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Comments about the soundtrack for Children of Dune (Brian Tyler)
Rip Off ...

Mac Styran
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Mac Styran
Curtis Beaulieu
Freemen no. 2
Rach
Rip Off ...   Thursday, March 27, 2003 (5:15 a.m.) 

The main theme "reminds" you of Trevor Rabin's beautiful masterpiece theme of Deep Blue Sea? It's the friggin' same. Which is okay by me on the one hand, 'cause I love the theme and found it used way too little on DBS. You can also find the theme in Shrek. Also alright by me. But on the other hand... it is what it is: stolen.

I don't really know what to think about the score. It's beautiful. Yet, he could have used the exact same theme, that would have been better...

Comments?

My 2003 cents

Mac

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Mac Styran
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Mac Styran

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chris
Re: Rip Off ...   Thursday, March 27, 2003 (5:22 a.m.) 

I forgot: you are already familiar with the rest if the score, when you own "Gladiator"...

Is this still "creative"?

Ok, it's beautiful and well crafted, but what about "originality"??

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chris
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Mac Styran

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Mac Styran
Re: Rip Off ...   Sunday, March 30, 2003 (8:58 p.m.) 

I wouldnt call it an exact ripoff.. the guy talking about chordal progressions is right.. thats the thing thats similar.. and you'll find that in ALOT of scores.. even in scores not mentioned in the previous posts..

i think the other way of distorting it but using the same chords is to change the way you go from each chord.. ie.. go VI up to IV instead of VI down to IV.. etc

but its not a ripoff because the actual melody isn't too too similar.. just very predictable.. i find shrek even more of a resemblance to deep blue sea than in this score

still an excellent score tho

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Mac Styran
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Joshua Luetkemeyer
Re: Rip Off ...   Tuesday, April 1, 2003 (4:26 a.m.) 

> but its not a ripoff because the actual melody isn't too too similar..
> just very predictable.. i find shrek even more of a resemblance to deep
> blue sea than in this score

> still an excellent score tho

Maybe I picked the wrong word here... it's exactly the melody adn the way it's treated that makes THIS thing far more similar to Deep Blue Sea than anything else.

The chords themselves are in almost EVERY song and EVERY soundtrack and mostly in the same order.

Mac


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Joshua Luetkemeyer
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Mac Styran

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Mac Styran
Tonality   Friday, April 4, 2003 (7:21 p.m.) 

Coming from a graduate student in composition... it's hard to compose anything "tonal" that hasn't been done before. Composers in the last 400 years have pretty much exhausted all tonal possibilities. In the last 50 years, tonality has found new life through new instruments and rhythmic complexity. There is a movement away from tonality though. Film music itself is about 60 years behind "serious" music (as my composition teacher would say). Since the 2nd Viennese (sp?) school (Berg, Webern, Schoenberg), tonality has gradually lost its place in the music world. Atonal or Pantonal music; however, is not really accessable to most of the listening world (I don't really care for much of it). This is where scores like LOTR come in. Would it surprise people to learn that the majority of that score isn't tonal? (I'd say about 55% to 60%). The chords didn't have typical uses in diatonic or borrowed means. The voice leading made the piece rather than accepted progressions (such as iv, IV, V, I). I've used this type of stlye for a long time (quasi Barber).

The point of this... it's hard to be totally (or even somewhat) unique in music without extending tonality. And most film score listeners (I may be stereotyping too much) probably wouldn't really care for it.

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Mac Styran
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Joshua Luetkemeyer
Re: Tonality   Monday, April 7, 2003 (6:22 a.m.) 

