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Lecture 10

MUSIC 2F03 Lecture 10: Music-2F03-Lecture-10-notes (1)

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Simon Wood

Lecture 10 PLANET OF THE APES (1968)  Social and political critique  Score based almost entirely on modernist approach to composition, entire score essentially atonal  When we listen it should be cold, remote, disturbing sounding yet it’s not random sounding  Somehow it holds together and the reason it does is b/c Jerry Goldman is using themes/little melodies that he associates w/ diff aspects of the film  It doesn’t sound like conventional melody yet he uses it like conventional melody  We hear this melody indicating she’s thinking of home, uses it in conventional way just unusual sounding  There is actually a main melody to “Planet of the Apes”  Connected to this idea of 12 tone music  was developed in early 20 century as new way of constructing musical ideas rather than major and minor scales o Numbered all 12 notes of the chromatic scale and created number line using 1-12 o 2 rules: 1.1) Have to use all 12 notes 1.2) Cannot repeat a note until all 12 notes have been heard  So if numbering it cant go 1 2 3 5 3…can’t go back to 3 until u played all of the other notes  You can go 1 3 2 2 4 though, you can repeat in this way  Repeat as many times as you want once you get to it but once you move on you can’t go back to it  There was this 12 note theme...“the crossing” main theme  Can turn it upside down to create “the crossing” inverted theme…down 1 instead of up 1… turning score upside down inverted in a way  So instead of d1 it’ll be u1 for all 12 notes  There’s this reoccurring set of melodies you are constantly hearing or related melodies by inverting; you can’t really hum it but it’s there, familiar and recognizable  Vid: no music in end credits letting you down b/c you get this moment  For the audience at the time, this is the most depressing moment in the history of film 1  At the end this film says we’re doomed  If you get to the end credits and you get the original melody, your brain goes “oh thank god it’s just a movie” – you know that but music would bring you comfortably out of diegetic world, back into our world  It acts as a moment of relief almost, but instead of bringing the music back, they let the moment sit and you only get sound of the waves over the credits, which reinforces that sense of despair  You really come away from the film thinking “Really? Is that it? I feel awful”, but that’s the point, you aren’t supposed to escape at the end, it’s suppose to stick w/ you long after you see it  NOT putting music in makes it much MORE effective  as in not giving you that relief INTO THE 1970S  Since the end of the 1940s, film music has been moving away from the conventions of seiner and Korngold  Max Steiner and Erich Korngold establish the idea of the symphony orchestra as the default starting point, established the sound of music of Vienna, particularly classical opera music as starting point for films  Increasing influence of American composers  Increasing importance of popular music and modernism (atonality)  Popular music becoming more influential on one side, and on the other side composers are experimenting w/ tonality - moving gradually into the world of atonality, music becoming more dissonant o E.g. Double Indemnity, Lost weekend, even more so in Psycho, and now Planet of the Apes o Planet of the Apes (in 2001) doesn’t follow conventional narrative structure – a long and self indulgent film in the way it structures its scenes  most directors wouldn’t get away w/ that today o But Planet of the Apes was in many ways a very conventional narrative film but made wonderful use of 12 tone score so this pushed towards modernism, growing influence of American composers also a key idea  Europeans still there but fundamental at beginning, gradually American composers become more important  Conglomeration continues o Where large companies that we never heard of buy up smaller but still very large companies that we have heard of (e.g. film studios owned by Disney, Sony, Fox media), major companies buy up film studios, record companies, music publishing companies  At the same time we are in the world of the freelancer and film costs are going through the roof o Film cost increase: ‘72-’77, 178%: ’77-’79 200% 2 o The film that would cost 10 million to make in 1972, is going to cost 40 million by 1979  Hollywood starts to get cautious and film production in terms of numbers drops a lot o 1970s: 160 films per year (very low – about 3 new films/week) o 1937: 538 films produced (over 10 major films/week) o 10 to 3 is a big drop  Genre/formula films o The 3 that were released were very safe, lots of genre/sequel films, very clear established formulas, romantic comedies, science fiction, cop dramas, urban crime films etc., things where you don’t have to think too hard about plot b/c you’ve essentially seen this film 30-40x w/ slightly different script/actors (in some cases it was the same script/actors and put a big 2 or 3)  Part of the cost saving approach, also part of fashion, was by end of 60s and early 70s score based entirely on popular music – we would call them soundtracks instead of score o Score is originally composed set of musical cues to accompany narrative o Soundtrack is pop songs dropped into film o Pop scores – the graduate (1967), easy rider (1969), the last picture show (1971), American Graffiti (1973) – great films but very different approach to music, part of the reason was popular music was huge business by end of 60s  Beatles, rolling stones album sales have gone far beyond than earlier pop music people have conceived was possible – continued into 70s – albums selling 20 or 30 million copies of a single album, bands touring, playing 100 shows in 60k seated arenas, making millions for record companies (pop music was huge industry)  “Old school” (orchestras) seen as irrelevant – people not interested anymore  Cheaper o Pop scores were more trendy, fashionable and cheaper b/c music was often already recorded  Promotion o Big parent company buying smaller companies (owning record company, publishing company and film studio) o Film studio think that it would be great to put pop music on o Film company has to pay publishing company to use songs, and pay recording company to