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Film Music: Superman - Essay Example

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John Williams successfully melded the Superman comic book mythology with the scale upon which the movie was presented. In fact, One may even hazard to say that this particular piece of musical scoring brought the bygone era of orchestral fanfare to a whole new audience. Not all movies can after all, credit the London Symphony Orchestra with having brought their overture brought to life for the big screen. Which is why even though Star Wars and Indiana Jones, both movies shown during the same era as Superman and both also scored by John Williams, cannot even hold a candle to the amazing opening theme of the latter. One will come to a whole new appreciation for this John Williams masterpiece after listening to and viewing its accompanying movie opening credits via Youtube. At 19 seconds into the video, the sounds of strings and horns remind the listeners of an earlier, more innocent time. The music evokes a sense of nostalgia and bygone youth as the image of the Action Comic featuring Superman comes to light onscreen. Then the voice of a little boy takes over from the dimming music in order to tell us the history of Superman. Who he is and how he came to be. All the while the music plays almost silently in the background. Almost as if it were paying its respects to the comic book origins of Superman in its own way. At 1:11 into the video, the same music is still playing, however the voice of the boy now seems to be coming from somewhere in the beyond. The music slowly takes on a breath of life and seems to evoke a sense of birth. The birth of Superman the hero as signified by the insignia of the Daily Planet. 1:28 sees the music take on a more serious and dignified tone. The camera pans from the Daily Planet insignia, up to the moon, and then, seemingly into outer space where the main theme begins to play. The sound of drums heralding the first few bars of the overture. The flashing sound on screen perfectly mixing with the new tune as the name of the producer is animated across the screen. Its text graphics reminding the viewers of the crystal tubes that the little Kal-El traveled to the planet Earth in. The opening march does its job well as it transports the audience to an area of time and space that does not exist in reality, but seems so real within the context of the movie. John William's masterpiece of a musical score now begins to take us on a roller coaster ride covering various octaves and key progressions, all in the spirit of heightening the viewers awareness of the fact that what is about to unfold onscreen is something bigger than life itself, and is only limited by the imagination of the viewer. We finally get into the cresendo of the overture by 1:48. The credits indicating “A Richard Donner Film” sets the pace for the presentation of the timeless “S” emblem of our superhero. At 1:53, the music takes on a more heroic spin as the Superman insignia makes its first major screen appearance. By this time, the audience is already hooked on the drama of the opening theme that one will have to hold back the cheers once the letter S is proudly presented to the public for the music practically has you hoping to see some sort of heroic act unfolding onscreen. The play of lights along with the presentation of the cast names, the swishing sound of outer space, all of these combine to dare ...Show more


Film Music : Superman Superman was the iconic comic book character created in 1938. As a fictional character, he embodied all that is the best of America and its citizens. His costume of red, white, and blue, took after the American flag and signified the courage of all the citizens of this great nation…
Author : brucepurdy
Film Music: Superman essay example
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