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 Posted:   Feb 1, 2014 - 12:20 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Music4, I don't have enough musical-technical background to really understand all of your initial post, but I'm glad you posted it using Legends Of The Fall. I think if I had to post the top 5 to 10 most gorgeous melodies (themes) ever composed for movies, for sure Legends would be on that list. (Braveheart, The Perfect Storm, Mighty Joe Young, and other Horner compositions are truly lovely with Legends Of The Fall being his finest in my opinion.) I hope someday in the future he composes another score as stunningly beautiful as Legends. I've enjoyed the score for years.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 2, 2014 - 1:53 PM   
 By:   music4film   (Member)

Music4film,
Thank you for taking the effort and time to share this wonderful thread. As a composer and musicologist myself, I see it as a great opportunity to expand my knowledge on Horner's music. I will give you more detailed feedback once I get more time on my hands. Your endeavour deserves a closer and more detailed look and discussion.
Off the top of my head, I find Horner's use of the embellished B dominant a wonderful modulation resource composers such as Debussy used extensively. It is constant proof of the importance bass notes have, no matter what the upper voices do. That lower register gives the composer a much-needed stability when using complex chords and harmonies. Morricone loves this type of writing for strings as well. It can underline the ethereal but it can also be a great resource to produce tension.

Alex


Thanks for the comments, and glad you enjoyed the analysis! Excellent observations on the history of embellished dominants and its use in the work of other composers such as Debussy. I previously used the term "substitute dominant," but I think your terminology is more accurate than mine, as substitute dominant is often used instead to refer to a tritone substitution with the bass a tritone away from the dominant (Db in the case of C major). You are correct that the bass note typically reigns supreme in the determination of the harmonic function of more complex sonorities. Additionally, the effect is increased dramatically if the bass is played in octaves. Just imagine the bass line of a standard I-IV-V-I progression played on the piano with octaves in the left hand - no matter what cluster chords you stack on top of bass notes, the ear still easily picks up on the implied tonal progression.

Like you, I recall seeing similar techniques in the past, but I wouldn't be able to quite place my finger on any exact examples. It would be great if, as a small aside, we could post some specific instances from other composers to compare and contrast their techniques to what Horner has employed here.

Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on the subject!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2014 - 5:08 PM   
 By:   music4film   (Member)

I find it hard to believe that someone as educated as you presume to be, would take Horner seriously??

'Music4film" Seems to me you should concentrate on your own career instead of your obsession with Mr. Horner.


Accusing people of being obsessed by certain composers is a bit rich coming from you. How's the Goldsmith love pillow doing? Don't get it too dirty.


I wish there was a face clapping icon, but the thumbs up sign will have to do. big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 12:10 PM   
 By:   music4film   (Member)

One thing you have to give to James Horner is that he has a well-developed harmonic sense (even in a modernistic setting, such as with the Krull "Widow's Web" sequence), one which enables him to seamlessly knit sequences that run ten, sometimes as long as fifteen minutes. When one considers how many notes are present in even a minute of music, his ability to "weave the quilt" seems all the more impressive.

Agreed, I believe he has related the long cues he writes to movements of a symphony. It's one of the trademarks of his style, and although it's is very difficult to pull off in a technical sense (especially under such time constraints), Horner always makes it seem so effortless. Each bar flows seamlessly into the next, each note in the right place. It also ties into his conducting, as he is able to breathe life into the piece, controlling the very heartbeat of its pulse, and as the tempo waxes and wanes, and the dynamics rise and fall, the music gently wraps itself around the images of the screen like a "Cocoon" (pun intended wink ). Horner has a great dramatic sense. Some other composers are able achieve the same effect, but with a lot more editing after the fact.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 6:30 PM   
 By:   music4film   (Member)

It's a better character trait then devolving into "trekkies" and coming into certain threads just to spout off sarcastic, condescending, and ignorant remarks.

Think about that the next time you cry about wanting "an open, honest, intelligent discussion".


Haha! Could the avatar fit the post any more perfectly? razz

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2014 - 1:16 AM   
 By:   music4film   (Member)

Music4, I don't have enough musical-technical background to really understand all of your initial post, but I'm glad you posted it using Legends Of The Fall. I think if I had to post the top 5 to 10 most gorgeous melodies (themes) ever composed for movies, for sure Legends would be on that list. (Braveheart, The Perfect Storm, Mighty Joe Young, and other Horner compositions are truly lovely with Legends Of The Fall being his finest in my opinion.) I hope someday in the future he composes another score as stunningly beautiful as Legends. I've enjoyed the score for years.

I completely agree with you Joan, Legends of the Fall is by far one of James' most beautiful scores! It's a top 5 film score, in my opinion - no questions asked. I'm always struck by the lushness and richness of sound captured in the recording, no doubt in part due to the masterful London Symphony Orchestra, but also the lovely and elegant orchestrations by James and his team. Every note is a highlight. Thanks for your post!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 10, 2014 - 10:13 PM   
 By:   music4film   (Member)

Indeed. The long lined melody of Krull never siezes to amaze me. What is it? 18-20 bars? Must be the longest theme in films cores ever.

Agreed, Horner really excels at those long-lined melodies. It would be interesting to see how that Krull theme stacks up against similarly slow-developing melodies from other composers!

I think the main theme for The Perfect Storm is another great example of one of his very long but superbly crafted melodies. One of my favorites.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2014 - 9:40 PM   
 By:   music4film   (Member)

The themes from Rocketeer also stand as great examples of those long, slow-developing melodic lines that Horner is famous for. Listening to "Jenny" right now. Glorious.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2014 - 7:35 PM   
 By:   ChristianK├╝hn   (Member)

Are we allowed to discuss other scores as well? Here's a snippet of my favourite Horner score of the past ten years. Can you guess which one it is? wink



CK

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2014 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   spacekim   (Member)

Are we allowed to discuss other scores as well? Here's a snippet of my favourite Horner score of the past ten years. Can you guess which one it is? wink



CK


4 of the 5 last bars of "Gathering all the Na┬┤Vi clans for battle", I think.
Tied with The Amazing Spider-Man as my favorite Horner-score.

 
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