The biggest new musical contribution of Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens is "Rey's Theme", the sixth track of the soundtrack.
The theme consists of five intermingled snippets, listed here in order of appearance on the track:
This modal motive is repetitive and sneaky, so I've dubbed it the tip-toe motive.
Less active than the tip-toe motive, this snippet is bell-like and thus dubbed the chime motive.
This is the main melody of Rey's Theme, and it's sweeping, ultra-romantic tune is classic John Williams.
The extroverted and royal character of this passage contrasts with the more shy and introverted character of the tip-toe and chime motives. I've dubbed it the regal motive.
And lastly, this tune is strongly related to the primary melody (same i-IV modal harmonies), but is heard just once in the track (as opposed to the melody, which is heard three times). Its secondary importance earns it the term counter melody.
With those five musical morsels in mind, here's a thematic analysis of the track:
Time Music Instrument(s) Tonality
0:00 tip-toe flute A minor
0:14 chime celesta A minor
0:23 tip-toe violins A minor
0:33 melody horn, strings A minor
1:00 chime horns A minor
1:10 chime flutes B-flat minor
1:15 chime flutes B minor
1:21 counter horns D minor
1:40 melody strings D minor
1:56 regal horns D minor
2:13 melody strings E-flat minor
2:24 regal strings, trumpets E-flat minor
2:39 chimes flutes E-flat minor
2:49 tip-toe celesta E-flat minor
12/21/2015 10:26:14 am
The tiptoe motive sounds to me maddeningly like something out of Dvorak but I can't place it!
3/22/2016 03:13:03 pm
It's the first movement from Dvorak's New World Symhony. It's about 3 minutes in. I recognized that, too.
3/30/2016 02:21:01 am
Same feeling ! I found these page with a google research : "Dvorjak Rey's theme". I prefer seeing this as a tribute ... :)
12/24/2015 09:10:28 am
12/28/2015 05:40:32 pm
the second you hear it, you recognize Rey is the Hero of the story.
1/8/2016 05:12:03 am
An homage to Westerns, which is probably fitting.
2/4/2016 07:40:01 am
Great! Thanks so much
1/4/2018 02:07:24 pm
nothing about the gnarly modulation from D min to Ab min?
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The Music of Star Wars
These posts will help focus and develop my analyses of John Williams' film scores.