Two of the more important musical elements of "A New Hope" are the Main theme and the Rebel motif - and they are clearly related. At the end of the first phrase of the Main theme are the chords A-flat, G, and F. These same chords are used near the end of the Rebel motif, indicated in the graphic below with red lines.
Furthermore, the chord progressions used throughout the Rebel motif are identical to the one borrowed from the Main theme. The technical description would be two major chords, the latter a minor third lower pitched than the first. In the Main theme, the G chord functions as a neighbor chord; and in the Rebel motif, the G chord functions as a passing chord, which is to say that in both instances the G chords are of secondary importance. Rather, the chords of primary importance are A-flat and F - and there is the seminal pattern of two major chords where the second is a minor third lower.
The Rebel motif then takes that descending minor third and uses it a total of four times (as indicated below with red boxes) - thrice from F to D, plus the A-flat to F borrowed from the Main theme.
Lastly, also notice that the final two boxes overlap - the F serves as both the bottom of the progression from A-flat to F, and as the top of the progression from F to D.
All of this is to say that the heroic Main theme is strongly related to the Rebel motif. In other words, from the music alone we know that the Rebels are the "good guys".
Having recently completed my comparison of the "A New Hope" soundtrack to the film, this post will feature the same basic information but opposite in structure - a comparison of the film to the soundtrack, with the timings of the film (hour:minute:second) on the left, followed by an equal sign (=) and the approximate corresponding timings on the soundtrack (disc#, track #, minute:second) on the right. Sections followed by an asterisk (*) are followed by brief explanations.
This comparison is made using the Special Edition DVD of the film, and the accompanying 2-disc soundtrack.
0:00:00-0:00:02 = no music
0:00:02-0:00:23 = D1, T1, 0:00-0:21
0:00:23-0:00:29 = no music
0:00:29-0:02:45 = D1, T2, 0:00-2:16
0:02:39-0:09:16 = D1, T3, 0:04-6:44
0:09:16-0:10:28 = no music
0:10:28-0:11:25 = D1, T4, 0:00-0:57
0:11:25-0:12:31 = no music
0:12:31-0:12:52 = D1, T4, 0:57-1:20
0:12:52-0:13:06 = D1, T4, 1:37-1:51
0:13:06-0:15:16 = D1, T4, 2:44-4:54
0:15:16-0:15:40 = D2, T5, 0:39-1:02
0:15:40-0:15:50 = D1, T5, around 0:10
0:15:50-0:17:41 = D1, T5, 0:00-1:53
0:17:41-0:19:16 = no music
0:19:16-0:19:42 = D1, T5, 1:57-2:23
0:19:42-0:21:08 = no music
0:21:08-0:23:00 = D1, T6, 0:00-1:53
0:23:00-0:25:11 = no music
0:25:11-0:27:28 = D1, T6, 1:53-4:10
0:27:28-0:27:45 = no music
0:27:45-0:27:55 = D1, T7, 0:00-0:09
0:27:55-0:28:05 = D1, T7, 0:32-0:42
0:28:05-0:28:12 = D1, T7, 0:50-0:57
0:28:12-0:28:21 = D1, T7, 0:59-1:08
0:28:21-0:28:37 = no music
0:28:37-0:30:51 = D1, T7, 1:08-3:21
0:30:51-0:31:05 = no music
0:31:05-0:32:45 = D1, T8, 0:00-1:39
0:32:45-0:34:08 = no music
0:34:08-0:35:06 = D1, T8, 1:39-2:39
0:35:06-0:35:56 = D1, T8, 2:39-3:30
0:35:56-0:36:11 = no music
0:36:11-0:37:11 = D1, T8, 3:30-4:30
0:37:11-0:39:06 = no music
0:39:06-0:41:00 = D1, T9, 0:00-1:54
0:41:00-0:41:02 = no music
0:41:02-0:41:59 = D1, T9, 1:54-2:52
0:41:42-0:42:48 = D1, T10, 0:00-1:06
0:42:48-0:43:07 = D2, T6, 2:20-2:38
0:43:07-0:43:24 = D2, T6, 2:58-3:15
0:43:24-0:43:28 = no music
0:43:28-0:44:20 = D1, T10, 1:20-2:13
0:44:20-0:44:52 = no music
0:44:52-0:45:22 = D1, T11, 0:00-0:29
0:45:22-0:45:54 = D1, T11, 1:57-2:29
0:45:54-0:46:59 = D1, T11, 0:00-1:05
0:46:59-0:47:16 = no music
0:47:16-0:47:34 = D1, T11, 0:00-0:18
0:47:34-0:47:41 = no music
0:47:41-0:47:51 = D1, T12, 0:04-0:14
0:47:51-0:47:53 = D1, T12, 2:59-3:01
0:47:53-0:48:25 = D1, T12, 0:04-0:27
0:48:24-0:49:53 = D1, T12, 0:00-1:28
0:49:53-0:49:58 = no music
0:49:58-0:51:14 = D1, T12, 1:33-2:49
0:51:14-0:51:42 = no music
0:51:42-0:52:41 = D2, T2, 0:00-0:58
0:52:41-0:54:13 = music not included on soundtrack (presumably it's from the Return of the Jedi soundtrack, as the music is Jabba's theme).
