View Full Version : Wow... John Williams self plagiarism

Adam Frechette
04-13-2003, 06:19 PM
I just got the soundtrack to \"Nixon\" by John Willams and I have found some self rip offs. Track 9 has similarities to AOTC (I believe im not sure) but I know it is from one of his star war soundtracks.

04-13-2003, 06:31 PM

John does this in every film, so I wouldn\'t be too surprised.

04-13-2003, 06:35 PM
Are you joking??

His all action cues from any movie are almost the same. They sound great and ussualy work great but they are all very similar.

But that goes for pretty much any hollywood composer anyways.


04-13-2003, 06:49 PM
This goes for all the great classical computers - Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. If you study enough music by anybody it starts sounding like something else they\'ve done before.

04-14-2003, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by Haydn:
This goes for all the great classical computers - Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. If you study enough music by anybody it starts sounding like something else they\'ve done before. <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">LOL!......sorry Haydn but this is the best lapsus ever...LOL!

My Beethoven has 2 Gigs of RAM but it\'s PCI bridge is crap...LOL!


Simon Ravn
04-14-2003, 12:35 PM
Adam I guess you\'re referring to The Imperial March - yes JW took the libery to (intentionally or not) use the same tempo and - more or less - same instruments for three consecutive notes in one of the themes from Nixon.

04-14-2003, 08:20 PM
I better find a new job!! Those computers are driving me wacky!

04-15-2003, 03:12 AM
Nixon and Imperial March, supposedly plagiarism?
Imperial March is Williams as a genius.
The Turbulent Years(Nixon)is Williams at his most questionable.
Funny how that goes.

04-15-2003, 01:31 PM
Just thought I\'d mention that this sort of plagiarism could be subconscious. I haven\'t heard the tracks you mention though, so I\'m not sure how obvious it is. Still, it doesn\'t excuse the composer. I\'ve recently been checking my compositions with older ones that I\'ve made, just to make sure I\'m not repeating myself!

Anthony Lombardi

Simon Ravn
04-15-2003, 02:36 PM
Nixon is a great score btw... and that includes the cue in question.

04-15-2003, 02:51 PM
Williams is no where as bad as Hornor though. Seems like every 3rd album that Hornor puts out is a RIPOFF of his previous works. \"A beatiful mind\" and \"Searching for Bobby Fisher\", \"Willow\" and Braveheart\" Actually I\'d be here all day comparing his titles, but I do enjoy his music he just is somewhat lazy in his creative process it seems.

04-20-2003, 05:37 PM
Keep in mind that Williams and Horner are not paid upwards of $1-2mil a picture just in upfront creative fees to NOT sound like themselves.

04-22-2003, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by Adam Frechette:
I just got the soundtrack to \"Nixon\" by John Willams and I have found some self rip offs. <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">\"I am not a crook!\"

Absolutely could not resist that one. :-)


04-24-2003, 07:11 AM
How about Harry Potter main theme versus Schindler\'s List? The first seven notes follow almost identical melodic line, but one is \"magic\" one is \"sad\". graemlins/tounge_images/icons/smile.gif

04-24-2003, 10:31 AM
Yes, Williams has used that melodic \'structure\' 3 times to my knowledge. Schindler and Harry Potter as you mention, but also Home Alone. I always wondered if Williams consciously took the very nice happy/warm Home Alone theme, put it in a minor key and developed it into Schindler\'s list! Whatever way he did it, he came up with a beautiful score.


04-24-2003, 09:49 PM
Superman too I believe. In a different rhythm obviously.

04-24-2003, 10:00 PM
AND GIVE THE GUY A BREAK! He\'s over seventy! He\'s been composing longer than Horners been alive! Sheesh...

04-24-2003, 11:23 PM
No complaints here Aaron. Using similar melodic structure is not a problem for me, and in fact it amazes me that he has made 3 very different sounding scores with similar melodies.

I\'ve actually just been put in the position of having to self-plagiarise. I\'m scoring a low budget movie at the moment and I\'d given the director a CD of various pieces of my work. Well, I had a song on the CD which was loosely based on one of the themes I wrote for a pretty big movie last year. He ended up cutting the trailer to this song and is very happy with how it works!

I \'altered\' the song and created what is now the main theme of the movie. They are completely different styles of music (one is in 3/4, the other in 4/4 as well) but I\'m sure if you guys hear both the themes, I\'m in for a James Horner type bashing!!


Simon Ravn
04-25-2003, 04:13 AM
Unison: lol that is the most farfetched comparison I heard so far:)

Simon Ravn
04-25-2003, 04:15 AM
You guys are really pushing it now. By these definitions about 10% of the melodies ever written are \'the same\' images/icons/smile.gif Find some real ripoffs, or.... well find something more interesting to do:)

04-25-2003, 07:50 AM
Hey Simon,

I love John Williams\' music as much as you do (seen him 3 times conducting the LSO. Even shook hands with the man!!), but it is still interesting to see how composers use similar compositional \'techniques\' as part of their style.

Classical composers are just as guilty as film composers in this respect. I\'m personally not having a go at him because of this. Quite the opposite as I already stated. To subtly change a melody and chords and create a completely different feel is a real skill, and if I can develop my own \'sound\' and work around that in the way that many of the most successful film composers do, I will be very happy!