John Williams, Star wars, and the canonization of Hollywood film music

Audissino, Emilio (2010) John Williams, Star wars, and the canonization of Hollywood film music. In: 17th International Film Studies Conference 'Film Forum', 16-18 Mar 2010, University of Udine, Italy.

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This paper focuses on John Williams' score for Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) as a seminal landmark in the canonic history of Film Music, namely for opening the classical Hollywood music Renaissance of the late 70s. As part of the filmic text, Star Wars music proved brilliantly that leitmotiv and symphonic scoring could still be not only feasible but even desirable, after more than a decade of a pop-oriented or theme song-centred approach. From an inter-textual point of view, with its patent references to the modus operandi of the classical Hollywood music – late romantic idiom, symphonic medium, leitmotivic structure, continuous accompaniment, dialogue underscoring,action mickey-mousing -, it was also crucial in bringing back to the public attention and appreciation the rich legacy of the Hollywood music tradition. Finally, with its unprecedented best-selling music album, its re-recordings by various world orchestras and its increasingly frequent concert presentations, Star Wars music paved the way for a better acknowledgement of film music even off-screen, as music tout court.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Film and television
Depositing User: Emilio Audissino
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2016 16:09
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:06

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