dissonant.
Open ended
When the trash compactor stops, so does the harmony.
Shifts from low and dark in the trash compactor to bright and mysterious in the control room.
Uses low brass and timpani for the arrival of the storm troopers and the same timbre for the machinery that controls the compactor.

Diegetic Music:
Music in a film that originates from the scene in the film itself, as in a character listening to the radio or playing a violin.
Examples: Dorothy singing "Over the Rainbow" in The Wizard of Oz.
Non Diegetic:
Film music that is added from outside the events we see for purposes of heightening the mood or feeling of a scene. Only the viewers hear the music.
Example: Star Wars IV "The Walls Converge"

John Williams b.1932
Born in Long Island, New York in 1932, Williams moved to Los Angeles with his family. He began writing music for television and film after serving in the US Air Force. In 1974, he began working with Steven Spielberg and by 1975 "Jaws" was a hit and John Williams became a household name. He composed the well known low, thudding "shark" theme.
He has since composed the music for some of the most well known movies of the past 40 years, including all of the Star Wars and Indian Jones films, E.T, Harry Potter, etc....
John Williams Ch.59
John Williams
Review Questions
1. What movie made John Williams a household name?
2. What is the difference between diegetic and non diegetic music?
3. From whom and what did Williams draw his idea of each main character having their own melodic icon?

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