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LeeHighSchool

InspirationofaMusicComposer
FinalDraft

DinoRodas
LeeSchoolSeniorCapstone
Mr.Cahoon
DueonApril18,2016


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DinoRodas
Mr.Cahoon
SeniorCapstone
March17,2016
InspirationofaMusicComposer
Whenadirectorneedsapieceofmusiccomposedforafilmheisinclinedtoaskthe
composer.Sincethecomposerhasalotofresources,includingmoney,heorshecanafforda
realorchestrawithrealinstruments.Thiscreatorofartsmusicisinspiredbywellknown
Hollywoodmusiccomposers,JohnWilliamsandJamesHorner,whichinturnareinspiredbythe
LateRomanticcomposers.Theyuserichharmoniesandtonestocolorthefilmscorewith
variousmoods.Withboththepostproductionandthescoring,thestudiofinallyfinishesthefilm
andshowsitintheaters.Itisagreatsuccess.Themusicservesasanenhancementtothemood
ofthewholefilmtoprovidethecontextofeachscene.Musiccomposerscanbeheardinvarious
genressuchasclassical,jazz,country,andpop.Evenwithineachgenre,therearevariousstyles
thatportrayawidevarietyoffeelingsdependingonthetimeperiod,theinspirationofa
composer,andthedifferentcircumstancesofawithinthemovie,avideogame,oratelevision
show.
Musiccomposersfindtheirinspirationfrompreviouscomposers,fromsoundsin
nature,andfromhumanemotions.
Musiccomposersoftenwritemusicthatisofteninspiredbyothercomposersandisanever
endingcycle.Thisisnormalbecausetheyoftenadmireacomposerforrevolutionizingmusicor
acomposerhappenstolikeaparticularcomposersstyle.Forexample,JayGable(StarWars


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music:WhatwereJohnWilliams'sclassicalinfluences?)writesthatlegendaryfilmcomposer
JohnWilliamscomposedmusicofStarWarsthatwasinspiredbyoperawriter,Richard
Wagner.Wagnersmusichadelementsthatwereradicalduringhistimeinthemid19thcentury
withdissonantchordstogivecolortotheorchestralsound.Williams,likeWagner,useda
techniquethatwasalsointroducedinthe19thcenturycalledaleitmotif.Thisisusedtoseta
melodytoacharacterinanoperaorathemeofanidea.TheleitmotifisbestheardintheDark
Vaderthemewheretrumpetsplayloudly.GablealsowritesthatTchaikovskyisanother
inspirationofWilliamsinwhichorchestralcolorisused.Anotherexampleofanothercomposer
beinginspiredfromanothercomposerwouldbeFranzSchubert.ShanairaUdwadia(2001)
writesthatSchubertwasinaweofLudwigvanBeethovenandthatheprovidedinspirationto
SchubertandhadadmiredhimsomuchthathevisitedBeethovensdeathbed.Thiscanexplain
whylistenershearSchubert'smusictakingmoreadvancedharmoniesandadarkertoneinhis
latermusicthanhisearliestworks.
`Anothersourceofinspirationcomposerswriteintheirmusicisfromthesoundsof
natureandthecountryside.OneofthebestexamplesofthisinspirationwasinSymphonyNo.6
(ThePastoral)byBeethoven.ChristopherGibbs(2006),describeseachmovementofthe
symphony.Inthefirstmovementitstartswithashoutoutofthepastoraltimesinthe
countrysidethathasbeenalongtradition.Ithasadroneplayedonanopenfifthinthelower
strings.Inthesecondmovement,theflute,oboe,andtwoclarinetsrepresentthenightingale,
quail,andthecuckoorespectfullyinamovementrepresentingabrook.Thethirdmovementhe
describesisamerrydanceoftownfolksthatwastheninterruptedbyathunderstorminthe
fourthmovement.IntheFifthmovementhasthestormcalmeddown.Anotherexampleofmusic