0:54:13-0:54:49 = D2, T2, 0:58-1:33
0:54:49-0:55:03 = no music
0:55:03-0:55:42 = D2, T2, 1:34-2:12
0:55:42-0:55:47 = no music
0:55:47-0:57:24 = D2, T2, 2:16-3:52
0:57:24-0:58:09 = no music
0:58:09-0:59:30 = D2, T3, 0:00-1:21
0:59:30-1:04:28 = no music
1:04:28-1:05:51 = D2, T4, 0:00-1:21
1:05:51-1:05:55 = D2, T4, 1:21-1:25
1:05:55-1:06:11 = D2, T4, 1:22-1:38
1:06:11-1:07:14 = no music
1:07:14-1:09:11 = D2, T4, 1:38-3:35
1:09:11-1:21:32 = no music
1:12:32-1:16:35 = D2, T5 0:00-4:03
1:16:35-1:17:05 = no music
1:17:05-1:19:16 = D2, T6, 0:00-2:11
1:19:16-1:22:16 = no music
1:22:16-1:24:44 = D2, T7, 0:41-3:08
1:24:44-1:25:00 = no music
1:25:00-1:30:20 = D2, T8, 0:00-5:19
1:32:20-1:33:17 = D2, T9, 0:00-0:56
1:33:17-1:34:00 = D2, T9, 0:48-1:31
1:34:00-1:34:02 = no music
1:34:02-1:36:23 = D2, T9, 1:32-3:53
1:36:23-1:45:02 = no music
1:45:02-1:46:17 = D2, T10, 0:00-1:11
1:46:17-1:49:39 = D1, T10, 1:11-4:32
1:49:39-1:53:25 = no music
1:53:25-1:57:58 = D2, T10, 4:33-9:07
1:57:58-1:58:28 = no music
1:58:28-2:01:26 = D2, T11, 0:00-2:57
2:01:26-2:04:45 = D2, T11, 2:17-5:35
This blog will be a comparison of the "A New Hope" soundtrack with the music actually heard in the film, with the timings of the soundtrack (minute:second) on the left, followed by an equal sign (=) and the approximate corresponding timings where that cue is used in the film (hour:minutes:second) on the right. Sections followed by an asterisk (*) are briefly discussed further in the notes below each track's timings.
This comparison is made using the Special Edition DVD of the film, and the accompanying 2-disc soundtrack.
Disc 1 Track 1: 20th Century Fox Fanfare
0:00-0:21 = 0:00:02-0:00:23
Disc 1 Track 2: Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner
0:00-2:16 = 0:00:29-0:02:45
Disc 1 Track 3: Imperial Attack
0:00-0:04 = not used in film
0:04-6:44 = 0:02:39-0:09:16*
NOTE: This track is an instance where the music is heard ever so slightly faster in the film that it is on the recording to help precisely coordinate the two, accounting for the slight difference in timings (0:04-6:44 is a total of 400 seconds, while 0:02:39-0:09:16 totals 397 seconds).
Disc 1 Track 4: The Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler
0:00-0:57 = 0:10:28-0:11:25
0:57-1:20 = 0:12:31-0:12:52*
1:20-1:37 = not used in film
1:37-1:51 = 0:12:52-0:13:06
1:51-2:44 = not used in film
2:44-4:54 = 0:13:06-0:15:16
NOTE: Where the previous track's discrepancies between the soundtrack timings and the film timings were the product of ever so slight adjustments in playback speed, this track's discrepancies are the result of editing (0:57-1:20 totals 23 seconds, but it occurs in the film from 0:12:31-0:12:52, totaling 21 seconds). But attempting to precisely dictate these edits using the format above would be tremendously tedious and not very informative, so I've chosen instead to write this note explaining in words rather than showing with timings why the soundtrack and film don't match perfectly.
