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Comments about the soundtrack for Enemy at the Gates (James Horner)
Can you say rip off?

Andrew
(sibulsky.imbris.com)


  Responses to this Comment:
Michael Leonard
Dawn
Ben Frost
Can you say rip off?   Friday, July 27, 2001 (10:56 p.m.) 

I saw the film in the theaters and I am a big fan of film scores. Most of what James Horner did in this film sounds excatly like "Shilnder's (spelling) List" done by John Williams (A better composer, in my opinion) The entire film sounded this way to me. Sorry Mr. Horner.

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Michael Leonard
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  In Response to:
Andrew

  Responses to this Comment:
Michael Arlidge
Emily
Re: Can you say rip off?   Sunday, August 19, 2001 (1:07 a.m.) 

> I saw the film in the theaters and I am a big fan of film scores. Most of
> what James Horner did in this film sounds excatly like "Shilnder's
> (spelling) List" done by John Williams (A better composer, in my
> opinion) The entire film sounded this way to me. Sorry Mr. Horner.

WELL, considering that both films were based on World War II, and both films had the nazis in it, it is fair to say that the scores should be similar. I think that Williams' score is very different than Horner's but the only thing that is similar is a few seconds near the end of the album. I think both scores are effective for their respective film and both are very different.



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Michael Arlidge
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  In Response to:
Michael Leonard

  Responses to this Comment:
Gryffindor
DeVooluff
Horner rip-off theory   Friday, October 12, 2001 (10:44 p.m.) 

To all people who think that James Horner is uncreative, and borrows from not only his own scores, but from those of other composers - get stuffed! Horner may borrow, but the result as heard in the final score is perfection. It does not matter a stuff that he is borrowing. If it suits the movie, and makes for a good listen, then that is all that counts. And, as for the similarities in the themes for Enemy at the Gates and Schindler's List, they are similar, but each is somewhat unique. I would even go so far as to say that the Horner theme is superior to the Williams one, but only so far as it appears within the context of the film (the human side of war compared to the Holocaust). As for the rest of the score for Enemy at the Gates, it is immense, not only in scope, but also in emotional resonance. If Mr. Horner does not win the Academy Award (regardless of whether there are two categories, Dramatic Score and Comedy Score, or just Original Score), then it will be a great shame, because he has created a score that stays in one's memory well after it has been heard, and fits the movie like a glove.

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Gryffindor
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om)

  In Response to:
Michael Arlidge

  Responses to this Comment:
Harvey Lime
Klendathu
Re: Horner rip-off theory   Friday, November 2, 2001 (2:59 p.m.) 

Are you retarded? Horner's theme is superior? HOW could it be superior if he stole it from Williams? You can't say that they are not the same, they are IDENTICAL. Sure, they may sound different as far as the way they are played but they are IDENTICAL. And it comes down to Williams did his in '93 and Horner in '01. Who's the robber here? Horner needs to be creative and write things of his own instead of half-a$$ing it and using someone else's theme. Do something.

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Harvey Lime
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  In Response to:
Gryffindor
Re: Horner rip-off theory   Sunday, November 4, 2001 (5:37 p.m.) 

I just love this sentence:

> Sure, they may sound different as far as the way they are
> played but they are IDENTICAL.

Also... please don't be presumptuous to believe that all think that Williams is superior!
While I do believe that Schindler's List is one of his final good scores (I have not heard a single score of his since Seven years In Tibet that I have played more than once)... I am not one sighted enough to say that Williams is the best at everything he does.

I also prefer the Horner score... while the thematic notes are SIMILAR (not identical), it is the background orchestrations which make it stand out!
I love this theme... and on a listening level (i.e. not in terms of function within a film) I think Horner's theme is far more enjoyable.

I do not discount your love of Williams... just please don't sit there and dictate to us that Willaims' work is superor because YOU think so!

- H.

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Klendathu
(pd9eabb36.dip.t-dialin.net)

  In Response to:
Gryffindor
Re: Horner rip-off theory   Friday, October 3, 2003 (8:34 a.m.) 

> Are you retarded? Horner's theme is superior? HOW could it be superior if
> he stole it from Williams? You can't say that they are not the same, they
> are IDENTICAL. Sure, they may sound different as far as the way they are
> played but they are IDENTICAL.

When i play the schindlers list theme on my piano i have to hit other keys as íf i play the enemy at the gates theme.

even that should prove you that its not identical.
and its not just a shift in the chord or whatever you may think.