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inspiredbynaturewouldbethefamousFourSeasons(Lequattrostagioni)byAntonioVivaldi.
Hecomposedmusicthatdescribeseachofthefourseasons:Spring,Summer,Fall,andWinter.
Thecompositionwasunusualatthetimewhichwas1725thatheinvokedrealisticcapturingof
whattheseasonswereexpressedinmusicsomethingthatwasntachievedinthemainstream
untilBeethoven'sSixthSymphonyin1808.Finally,anotherthatwasinspiredbynaturewhoalso
mixeditwithnationalisticfeatureswasEdvardGriegwhohadcomposedmusicbasedonfolk
melodiesofNorway.HaraldHerresthalwritesthatGriegsbiographerAimerGronvoldwrote
aboutGriegstravelstoNorwayscountryside.
HismusiccamefromthedepthsofruralNorway,wherethequickandresonanttonesof
theHardangerfiddlemethisear,andtheHardangerfjord'sshiftingmoodsenchantedhiseye.
Gronvoldconcludedthattherewasanintenseandindissolublerelationshipbetweenthe
environmenthelivedinandthemusicthathecreated.ItisalmostimpossibletolistentoGrieg,
beitinaconcerthalloradrawingroom,withoutsensingalight,freshbreezefromtheblue
waters,aglimpseofsparklingglaciers,arecollectionofthesteepmountainsandoflifeinthe
fjordlandofwesternNorway,whereGriegwasbornanddearlylovedtoroam.(Herresthal)
WhatGriegdidisanexampleofusingfolkelementsfromhiscountrythuscombine
natureandthecountryside.
Composersarealsoinspiredbyemotionswhetherbeitsad,glad,angry,heroic,epic,or
tragic.OnenotableexamplewouldbeinBeethoven'sThirdSymphony(Eroica).Thesymphony
wasrevolutionaryforitstimeasitwasnotonlylonger,butitcontainsexplosionsofsoundsfrom
thebrassinstrumentsandincreasingusagesofdissonanceinhismusic.MichaelThomas(2009)
stateshisreactionofthefirstmovementandquote:


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Eachnewexperienceofthethemesgetsdarkeranddeeper.Hedevelopsthemovement
asawayofexpressingwhatreallyhappensinlifethewrongturns,theconfusion,thesenseof
helplessnessandentrapment.
Hethenspeaksaboutthesecondmovement,describingasperhapsthebestreflectionof
theseemotionalextremesasBeethovenwroteitwhenhewasabouttobecomedeafbutnot
totallydeafyet.
Inconclusion,inspirationsofcomposershappeninvariousforms,notablyfromsoundsof
nature,othercomposers,andemotions.Eachinspirationandreasonofinspirationvariedfrom
composertocomposer.However,onethingiscertain,inspirationisnormalalongwith
borrowingelementsofanothercomposerthismakeseachacomposerabettercomposerasthis
willshowtheirskillandmasteryoftheirownmusic.Furthermore,thereisnotrueendingin
sightasthemusicwillbecomedifferentfromgenerationtogeneration.Thiscanbesummarized
inPlatosquote,Musicisamorallaw.Itgivessoultotheuniverse,wingstothemind,flightto
theimagination,andcharmandgaietytolifeandtoeverything.Whilesomeofhis
philosophicalteachingsisnotalwaysagreeabletomoderntimesduetochangingmoralvalues
overmillennia,musiccanbeexpressedandbeborneacrosstimetothepresentdayanddifferent
soundsofmusicisareflectionofthetimeperioditwascomposed.Onemustnotdenythatmusic
notonlyisareflectionofsocietyatlargebutalsohaseffectstotheemotionsofhumanbeings
andtothehumanmindasLudwigvanBeethovenbestsummarizeditasMusicshouldstrikefire
fromtheheartofman,andbringtearsfromtheeyesofwoman.


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WorksCited
Gable,Jay."StarWarsmusic:WhatwereJohnWilliams'sclassicalinfluences?."
classicalmpr.org.MinnesotaPublicRadio,27Oct.2015.Web.27Mar.2016.
Gibbs,ChristopherH."NotesonBeethoven'sSixthSymphony."N.P.R.N.P.R.,12June2006.
Web.28Mar.2016.
Herresthal,Harald."EdvardGrieg."
mnc.net
.MetropolitanNewsCompany,n.d.Web.18Apr.
2016.<http://www.mnc.net/norway/grieg.htm>
Thomas,MichaelT."Beethoven'sEroica."PBS.PBS,2009.Web.28Mar.2016.
Udwadia,Shanaira."FranzSchubert(17971828)."ViolinMan.N.p.,May2001.Web.28Mar.
2016.