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Typical for a Saturday, I was hauling the kids around town in the Landmaster (aka my minivan) listening to a big, fat mp3 cd of Star Trek music – TV and film scores. Tons of fun for me. As for my kids, well, they tolerate it. They’re still pretty young so I can get away with it for now. Besides, whenever I do play film music, they ask me to tell them what’s going on in whatever scene the music would accompany. They know (and can hum) the Star Wars theme, although they’ve not seen the movies, and they know Goldsmith’s Star Trek theme. At ages 5 and 3, neither of my kids have actually seen any Star Trek either. Well, I take that back. I showed them "The Trouble with Tribbles" a few weeks back (the only episode I could think of that would be non-violent enough for their temperaments). They loved it, although the bar fight scene got them nervous. Afterwards, they enjoyed hearing Fielding’s Tribbles music in the van. Sometimes, they’ll even request it.

Today, "The Mountain," the opening cue from Star Trek V, came on and my 3-year old son shouted “Yay, Star Wars!” as Jerry’s march played.


I gently corrected him and the cue went on. Pretty soon, the gorgeous mountain music began and my son asked, “Who’s sad?”

I mentally noted that he'd picked up on the reflective tone of the piece, then said out loud that no one was really sad in the scene. My 5 year old daughter chimed in.

“I think Kirk and Spock slowed down the Enterprise so they could see the pretty stars go by.” Boom. She nailed it. That was the point of the scene -- slowing the viewer down to appreciate the beauty of nature (and Kirk's conquering of same).

She knew, from the tone and tempo of the piece, the mood Jerry was trying to create. She’s never seen the film (and God willing, she never will) but she nailed the intention of the piece. That’s the power of film music away from the film. That’s the power of Jerry.



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Comments (9):Log in or register to post your own comments
Clever kids :) be proud as a parent as many adults cant listen to filmmusic and hear what is going on or what the music should accompany...

You do know you are preparing them for a lifetime of wedgies? ;)

You do know you are preparing them for a lifetime of wedgies? ;)

That's EXACTLY what my wife's afraid of...

Obviously your kids are smarter than I am about Star Trek music. But you knew that already, eh? :)

I have already indoctrinated my three kids with Star Trek, the have actually watched the Motion Picture quite a lot, and they love the cloud scenes and Spock Walk. There is something visual about that movie that works. I agree that I would never torment my kids with the Star Trek V movie, although I indulge in it as a private guilty pleasure occasionally and the score is superb

My nine-month old daughter lights up at three pieces of music: Courage's Star Trek, Williams' Superman, and Little Einsteins. (She's kind of fond of Giacchino's Spock theme too.)

My son got pretty good at identifying composers when we watched movies. Well that is if it was Goldsmith or Williams since he heard them so much during his childhood. Indoctrination can be a beautiful thing! Unfortunately, my musical influence over him was not the same as my dad's was over me and he's into Rap/Hip Hop (you can just hum those tuneful melodies all day long!). You might say, well that's the "music" of his generation, but I can tell you I most certainly would have hated it if it were for mine. Where did I go wrong?! More indoctrination Neil, more! ;)

My 6 year old son is the same way. It's always, "What's going on now, Daddy?" Just yesterday, he was walking around the house humming the main theme to Kings Row! I've never even played it for him (yet). He picked it up from me humming it. I think he's trying to work out the difference between that, Superman, and Star Wars.

Once, when he was 5, I played Mysterious Island for him. We acted-out scenes from the movie as we imagined it (neither of us has seen the film). During the appropriate cue, I pretended I was a giant crab. He SCREAMED!!! I had to turn the music off and comfort him. Never underestimate the power of Herrmann to terrify little children.

Reminds me of an assignment I had in elementary school music appreciation class. One time we were asked to listen to some orchestral music (not film music) and draw what we imagined was happening. I'll never know what the name of the piece was, but I ended up drawing someone running through Japan. Funny how kids imagine different things in music visually; it's all part of their imagination. Cute story.

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