> Coming from a graduate student in composition... it's hard to compose
> anything "tonal" that hasn't been done before. Composers in the
> last 400 years have pretty much exhausted all tonal possibilities. In the
> last 50 years, tonality has found new life through new instruments and
> rhythmic complexity. There is a movement away from tonality though. Film
> music itself is about 60 years behind "serious" music (as my
> composition teacher would say). Since the 2nd Viennese (sp?) school (Berg,
> Webern, Schoenberg), tonality has gradually lost its place in the music
> world. Atonal or Pantonal music; however, is not really accessable to most
> of the listening world (I don't really care for much of it). This is where
> scores like LOTR come in. Would it surprise people to learn that the
> majority of that score isn't tonal? (I'd say about 55% to 60%). The chords
> didn't have typical uses in diatonic or borrowed means. The voice leading
> made the piece rather than accepted progressions (such as iv, IV, V, I).
> I've used this type of stlye for a long time (quasi Barber).

> The point of this... it's hard to be totally (or even somewhat) unique in
> music without extending tonality. And most film score listeners (I may be
> stereotyping too much) probably wouldn't really care for it.

Yup, you stereotype too much.
I don't mind using certain "patterns" all over again, especially when they sound good. And after all, you can identify 90% of Hans Zimmer's scores by the chords he uses.
I'm a composer myself and I say: this particular score blandly took Deep Blue Sea and Gladiator and tried to keep the end result as close to the original as possible.

In other words: RIP OFF.
A beautiful and well crafted rip off.

Mac

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Curtis Beaulieu
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Mac Styran

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matt
Re: The Origins of the Rip-Off!   Thursday, March 27, 2003 (11:06 a.m.) 

> The main theme "reminds" you of Trevor Rabin's beautiful
> masterpiece theme of Deep Blue Sea? It's the friggin' same. Which is okay
> by me on the one hand, 'cause I love the theme and found it used way too
> little on DBS. You can also find the theme in Shrek. Also alright by me.
> But on the other hand... it is what it is: stolen.

The evolution of a theme...

Tyler stole it from Rabin. Rabin stole it from Jarre. Jarre stole it from A. Newman. A. Newman stole it from Steiner. And Steiner stole it from...

... STRAUSS!!

CB



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matt
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Curtis Beaulieu
Re: The Origins of the Rip-Off!   Thursday, April 10, 2003 (11:06 a.m.) 

> The evolution of a theme...

> Tyler stole it from Rabin. Rabin stole it from Jarre. Jarre stole it from
> A. Newman. A. Newman stole it from Steiner. And Steiner stole it from...

> ... STRAUSS!!

> CB

Hey, I believe you! What songs or movements are copied from Jarre, Newman, and Steiner and Strauss??????!!!!! cause i really like the theme!

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Freemen no. 2
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Mac Styran

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Freemen no. 2b
Mac Styran
Nate U
Re: Rip Off ...   Friday, March 28, 2003 (11:12 p.m.) 

I agree it is eerily similar- but mostly in the harmonic sense rather than the melodic one, as the harmonic progression essentiall determines the melody. It is a very typical "serious" sort of themeatic progression. For those of you musical out there, try this, in any key:

vi
IV
I
V (perhaps suspend the third up a half step)

In the key of C, this equates to this (try playing it if you have a piano):

Aminor
FMajor
CMajor
G (Sus4)

It is used in many scores, not just in "Children of Dune" and "Deep Blue Sea". Look for it in:

The Rock
Chicken Run
Some of Gladiator- especially in "Now We Are Free"
Pretty much any war movie

It is a really great chord progression, and it almost always sounds good. Basically, though, it leaves little room to fiddle with the chords, i.e., add sevenths or ninths in the melody, so uses of it tend to sound the same. I personally think that the best use of it is the melody of of "Chicken Run" ("Building the Crate), but that's just my opinion. Composers who use it heavily include Zimmer, Gregson-Williams/Powell, Rabin, Elfman, and others. It is my opinion that every composer has used it sometime or another, simply because they have too. Anyway. Just thought I'd mention that.

> The main theme "reminds" you of Trevor Rabin's beautiful
> masterpiece theme of Deep Blue Sea? It's the friggin' same. Which is okay
> by me on the one hand, 'cause I love the theme and found it used way too
> little on DBS. You can also find the theme in Shrek. Also alright by me.
> But on the other hand... it is what it is: stolen.