Disc 1 Track 5: The Moisture Farm
Around 0:10 = 0:15:40-0:15:50*
0:00-1:53 = 0:15:50-0:17:41
1:57-2:23 = -0:19:16-0:19:42
NOTE: Once again, the editing of this track at around 0:10 is such that precise comparison would be both difficult to execute and unhelpful to a reader.
Disc 1 Track 6: The Hologram/Binary Sunset
0:00-1:53 = 0:21:08-0:23:00
1:53-4:10 = 0:25:11-0:27:28
Disc 1 Track 7: Landspeeder Search/Attack of the Sand People
0:00-0:09 = 0:27:45-0:27:55
0:09-0:32 = not used in film
0:32-0:42 = 0:27:55-0:28:05
0:50-0:57 = 0:28:05-0:28:12
0:59-1:08 = 0:28:12-0:28:21
1:08-3:21 = 0:28:37-0:30:51
Disc 1 Track 8: Tales of a Jedi Knight/Learn About the Force
0:00-1:39 = 0:31:05-0:32:45
1:39-2:39 = 0:34:08-0:35:06
2:39-3:30 = 0:35:06-0:35:56
3:30-4:30 = 0:36:11-0:37:11
Disc 1 Track 9: Burning Homestead
0:00-1:54 = 0:39:06-0:41:00
1:54-2:52 = 0:41:02-0:41:59*
NOTE: This music overlaps slightly with the next track in the film.
Disc 1 Track 10: Mos Eisley Spaceport
0:00-1:06 = 0:41:42-0:42:48*
1:06-1:20 = not used in film
1:20-2:13 = 0:43:28-0:44:20
NOTE: This music overlaps slightly with the previous track in the film.
Disc 1 Track 11: Cantina Band
0:00-0:29 = 0:44:52-0:45:22
0:00-1:05 = 0:45:54-0:46:59
0:00-0:18 = 0:47:16-0:47:34
1:05-1:57 = not used in film
1:57-2:29 = 0:45:22-0:45:54
2:29-2:47 = not used in film
Disc 1 Track 12: Cantina Band #2
0:00-1:28 = 0:48:24-0:49:53
0:04-0:14 = 0:47:41-0:47:51
0:04-0:27 = 0:47:53-0:48:25
1:33-2:49 = 0:49:58-0:51:14
2:49-2:59 = not used in film
2:59-3:01 = 0:47:51-0:47:53
3:01-3:50 = not used in film
Disc 1 Track 13: Binary Sunset (Alternate)
Alternate takes, not used in film.
Disc 2 Track 1: Princess Leia's Theme
Concert suite (not used in film).
Disc 2 Track 2: The Millennium Falcon/Imperial Cruiser Pursuit
0:00-0:58 = 0:51:42-0:52:41
0:58-1:33 = 0:54:13-0:54:49
1:34-2:12 = 0:55:03-0:55:42
2:12-2:16 = not used in film
2:16-3:52 = 0:55:47-0:57:24
Disc 2 Track 3: Destruction of Alderaan
0:00-1:21 = 0:58:09-0:59:30
Disc 2 Track 4: The Death Star/The Stormtroopers
1:21-1:25 = 1:05:51-1:05:55*
1:22-1:38 = 1:05:54-1:06:11*
1:38-3:35 = 1:07:14-1:09:11
NOTE: There is repetition of 1:22-1:25. This extends the Stormtrooper motif so that it more closely parallels the visuals of the scene.
Disc 2 Track 5: Wookie Prisoner/Detention Block Ambush
0:00-4:03 = 1:12:32-1:16:35
0:39-1:02 = 0:15:16-0:15:40*
NOTE: 0:39-1:02 of this track is used much earlier in the film than the whole track, which is used later on. Presumably this is because the producers of the Special Edition needed music for the additional scenes, and this excerpt (which I assume was not used in the original film) was both available and fit the character of the added scenes.
Disc 2 Track 6: Shootout in the Cell Bay/Dianoga
0:00-2:11 = 1:17:05-1:19:16
2:20-2:38 = 0:42:48-0:43:07*
2:23-2:58 = not used in film
2:58-3:15 = 0:43:07-0:43:24*
NOTE: 2:20-2:38 and 2:58-3:15 are used much earlier in the film than the rest of the track. Again, presumably this is because the producers of the Special Edition needed music for the additional scenes.
