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Creation of Texture Part II - Applied to Scene

In the first two examples of Creation of Texture, we put into test what we have learned from the previous chapters. These first exercises were meant for pure musical creation and had no connection with the actual happening of the scenes.

In order to be more visual oriented, this time we are going to apply the Creation of Texture to a scene. This means, what we will create has to make sense with what’s happening in the scene.

This is particularly useful in film music composition when minor changes in the editing of the scene are being made or the director asks for small changes in the music. The music then needs to be slightly changed in some parts which can be challenging for the composer who is used to work with long structures only.


In the beginning of the scene "Obi Wan versus Jango Fett" , John immediately starts the action cue when Obi Wan walks out of the door. He keeps the energy of the cue without highlighting anything at all.

With the Creation of Texture exercise we are going to:

1 - Highlight Jango’s turn to face Obi Wan

2 - Highlight Obi Wan taking the saber to start the battle.

These couple of tiny creations give room to discuss one of the major aspects of John’s music - His music is very moldable.

Unlike baroque music for example, were all notes were meant to be in perfect position and beat, John’s music has a characteristic of being very moldable.

Notes, harmony, orchestration and rhythm can be changed without compromising the overall meaning of the music.

At the beginning of this example John uses the octatonic scale which has been a preference of the composer for many action cues.

Applying the principles of the John Williams Compositional Techniques, we are going to be more adventurous this time modifying:

1 - The Harmony

The tension of the cue will increase a little by adding dissonance to the bottom of the original harmony

2 - Inner movement

Adding an inner movement (cellos div, low woods) adds more drive (chapter 3) to the music.

3 - Orchestration

Added piano at the bottom element provides more bite to the marcatos.

Added trumpet in the fast repetition gives more volume to the middle range element.

Vibraphone was also added (second version) to support the percussive articulations.

-> See full score in the video.

4 - Fast repetition motive

It was modified according to the John Williams style of variations (chapter 1 and 5).

(Original and Variation)

Version 1 - Highlighting Jango’s turn (0:34)

Only one bar (bar 4) was sufficient to add something to the character movement.

The high string run has been continued in the same fashion as the previous lines.

Williams preserves his run characteristics here (Chapter 1).

The changes in the previous bar were an adaptation to the newly added one.

No transition of texture (chapter 5) is required here.

Version 2 - Highlighting Obi Wan taking the Saber (1:16)

Two more bars were added this time.

What really lightly highlights the character movement is the timpani and suspended cymbal crescendo.

All the other elements (except horns) were taken from the original score.

Here is an example of close intervals in the lower register (basses and low brass) of which Williams often makes uses of as a special effects.

OBS: the book The John Williams Compositional Techniques has not been released yet. 2017 is a good time for great development of this project and if you want to keep updated about it subscribe to my Blog and my YouTube Chanel.

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