use recordings in their films, then film company puts out films, most money goes to film company, some to others, but they actually all owned by same big company o Money moves from one to another it’s like taking money out of one pocket and into another, all money stays within the parent company, much cheaper then hiring a composer, orchestral musician, a recording studio etc. 3 o Lots of people interested in buying soundtrack albums, so can use pop music for promotion, brings in more money JOHN WILLIAMS:  Born in 1932 to musical parents, he was a prodigy  Trained as a concert pianist at Julliard (good jazz pianist as well)  Had change of heart  studied film music at UCLA  His start in the industry  orchestrator for Tiompkin  Working as composer in television (late 1950s)  Lost in space, Land of the Giants, Gilligans Island  Late 1960s, film work  Comedies and disaster films o At first he has a career doing disaster films (e.g. earthquakes, Tower in Inferno, Poseidon Adventure) o Also lots of films of adults getting drunk, sleeping around, inappropriate things (e.g. Not With My Wife You Don’t)  1974: Sugarland Express o Was asked to write the music, it was the breakout for a young TV star named Goldi Hawn who became popular on funny and surreal comedy show called Rowan Martin Laugh-in (big in late 60s and early 70s) o Didn’t do well financially but was well received critically o Director was Steven Spielberg (was younger than Goldie) – started making films when he was 7, directed TV in late teens, dropped out of film school to make this film, he did another film and asked John Williams to do a second film w/ him  1975: Jaws o New approach to film promotion and release o 400 screens: wide release o It’s the film that establishes Steven as major force in Hollywood, it’s also the film that establishes john William too as a major force o Jaws changed the way movies were released 4 o Prior to 1975 film would be released, for first 2 weeks, was played on two screens  NY and LA where big reviewers would have to go, where big newspaper reviews came out o Once it finished the initial run, then would go to 2 or 3 more screens in NY and LA and open in 1 or 2 screens in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, and other major urban centres and play for a few weeks, then play in Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo (secondary markets – 1 or 2 screens in these cities and then play for a few weeks and then move out and play in Hamilton or Kitchener) o From the time a film came out to the time it reached Newmarket for example, it would typically be 2-3 months and would play for a week and then would be gone and another film would play in following week o A theatrical run could take the better part of a year, before the film finally disappears from the screens, at which point it would disappear in a bolt and would not see it for 6-7 years, then it would be released and play on TV for first time o Nowadays when a new film comes out it comes out on a million screens, everywhere on the same night and it either succeeded or failed before the first showing is done b/c its halfway thru first showing and thousands of people tweeting saying it’s great or meh o Whatever they tweet you know in 24 hr if it’ll succeed or not o If it has not made its money back w/ considerable profit within 72 hr, it’s gone within a week and 2 months later it appears on blue ray and then Netflix o That’s how quickly it turns around now o Jaws started that o Jaws is the first film to use a new technique called “wide release” o It debuted on 400 screens simultaneous (nationwide) o Made back its money in 13 days (fastest a major film had ever recruited in history) o If a film doesn’t make sizable profit in 72 hours, it is considered a failure o Film’s theatrical run could be as long as 1 year, it was acceptable that it might take 2 or 3 months before film broke even and began to make profit o Jaws began a shift in the attitude towards orchestral music in film  Helped reestablish the orchestra as an important force in film music o Not only did jaws use an orchestras, but used orchestra at times in a way that sounded almost operatic o It’s a transitional film, a lot of modernism o It did set the stage for John William’s next major film 5 o Spielberg had a friend named George Lucas who was working on a film that was supposed to be nostalgic, a tribute to the films and movie serials that he watched in movie theatres as a kid – fantasy, adventures, each week heroes would find themselves in a problem where escape is impossible and then in following week they figure out a way to get out of it o Film started w/ bit credit crawl that would introduce what the story was, cameras would zoom in (rather than fading out), circle something, sweep from one scene to another o Lucas wanted to bring it back and also wanted something that sound like Erich Korngold, and Spielberg said to talk to John Williams o Film was star wars  Star wars o Becomes the best-known film composer of all time with the success of star wars (1977) o With Star Wars, John brings us back to sound of Erich Korngold o “They’ll be no escape for the princess this time” at end of first line of film – tells you that you come into the middle of the story – the princess has escaped before, done it at least once before, and no escape this time, whatever happened in past, this time is more serious o Orchestral music, very operatic, longest melody we heard since we talked about Korngold o Uses the music in exactly the same way that operatic composers used music in operas to tell you what characters are thinking (foreshadow things) o Music that John associated w/ force is first time we hear theme  He’s watching the sunset on last moment of his own life, he’s going to turn around, go back into the house, discover one of the droids ran away, follow the droid, brings him to ob1 (final moments of Luke Skywalker’s old life – what defines his future? the FORCE)  This is why John uses force theme for this scene o Using music to foreshadow, telling us where Luke’s future is it’s a real operatic trick (an approach an opera composer would take) o Bringing in theme associated w/ something important in future and using it to signify unimportant moment in the present o Also the association of music when beginni
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