Similar to Richard Wagner’s compositional style in Der Ring des Nibelungen, John Williams masterfully connects characters and themes to musical fragments and melodies called Leitmotifs. Once the connection has been established, Williams can then subtly transform the fragment to imply emotions, foreshadow events, and bind the music from multiple movies in to a coherent whole. To get a better sense of all of the ways Williams uses this theme, check out the video below.
As you can tell from the examples in the video above, this theme is versatile to say the least. I chose to chart the version from the Throne Room scene that ends Episode IV: A New Hope, which starts at 4:34 in the video above.
This version is a heroic fanfare first introduced by the trumpet section who sound like they are celebrating the release of a new brand of mouthpieces. Notice the richness of energy in their sound, the intensity of their slurs, and the crispness in their articulations.
I love this melody because it gives the player to a chance to contrast triplets with militaristic dotted 8th-16th rhythms. No matter the rhythmic grouping, make sure you are FEELING the beat during each of the held notes, and protecting the overall pulse.
Happy Practicing, and MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
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