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DeVooluff
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  In Response to:
Michael Arlidge
Re: Horner rip-off theory   Friday, May 16, 2008 (12:21 p.m.) 
• Now Playing: Erik Satie - Trois Gymnopédies  

Firstly, I've no problem with James Horners talent as a composer. I do have to say that when I watched 'Troy' I nearly cried when I heard what he had done with Vaughan Williams interpretation of Thomas Tallis' work. Had he left it intact and accredited it as such, I would not be here berating him, but he butchered it by fiddling with a sequence at the end of the motif then claimed it as his own. That my friends, is plagarism at its ugliest. Even Vaughan Williams acknowledged the original composer.

To any who think my distress is overstated, listen to a rendition of the work that Vaughan Williams delivered in 1910 based on a theme first performed in 1576 and tell me differently.

I've said too much. It made me cross is all. I'll go back to 'getting stuffed', sipping wine and not watching 'Troy'.

> To all people who think that James Horner is uncreative, and borrows from
> not only his own scores, but from those of other composers - get stuffed!
> Horner may borrow, but the result as heard in the final score is
> perfection. It does not matter a stuff that he is borrowing. If it suits
> the movie, and makes for a good listen, then that is all that counts. And,
> as for the similarities in the themes for Enemy at the Gates and
> Schindler's List , they are similar, but each is somewhat unique. I would
> even go so far as to say that the Horner theme is superior to the Williams
> one, but only so far as it appears within the context of the film (the
> human side of war compared to the Holocaust). As for the rest of the score
> for Enemy at the Gates , it is immense, not only in scope, but also in
> emotional resonance. If Mr. Horner does not win the Academy Award
> (regardless of whether there are two categories, Dramatic Score and Comedy
> Score, or just Original Score), then it will be a great shame, because he
> has created a score that stays in one's memory well after it has been
> heard, and fits the movie like a glove.



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Emily
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  In Response to:
Michael Leonard

  Responses to this Comment:
Michael
Dan Sartori
Re: Can you say rip off?   Monday, October 29, 2001 (11:17 a.m.) 

> WELL, considering that both films were based on World War II, and both
> films had the nazis in it, it is fair to say that the scores should be
> similar. I think that Williams' score is very different than Horner's but
> the only thing that is similar is a few seconds near the end of the album.
> I think both scores are effective for their respective film and both are
> very different.

You are crazy. The two scores are only very different if you are tone deaf! In my opinion, it was a total rip off. I can hardley believe that Homer would do it intentionally. I can only hope that he had the theme stuck in his head, and thought this was the only way he could release it. John Williams should sue.


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Michael
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  In Response to:
Emily
Re: Can you say rip off?   Monday, October 29, 2001 (3:57 p.m.) 

> You are crazy. The two scores are only very different if you are tone
> deaf! In my opinion, it was a total rip off. I can hardley believe that
> Homer would do it intentionally. I can only hope that he had the theme
> stuck in his head, and thought this was the only way he could release it.
> John Williams should sue.

It was not a rip off one bit. These two scores sounded nothing alike except for that one last snippit. I've heard williams scores that have sounded similar to other scores. Just because Horner reuses snippits of music once in awhile doesn't make him the only guilty composer. I have both scores, and you're right: It does take someone tone deaf to think that it was a total ripoff. And I would imagine Williams doesn't give a rip if 5 seconds of something like his music appears on a 70 minute album.

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Dan Sartori
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  In Response to:
Emily

  Responses to this Comment:
Mark
Re: Can you say rip off?   Sunday, December 16, 2001 (9:51 a.m.) 

> You are crazy. The two scores are only very different if you are tone
> deaf! In my opinion, it was a total rip off. I can hardley believe that
> Homer would do it intentionally. I can only hope that he had the theme
> stuck in his head, and thought this was the only way he could release it.
> John Williams should sue.

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.

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Mark
(cache-1.sfrn.ca.webcache.rcn.net)

  In Response to:
Dan Sartori

  Responses to this Comment:
Dan Sartori
Re: Can you say rip off?   Friday, April 12, 2002 (3:05 p.m.) 

> 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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Dan Sartori
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  In Response to:
Mark
Re: Can you say rip off?   Friday, April 19, 2002 (8:11 a.m.) 

> 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.

This is definitely true.

> 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.