> I don't really know what to think about the score. It's beautiful. Yet, he
> could have used the exact same theme, that would have been better...

> Comments?

> My 2003 cents

> Mac


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Freemen no. 2b
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Freemen no. 2
Re: Rip Off ... Forgot one!   Friday, March 28, 2003 (11:22 p.m.) 

oh yeah- one major one I forgot: Lord of the Rings. Check on the scene when Gandalf falls of of the Bridge of Khazad Dum (Track name, I think).

> I agree it is eerily similar- but mostly in the harmonic sense rather than
> the melodic one, as the harmonic progression essentiall determines the
> melody. It is a very typical "serious" sort of themeatic
> progression. For those of you musical out there, try this, in any key:

> vi
IV
I
V (perhaps suspend the third up a half step)

> In the key of C, this equates to this (try playing it if you have a
> piano):

> Aminor
FMajor
CMajor
G (Sus4)

> It is used in many scores, not just in "Children of Dune" and
> "Deep Blue Sea". Look for it in:

> The Rock
Chicken Run
Some of Gladiator- especially in "Now We
> Are Free"
Pretty much any war movie

> It is a really great chord progression, and it almost always sounds good.
> Basically, though, it leaves little room to fiddle with the chords, i.e.,
> add sevenths or ninths in the melody, so uses of it tend to sound the
> same. I personally think that the best use of it is the melody of of
> "Chicken Run" ("Building the Crate), but that's just my
> opinion. Composers who use it heavily include Zimmer,
> Gregson-Williams/Powell, Rabin, Elfman, and others. It is my opinion that
> every composer has used it sometime or another, simply because they have
> too. Anyway. Just thought I'd mention that.


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Mac Styran
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Freemen no. 2
Re: Rip Off ...   Tuesday, April 1, 2003 (4:28 a.m.) 

> It is a really great chord progression, and it almost always sounds good.
> Basically, though, it leaves little room to fiddle with the chords, i.e.,
> add sevenths or ninths in the melody, so uses of it tend to sound the
> same. I personally think that the best use of it is the melody of of
> "Chicken Run" ("Building the Crate), but that's just my
> opinion. Composers who use it heavily include Zimmer,
> Gregson-Williams/Powell, Rabin, Elfman, and others. It is my opinion that
> every composer has used it sometime or another, simply because they have
> too. Anyway. Just thought I'd mention that.

That's exactly my point. The chords are not the problem, it`s the chords with the style and THE SAME MELODY that changes only 2 damn notes.

And Chicken Run will remain one of the best scores EVER.

Mac

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Nate U
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Freemen no. 2
You got it right there. *NM*   Sunday, June 8, 2003 (6:46 p.m.) 



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Rach
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Mac Styran
The thematic progression: Emotional effect.   Tuesday, April 15, 2003 (11:43 a.m.) 

(Excuse my English; it’s not my mother tongue)

Wow! I’m so exited that I have found people who have discovered that thematic progression! I discovered this progression a couple of years ago. I used to use it in some of my compositions, and then I listened to Craig Armstrong’s Plunkett and Macleane main theme. The track “Escape” explicitly contains that thematic progression. So I realized that I must had listened to that chord’s sequence before using it in my compositions, although I had not noticed that I had listened to that sequence before.

That thematic progression really causes an emotional effect on me. I’ve discovered that it’s widely used on film music nowadays; I think that’s because of the emotional effect it causes.

I have found that even before than Strauss, Beethoven used it. In the second movement of his pathetic sonata, he marvelously integrated the chords with that beautiful progression (vi, IV, I, V) and an outstanding melody that really makes me feel his aspiration of reaching perfection and absolute truth.
And even before Beethoven, Morales (c. 1500 – 1553) used it on his Requiem, but since the requiem is quite chorally polyphonic it is a little bit hard to distinguish the progression. The produced emotional effect is very intense; it really makes you feel the ethereal magical feeling of life, of “we exist”, a Platonic Noesis transformed into music.