Disc 2 Track 7: The Trash Compactor
0:00-0:41 = not used in film?
0:41-3:08 = 1:22:16-1:24:44
Disc 2 Track 8: The Tractor Beam/Chasm Crossfire
0:00-5:19 = 1:25:00-1:30:20
Disc 2 Track 9: Ben Kenobi's Death/Tie Fighter Attack
0:00-0:56 = 1:32:20-1:33:17
0:48-1:31 = 1:33:17-1:34:00
1:32-3:53 = 1:34:02-1:36:23
Disc 2 Track 10: The Battle of Yavin
0:00-1:11 = 1:45:02-1:46:17 *
1:11-4:32 = 1:46:17-1:49:39
4:33-9:07 = 1:53:25-1:57:58
NOTE: The first minute plus of this track is slowed by about 5% in the film. This accounts for the timing discrepancy (0:00-1:11 is 71 seconds, while 1:45:02-1:46:17 is 56 seconds). Starting at 1:11, however, the track resumes full speed (so there is no such timing discrepancy between the soundtrack and the film).
Disc 2 Track 11: The Throne Room/End Title
0:00-2:57 = 1:58:28-2:01:26
2:17-5:35 = 2:01:26-2:04:45
The imperial attack immediately following the open scroll of "A New Hope" uses a chord that is note-for-note identical with the coda of "Mars" from Gustav Holst's The Planets. First, the Star Wars excerpt, lasting from 1:41-1:56 of the following clip:
Now compare that with 6:56-7:11 from "Mars":
For visual reference, here are the two score excerpts side-by-side:
Both pieces use the exact same dissonant chord: A-flat, D-flat, G from bottom to top, with a C in the bass. In Star Wars, for the last few measures Williams adds a C above the dissonant chord as well to keep the chord building in intensity.
While the melody of the Throne Room is the Force theme, the introduction bears strong similarities to the introduction of the famous "Wedding March" from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Felix Mendelssohn.
To visually articulate the similarities, here are two score fragments, with the Throne Room intro on top and the Wedding March intro on bottom.
Both start with trumpets (The Throne Room also uses horns) on middle C with a fanfare-like rhythm (indicated in red), followed by an expansion of that initial motif to include the E above middle C (indicated in green). The Throne Room also adds the A-flat below middle C. The motif is further expanded to include the G above that (indicated in blue) before coming to rest on a C major chord (indicated in orange). In between the blue and the orange, Williams inserts a few chords (E-flat and G) before resolving to the C major chord that concludes the introduction. These chords are entirely absent from the Mendelssohn. (As a side note, E-flat to G to C is exactly the same progression that George Harrison used in the introduction to "Something" on the Beatles' last-recorded album, Abbey Road.)
This concordance of the music heard in the Special Edition DVD release of "Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope" dictates precisely what themes and motifs (as defined in my previous blog "A New Hope" Index of Musical Themes and Motifs") are heard in the film and when (give or take a few seconds). Mixed in, of course, is a great deal of incidental scoring that is NOT based on those repeated themes or motifs, and is thus not included in this timeline, which is only concerned with recurring musical material. For reference, approximately simultaneous quotes are listed on the right-hand side.
Episode IV: A New Hope
0:00:00 20th Century Fox Fanfare
0:00:30 Main Theme, parts a & b Main titles
0:02:08 Rebel motif
0:02:28 Rebel motif
0:02:43 Rebel motif "Did you hear that?"
0:03:46 Imperial motif
0:04:17 Rebel motif
0:04:54 Force theme "R2-D2, where are you?"
0:05:07 Leia's theme
0:05:33 Stormtrooper motif
0:06:18 Leia's theme "There's one. Set for stun."
0:06:43 Imperial motif "You'll be deactivated for sure."
0:07:30 Imperial motif "Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold."
0:08:51 Death Star motif "There'll be no one to stop us this time."
[0:09:01-0:10:29 No music]
[0:11:24-0:12:31 No music]
0:12:31 Jawa theme 1 "Utini!"
0:13:10 Jawa theme 2
0:13:38 Jawa theme 3
0:15:10 Imperial motif
0:16:08 Jawa theme 1 "We're doomed."
0:16:32 Jawa theme 2 "Will this never end?"
0:16:54 Jawa theme 1
0:17:15 Main theme, part a "Luke? Tell uncle if he gets a translator..."
[0:17:48-0:19:17 No music]
[0:19:41-0:21:08 No music]
0:21:40 Leia's theme "I think she was a passenger on our last voyage..."
