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Comments about the soundtrack for Enemy at the Gates (James Horner)

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Re: Can you say rip off?
• Posted by: Mark
• Date: Friday, April 12, 2002, at 3:05 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Can you say rip off? (Dan Sartori)

> If John Williams sued, he would have to sue himself. I find it ridiculous
> to say that Horner steals from Williams. He doesn't have to; Braveheart is
> the best soundtrack ever created anyways, so he doesn't need to compete.
> And even so, music is not about competition, it's about creating great art
> that moves people. Just because two passages of music sound similar
> doesn't mean that they are copied from one another. Let's face it: most
> boys choir music sounds quite similar, but that doesn't mean that every
> piece is a ripoff of the one before it. A boys choir adds a unique flavor
> to any score that calls for that specific sound, and there are numerous
> scores (both by Horner and Williams, as well as other composers) that make
> extensive use of it. Williams repeats themes just like Horner does, and he
> frankly "steals" Horner's music just as much.

First of all, I must say that there are few grounds for "suing" because quoting other music is to an extent pretty common in film music. However, I do think that the theme is noticeably similar to Schindler's List.

Braveheart is also not the best soundtrack ever created, and though endless debates could go on all year about this, Braveheart is certainly not one. It has a very moving theme that works very well in the film, but it sounds a lot like other Horner scores and is a bit boring on CD except for the few interesting tracks. E.T., Schindler's List, CutThroat Island, Star Trek VI, Legends of the Fall, Hook, Edward Scissorhands, Dances With Wolves, Anna and the King... You could go on all year naming some of the best CDs in history.

How can you say that Horner doesn't rip himself off? Try comparing the first track of "A Beautiful Mind" to the first track of "Bicentennial Man"! Horner is notorious for that, though some diehard Horner fans still attempt to convince themselves that Horner is a God...

P.S. Boy choirs often sing lots of different types of music, from Film Scores (of course) to chamber music to popular/contemporary music.

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