Many composers have used that progression on their scores; some of them might have discovered the progression on their own and some others might have copied it from someone else. (On my particular case I don’t even know if I discovered it on my own or if I took it after listening to some other composer. I’ve found that my compositions are constantly influenced by the pieces I’ve listened to; it is a challenge to compose something absolutely independent to anything listened before.)
These are some cases that I remember.

The Media Ventures team loves this progression, and they’ve used it creating important emotions on the audience.
Trevor Rabin is the composer among the Media Ventures team, who uses that progression the most. He has used it on Armageedon, Deep Blue Sea, Remember the Titans, The sixth day and maybe in some others. (And curiously the main theme in almost all those movies contains that progression)
Nick Glennie-Smith used it in “The Rock”, Hans Zimmer in “Gladiator” and “Backdraft” (?), Klaus Badelt in “K-19 the Widow maker” and in the time machine (?), Lissa Gerard in “Black Hawk down”, Harry Gregson Williams and John Powell in “Chicken Run”. Even Mark Mancina might have used it.

Other composers who are not part of the Media Ventures team have used that thematic progression as well. I mean, Herrmann and Korngold used it for sure, and I read on this thread that Steiner used it too! (I’d like to know in which movie)

Craig Armstrong – Plunkett and Macleane, and he kind of used it in “Romeo and Juliet”
Howard Shore – LOTR The Fellowship of the ring, and he expanded the usage of the progression in The two towers.
Now Brian Tyler used it very well in “Children of Dune” Congratulations Tyler! I like when the progression is used properly, with all the respect it deserves, and Tyler did a great job.

Any other score you would like to add?

Well, I agree that in the current film music, a lot of originality is needed; however, there are some progressions that cause a particular emotional effect, so they can be used in order to achieve that. The typical classical I, IV, V, I progression has been used since the occidental classical music's birth with Hindemith, then Vivaldi, Albinoni, Teleman, Offenbach, J.S. Bach and sons, Clementi, Handel, Hayden, then Mozart, I mean, every classical composer has used it. Hindemith discovered that just as the human being has a “pure intuition” that being good is “good” and we have a natural passion for truth, there are some musical elements that are inherently attached to our essence, that reveal the harmony and the equilibrium that all the universe is trying to reach, including ourselves.
There are different ways to reach perfection, and just as there are different activities to improve ourselves, such as music, painting, science, philosophy, etc. there are different ways to do it with music, but the essential element that remains constant is the attempt of being better and reaching perfection. Some eastern melodies and harmonies don’t follow the I, IV, V, I progression, but they try to reach harmony through other musical elements they’ve discovered. Hindemith discovered some very important elements, and those elements still ruling to some point, the classical western music, and hence film music. (Actually the “real” classical contemporary music is tending to find new elements, and it is falling into atonalism and other weird things. Most Film music however, is still founded on the “oldies” classical elements.)
Using the “typical” progression doesn’t necessarily mean the composer is not being original as long as they add originality to those progressions. Bach used the “I, IV, V, I” progression with an elegant baroque style, Mozart brought it majestically; Mahler and Prokofiev gave it a whole new dimension using the orchestra on a different way.
Similarly, Trevor Rabin has given an electronic and urban style to the “vi, IV, I, V” progression, while Armstrong gave it a bombastic choral atmosphere, and Shore used it more epically, with an eerie combination of voice and instruments.

More than how original the progression is, I believe that it is more important how originally the composer used it to create the emotions and feelings the movie is trying to create. And when it gets even more important, is when the composers achieves to produce that “magical” emotion that makes you feel that inexpressible feeling; that amazing atmosphere that makes you feel something else, something transcendental, the “I know that I exist” feeling.

… I hope this long text had not being boring for you. If you have any comments, go ahead!

Rach.


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