[0:23:02-0:25:12 No music]
0:25:12 Main theme, part a "Owen, he can't stay here forever..."
0:25:39 Force theme Binary sunset
0:26:11 Rebel motif "What are you doing hiding back there?"
0:26:31 Main theme, part a "That R2 unit has always been a problem."
0:26:46 Force theme "How could I be so stupid?"
[0:27:22-0:27:47 No music]
0:27:57 Tusken Raiders theme "Hit the accelerator."
0:30:16 Force theme "Come here my little friend."
[0:30:46-0:31:04 No music]
0:31:04 Force theme "Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time."
0:31:51 Tusken Raiders theme "I think we'd better get in doors."
[0:32:43-0:34:09 No music]
0:34:09 Imperial motif "How did my father die?"
0:34:39 Force theme "The Force is what gives a jedi his power."
0:35:12 Leia's theme "Years ago you served my father int he Clone Wars"
[0:35:52-0:36:12 No music]
0:36:35 Force theme "Learn about the Force, Luke."
0:36:54 Imperial motif "You must do what you feel is right, of course."
[0:37:08-0:39:05 No music]
0:40:04 Force theme "Wait, Luke, it's too dangerous."
0:40:36 Force theme
0:40:48 Dies irae
0:40:55 Death Star motif
0:41:02 Imperial motif
0:41:04 Leia's theme
0:42:13 Force theme "I want to learn the ways of the Force."
0:43:27 Imperial motif "How long have you had these droids?"
0:43:59 Force theme "Move along."
[0:44:08-0:44:51 No music]
0:44:51 Cantina Band 1
[0:47:00-0:47:15 No music]
0:47:15 Cantina Band 1
[0:47:33-0:47:40 No music]
0:47:40 Cantina Band 2
[0:49:53-0:49:56 No music]
0:49:57 Cantina Band 2
[0:51:13-0:51:42 No music]
0:52:13 Main theme, part a "Alright, give it to me. I'll take it."
0:52:42 Jabba's theme "Solo!"
0:54:12 Main theme, part a "If the ship's as fast as his boasting..."
[0:54:40-0:55:03 No music]
0:55:03 Imperial motif "Hello, sir."
0:55:23 Force theme "Stop that ship! Blast 'em!"
0:55:46 Force theme "Our passengers must be hotter than I thought."
0:56:59 Death Star motif
[0:57:18-0:58:09 No music]
[0:59:30-1:04:27 No music]
1:05:24 Rebel theme "There are alternatives to fighting."
1:05:49 Stormtrooper motif "To your stations. Come with me."
[1:06:10-1:07:14 No music]
1:07:23 Force theme "Boy, it's lucky you had these compartments."
1:07:44 Imperial motif "If the scanners pick up anything, report it immediately."
[1:08:21-1:08:53 No music]
1:08:32 Imperial motif fragment "Take over, we've got a bad transmitter."
1:08:51 Main theme, part a "Between him howling and you blasting..."
[1:09:05-1:12:30 No music]
1:13:54 Main theme, part a "This is not going to work."
1:14:43 Main theme, part a
1:15:55 Rebel motif "Luke, we're gonna have company."
1:15:58 Leia's theme "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper."
1:16:11 Main theme, part a "I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you."
[1:16:25-1:17:07 No music]
1:17:22 Imperial motif
1:17:39 Rebel motif "Looks like you managed to cut off our only escape route."
1:18:36 Imperial motif "Get in there you big furry oaf."
[1:19:08-1:22:15 No music]
1:22:27 Imperial motif "Look! There!"
[1:24:35-1:24:58 No music]
[1:25:42-1:25:55 No music]
1:27:00 Main theme, part a "There she is."
1:27:35 Stormtrooper & Imperial motifs
1:28:24 Main theme, part a
1:28:42 Main theme, part b
1:28:58 Main theme, part a "Here they come."
1:29:08 Leia's theme
1:29:18 Stormtrooper motif "We think they may be splitting up."
1:29:32 Main theme, part a "Where could they be?"
1:29:45 Stormtrooper & Imperial motifs "Close the blast doors"
[1:30:10-1:32:17 No music]
1:32:20 Force theme
1:32:30 Leia's theme
1:32:59 Rebel motif "I hope that old man got that tractor beam..."
1:33:27 Force theme "Coming up on their sentry ship."
1:34:33 TIE Fighter attack & Rebel motif "Here they come."
