Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Beethoven’s Imperial March

Tonight I had a student inform me that Beethoven could have written John William’s Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) in his sleep. This insightful 5th grader explained that the Imperial March had all the "emotion and feeling of Beethoven’s later works." If Beethoven himself didn’t write it (in his sleep) he most certainly would have approved of it.

As my clarinet student fumbled his way through my hasty transcription, trying to master both the dotted eighths and expression of the “powerful,” “evil,” and “march-like” qualities, no doubt envisioning formations of storm troopers awaiting his command, I was reminded of a similar lecture once received on the brilliance of Darth’s ominous motif.

Anyone that has ever caffeinated through Ed Green’s Film Scoring class at the Manhattan School of Music knows the lecture I refer to. While I will save discussion of the finer points of that class for a forum less public and as easily accessible as the internet, I will share, in a most simplistic form, the one point that stuck with me. Green’s praise lay in that the minor theme continually and repeatedly returned to the tonic, forcing “one” “one” “one” upon the listener, thereby musically reinforcing the totalitarian dictatorship of an evil and selfish egocentricity as one as poor Anakin.

And oh yeah, evil will never triumph over good.

These interpretations were for me, the highlights of that class, and I say that without the sarcasm many might assume.

Regardless, an encouraging thought process for a 10 year old.


ks said...

he's one to talk about totalitarianism...

ACN said...

Ok missy, it's been a week since this post! Waiting for the next one....

By the way, what did you think about the end of GG? I naturally didn't see it from over here, but I wondered if you're pleased or not. I heard this season wasn't good in general.