You have obviously not listened to the soundtrack, or if you have, you have only listened to it once or twice. Have you seen the movie, too? Because much film music can only be fairly judged in conjunction with the movie that it was written for. Track 17 of the CD is one of the single most moving pieces ever composed by Horner. It is much of the reason that the final execution scene in the movie is as touching as it is. I know it is harder for us to understand soundtracks like this one because of all the folk music involved, but I think once you actually sit and try to let this score get down deep inside of you and affect you, it will move you deeply.

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.

Some of these I have never heard of. Who did Cutthroat Island and what year was it made? And why exactly is Schindler's List better than a classic soundtrack like The Land Before Time, which had a much more complete theme?

> 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...

Completely untrue. The first track of a Beautiful Mind is an expansion of a theme that he only flirted with in the beginning of Bicentennial Man. The site reviewer, Christian Clemmensen, even said that he was glad to hear this theme come back in one of Horner's later scores. Now, I am not Horner's defense attorney, and I know that Horner is often rightfully accused of overusing certain themes. I would say that of all the film composers of the modern day, Horner is the most guilty of this. However, other composers use this technique much more often than you realize. Take, for example, John Williams' Duel of the Fates. That piece is constructed almost identically to the last movement of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. In fact, I know both pieces quite well, and I sometimes find myself mixing them up in my head. Now, I am NOT talking about the order of the notes in the theme, I am talking about the construction of the piece as a whole. John Williams must have written the piece after listening to Orff that morning. I admire Duel of the Fates, but it is not as original as you think it is.

In addition, it is important that you separate each soundtrack from the rest of the composer's works and consider each as a distinct piece of art. If you sat down and attempted to listen to the Braveheart soundtrack without figuring out exactly where it contains similarities to the rest of Horner's music, you would discover that it works quite well on its own.

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

I know, but the point I was trying to make is not that they can only be used in one scenario, but that every composer knows what a boys' choir sounds like and including a boys' choir in a soundtrack now, while it may work well with the score, has ceased to be original. People need to understand that every composer has his strengths and weaknesses, and that if you can't get over a certain composer's weaknesses, then you shouldn't buy his music. I just don't want anyone to pass off something that is genuinely moving as great art just because they've heard it somewhere before. Thanks for reading and responding!

Dan

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Dawn
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  In Response to:
Andrew

  Responses to this Comment:
Josh
Re: Can you say rip off?   Saturday, August 25, 2001 (9:30 p.m.) 

> I saw the film in the theaters and I am a big fan of film scores. Most of
> what James Horner did in this film sounds excatly like "Shilnder's
> (spelling) List" done by John Williams (A better composer, in my
> opinion) The entire film sounded this way to me. Sorry Mr. Horner.

I sat through most of the film repeating the words "that is the music from Schindler's List". I was so certain it was the work of John Williams that I immediately got online and started researching it. *L* I am dismayed that it isn't his work. Might I suggest a wonderful score to whomever crosses this path, the score to Schindler's List.

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Josh
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  In Response to:
Dawn
Re: Can you say rip off?   Thursday, October 18, 2001 (5:37 p.m.) 

> I sat through most of the film repeating the words "that is the music
> from Schindler's List". I was so certain it was the work of John
> Williams that I immediately got online and started researching it. *L* I
> am dismayed that it isn't his work. Might I suggest a wonderful score to
> whomever crosses this path, the score to Schindler's List.

Even though the theme may be a similar series of notes, it is still very much done in James Horner's style (ie. much different orchestrations/compositional style.)

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Ben Frost
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  In Response to:
Andrew
Re: Can you say rip off?   Thursday, May 4, 2017 (9:29 a.m.) 
• Now Playing: Beethoven  

> I saw the film in the theaters and I am a big fan of film scores. Most of
> what James Horner did in this film sounds excatly like 'Shilnder's
> (spelling) List' done by John Williams (A better composer, in my opinion)
> The entire film sounded this way to me. Sorry Mr. Horner.

I certainly can't believe that Horner's music sounding like Williams' music is a coincidence. I think John Williams should at least get credit for being the first person to compose that music. James Horner did not come up with that music himself. He might have reinterpreted it into his own style but the person who did the most valuable work in that piece of music is John Williams not James Horner. Copying your own music is completely different because you own the rights to your own music and you can do whatever you want with it. Copying somebody else's work and claiming it as your own is dishonest and unfair. Whether Williams or Horner is the better composer is completely irrelevant. The point is Horner stole Williams's music, tweaked it a little, and then claimed it as his own. Regardless of how common it is that is not OK.



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