1:35:57 Death star motif
[1:36:07-1:44:59 No music]
1:45:59 Death Star motif
1:46:33 Force theme "This is Red 5. I'm going in."
1:46:56 Imperial theme "We count 30 rebel ships, Lord Vader."
1:48:44 Force theme "Whatch your back, Luke."
1:49:07 Force theme "I can't shake him."
[1:49:38-1:53:26 No music]
1:53:59 Imperial motif "What about that tower?"
1:55:19 Main theme, part a "Hang on R2."
1:55:38 Force theme "Use the Force, Luke."
1:55:56 Main theme, part a "Luke, you switched off your targeting computer."
1:57:33 Rebel motif "Remember, the Force will be with you. Always."
[1:57:40-1:58:24 No music]
1:58:24 Throne Room, part a (Force theme) Medal ceremony
1:59:20 Throne Room, part b (independent)
1:59:37 Main theme, part b
1:59:53 Throne Room, part c
2:00:09 Main theme, part a End credits
2:00:20 Rebel motif
2:00:47 Main theme, part a
2:01:05 Main theme, part b
2:01:28 Main theme, part a
2:01:45 Main thee, part b
2:02:03 Main theme, part a
2:02:25 Leia's theme (+ Rebel motif)
2:03:11 Main theme, part a
2:03:27 Main theme, part b
2:03:43 Rebel motif
Just as the Star Wars main theme shares similarities with the King's Row main theme, so too there are additional themes and motifs used in Star Wars that also bear similarities to historical predecessors. In this case, here is a comparison of the Imperial motif (not to be confused with the famous Imperial March that does not appear until "The Empire Strikes Back") with an excerpt of "Mars" from The Planets by Gustav Holst.
In both excertps the primary tone is G, with B-flat a clear secondary pitch. In the Imperial motif, the tertiary tone is A-flat, while in "Mars" the tertiary tone is F-sharp - both of which are a minor second away from the primary tone of G.
Much like the main theme's resemblance of King's Row, they are not completely identical, but they're undeniably similar in melodic contour, orchestration (Holt uses tenor tubas, Williams often but not always uses brass), and character.
It's no secret that film composers often borrow a great deal of musical material from other sources. In fact, directors usually provide their composers with "temp tracks", place-holder music that they want the film score to sound like. The composer then takes those suggestions and writes in the style of those temp tracks, but in a way custom-built to fit the film. Given the similarities between the John Williams' main theme to Star Wars (1977) and Erich Korngold's main theme to King's Row (1942), it seems to be a safe bet that George Lucas had King's Row on his temp track for Star Wars.
While it is easiest to hear the similarities, here is a transcription, as well, for visual comparison.
Both tunes are in B-flat major and share a heroic, brassy quality. Seven of the first eight tones are completely identical (indicated by the solid red lines), with the second note of each being comparable but not identical (indicated by the dotted red line). Further notice that the two circled triplets are retrogrades of each other (Star Wars goes Eb-D-C; King's Row goes C-D-Eb), and the two passages with the rectangles are similar in that they both descend from Eb to C and use a triplet.
In this case, John Williams has borrowed the first several notes from a pre-existing theme, then spun the rest of that theme from there. This is a pattern that will appear quite frequently throughout the Star Wars films.
Here is a list of all the musical themes and motifs (i.e. recurring musical patterns - I am not including the extra incidental music that is heard once and then never reprised) used in "Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope", with a brief musical score excerpt included for reference, roughly in order of significance.
Tusken Raiders Theme (no score, but audio example):
NOTE: Throne Room, part a is not included here because it is identical to the Force theme illustrated above.
Given the success of my Beatles and origami blogs, I have decided to begin yet another, this one specifically dedicated to analysis of John Williams' epic orchestral scores for the Star Wars films. The purpose of this new blog is to help focus, prepare, and develop material to inform my discussion courses and lectures on the music of Star Wars, scheduled to debut Spring 2014.
Since surprisingly little detailed analysis of Williams' music exists in any form (much less in published articles or books), the best and often only place to find considerations of his music is in online chatrooms and forums. More often than not, however, those anonymous contributors to these discussions devolve into puerile name calling whenever a dispute arises instead of respectful debate, and the bickering often overwhelms any insightful musicological analysis. This blog, then, will attempt to provide such detailed commentary and analysis of Star Wars music, with the twofold purpose of (1) illustrating how the music developed, and (2) enlightening listening and furthering enjoyment of the music.
The Music of Star Wars
These posts will help focus and develop my analyses of John Williams' film scores.