Essay about John Williams: An Inspiration

Essay about John Williams: An Inspiration

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There has been much debate over the years about the originality of

film music. On the one side there are the purists, who cry foul at the piecing together of

classical segments simply because the film composer doesn’t have the time or the

originality. On the other side there are the film score gurus, who insist that the composers

were merely inspired by the earlier music and used the idea to write their own compositions. One

composer in particular that has come under condemnation from the purists is John Williams. He
has been accused of “borrowing” from composers as well-known as Dvorak(New World

Symphony) and as obscure as Erich Wolfgang Korngold (kings row theme). The

underlying debate, however, is not whether or not film composers are borrowing from

other composers scores but what makes a piece of music original or copied.

The answer to this question is not an easy one to find. There are so many

sides, opinions, and conditions to explore and debate that it could take one a lifetime to discover a suitable answer that would satisfy both sides. So, rather than attempt to fit it all into a single essay, I will focus on one facet of the debate; Is John Williams use of other music scores
Inspiration or plagiarism?
To answer this question we need to first understand the common structure of a

film score and the process used to formulate them. Usually, after the film has been coceptualized

(or some footage has been actualized), the composer is shown an unpolished "rough cut" of

the film, and talks to the director about what sort of music (styles, themes, etc.) should be used — this process is called "spotting.". The director might even have a “temp score”(a score of pieced ol...


... middle of paper ...


...lassical composers, I applaud this man for his creativity, style, but most of all for the great contribution he has made to the music and film world.





Works Cited
Bond, Jeff. "God Almighty! FSM Finally Talks to John Williams." Film Score Monthly 8.1 (2003): 10-13. IIMP. Web. 6 Dec. 2010.
Bond, Jeff. "Zimmer Takes Aim...at FSM." Film Score Monthly 2.7: 21. IIMP. Web. 6 Dec. 2010.
"Film Scoring." Wikipedia. Ed. Wikipedia. Jan. 2003. Web. 06 Dec. 2010. .
Kaplan, Jon. "Dumped!: Famous and Not-So-Famous Rejected Film Music." Film Score Monthly 8.9 (2003): 24-31. IIMP. Web. 6 Dec. 2010.
Karlin, Fred, and Rayburn Wright. On the Track a Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.
News. ""Kong" Score Tossed Out at 11th Hour."" Film Score Monthly 10.6 (2005): 6. IIMP. Web. 6 Dec. 2010.

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