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Old December 28 2012, 07:46 PM   #916
Lieutenant Commander
Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Christopher wrote: View Post
I've heard many musical pastiches that were not as close as what you're insisting on here, like Ray Ellis and Norm Prescott's themes for Filmation's animated versions of Star Trek, Gilligan's Island, and the like, which were designed to sound similar to the original themes yet be distinct pieces of music so they didn't have to pay any royalties. Or musical parodies and pastiches in countless comedies and cartoons over the decades. ... broadly similar in structure and style
Sure, we've all heard many of these. And in every case, you can hear the similarity. They also have identifiable reference points, usually being in the same key and often having either rhythm values or interval values in common with their "source", as well as harmonies. Someone who knew what they were doing could look at the scores and explain how/why the pieces sound similar to laymen like me.

That's not the situation here. The Courage Commander stuff doesn't sound similar to Steiner's Marlena theme, and doesn't have reference points. There's no stylistic similarity between the Courage & the Steiner; and the structural similarity you point out, seems very very tenuous. I just don't see (hear?) any connection at all between the cues.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Look at the liner notes for George Duning's scores. He used Steiner's Romulan/Blackship theme for Henoch in "Return to Tomorrow," and used part of Fried's "Mr. Spock" cue from "Amok Time" as a Spock motif in "Is There In Truth No Beauty?" and "The Empath." Also, Steiner used Courage's "Captain's Theme" from the second pilot as the opening and closing Enterprise cues for "Charlie X" and the closing cue for "Mudd's Women." So we know there was cross-pollination beyond the fanfare itself.
Was well aware of the Duning examples; we were all aware of them before the box set was released. When you & I were discussing this much earlier in the thread, I opined that Duning was the only TOS composer who ever quoted the other composers, except to the extent that all the composers quoted some of Courage's music from the pilot(s).

I had missed the Steiner examples from Charlie X & Mudd's Women. As you point out, they are straight up statements of the captain's theme from WNMHGB. Really they are almost identical to "Beyond the Pale" (s1d1 #17). But these don't really seem to be counter-examples. The first two non-Courage scores for the series quote the opening / main title music from the pilot, for their own opening and closing. That's hardly surprising, seems more like standard operating procedure.

I feel as if your examples are making my argument for me. But perhaps I've wandered around so much (esp dwelling on the music for the Romulan Commander) that my main point is not clear. Here it is: There was very damn little "cross-pollination" between composers on TOS. It's almost shocking how little there is. Duning is the only TOS composer who quoted or referenced other TOS composers in the body of his own scores except of course for the dictated re-use of Courage's opening music for the pilot(s).

You've posted above the complete list of cross-polination examples. Here it is again:
  • Every composer re-used Courage's fanfare for the "fly-bys", as dictated by the producers.
  • Steiner used Courage's opening music from the (second) pilot to open the first TOS non-Courage score, and to close the second.
  • Duning's work.
And that's it! Even if we add Courage's music for the Spock / Commander scenes to this list, which I've argued extensively against, that's still a very small list.

Duning's use of the Steiner Black Ship music, and of a couple of Fried's cues from Amok Time, really stands out in a series where no other composer quoted others (except where dictated). And this makes me want to learn more about how these guys worked. We know that screenwriters received a series "bible". Did composers receive something similar, a composer's bible? If so, what was in it?

Why was Duning different? His quotes are utterly, utterly appropriate. But I'm sure there were other "appropriate" contexts for quotes. Fried's Spock themes, Courage's captain theme, Steiner's enemy theme: these could have been worked in to any number of different places. Yet no other composer did it. Did Duning feel a responsibility to "fit in" with the series tone, and the other composers did not? Where by contrast the other composers felt it was their job to give the music editor more stuff to work with, stuff that was different from what they already had, so they would purposely refrain from any quotation. Was Duning less busy with other work than the other TOS composers were, so he took time to review other scores? (and the other composers did not) Was Duning actually a fan in addition to being a pro, so he wanted to do "shout outs" to the other composers, while the other composers were not so motivated?

Duning's use of quotations, against the utter lack of quotes from the other composers, raises a ton of questions about how these guys worked. I would like to learn more.
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