Musical Alphabet: W

You could say that movie soundtracks, moreso than pop, was the first kind of music I fell in love with.  I saw Star Wars at the age of four and subsequently bought (well, it was probably my Dad who bought it for me) the soundtrack double album, listening to it obsessively and memorising every note. Back in those pre-DVD (pre-VHS, even) days this was the next best thing to seeing the film again. Better, in some ways, as you didn’t have to suffer through any of the bland dialogue or flat performances.

As time went on I sought out other discs by a variety of composers, but I kept coming back to John Williams, who turned out one classic after another: Star Wars, Close Encounters, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Jurassic Park. Perhaps more than any other musician he provided the fantasy soundtrack to my childhood.

He could perfectly match a movie’s soaring emotional highs, like this iconic moment from E.T.

He could punctuate an action or comedy scene. Remember in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy confronts the sword-swinging Egyptian and shoots him dead? You should be able to identify that moment in this piece of music at about the 2:30 mark:

And of course with the Imperial March first featured in The Empire Strikes Back he wrote the greatest movie villain theme tune ever:


2 thoughts on “Musical Alphabet: W

  1. Erik R. October 5, 2009 / 3:54 pm

    I sing Williams themes to Nora to calm her down. The Indiana Jones theme is always used for getting strapped into the car seat (i.e. ready for adventure!), the Superman theme is when I have to flip her over to fasten her clothing, etc. I have the problem, however, that, oftentimes when I try to hum Superman, ol’ Indy pops out, and once Dr. Jones is on my brain, there’s no way I can hum Superman for a while. Jones is just too dominant in my brain.

    A cow-orker of mine used to have the Imperial March as his ringtone for when the boss called. Brilliant.

    I own the entire Jurassic Park soundtrack. It’s spectacular.

    Good choice for W, sir!


  2. Di October 22, 2009 / 7:29 pm

    Silly Simon, didn’t you LOVE ‘Making Plans for Nigel?’ by XTC … or should I have read till the end of the post before commenting? I suspect so.


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