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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old December 28 2012, 08:46 PM   #916
JimZipCode
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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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Old December 28 2012, 09:58 PM   #917
Christopher
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

JimZipCode wrote: View Post
Sure, we've all heard many of these. And in every case, you can hear the similarity. ...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.
Speak for yourself. I hear a very clear similarity. Different people's perceptions work differently. Some people's brains latch more onto patterns, others more onto specific sounds, etc. So two things that seem dissimilar to one person can seem very similar to another.

Let's try this... I'm going to compare the notes of the two basic motifs, starting them both on C for the sake of comparison.

Steiner Romulan motif: C - C# - C - D# - C - F - C
Courage Commander motif: C - C# - C - C# - B - C# - C

That's two 7-note phrases with the same first three notes and the same last note -- 4 identical notes out of 7, more than half the phrase. Three notes differ, but follow the same pattern of up-down-up. Then, in both cases, notes 2 through 7 repeat (or approximately repeat) at least two more times. And in both cases, notes 1 and 7 are sustained longer than any of the other notes, although the actual lengths of the notes are different.

So I see a good deal of similarity between the two. Plus the similarity that they were both written for Romulans. Coincidence? Sure, maybe. But maybe not. All I'm saying is maybe, and I don't know why you're so hostile to a simple maybe.
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Old December 28 2012, 10:02 PM   #918
Dalen Quaice
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Warlord - I'll be on the lookout for the Spock's Brain cue -- I will grab a section of the audio from the episode and keep it handy as I go through the set. I just opened my set at Xmas, so I haven't had time to anal-yze all of it yet. I think the word "inconsitent" seems to best fit the description. I think they should have included the edits for tracked sequences since that is the way we are used to hearing the music for certain episodes. It would also be handy to know at a glance how many episodes utilized a particular cue as a tracked piece.
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Old December 28 2012, 11:06 PM   #919
JimZipCode
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Christopher wrote: View Post
I'm going to compare the notes of the two basic motifs, starting them both on C for the sake of comparison.
Steiner Romulan motif: C - C# - C - D# - C - F - C
Courage Commander motif: C - C# - C - C# - B - C# - C
Wait, where are you getting this? Do you have the sheet music? From where?

I said earlier that I would "change my tune" if we found out that the intervals in the melodies were substantially the same. You said they weren't.


Christopher wrote: View Post
That's two 7-note phrases with the same first three notes and the same last note -- 4 identical notes out of 7, more than half the phrase.
You're overstating your case a little, by transposing them to the same key. You thus get two of your seven notes to be "identical", because you moved them there. It would probably be fairer to count the intervals (the hyphens) – though here I'm starting to get out of my musicology depth. I'd say those were two 7-note phrases (a reference point) that both end at "home" (very common), with 2 out of 6 identical intervals. Note that it might be 3 out of 6: look at the interval between notes 4 & 5. Written down like this, they both look like "one and a half notes"; but I think C# to B natural is just one whole step, not a step-and-a-half.

Two intervals out of six does not sound as convincing as "more than half the phrase identical", but I think it's fairer.

That said, these two seem a little more similar than I thought at first, particularly given the phrase length. Where are you getting the notes from?


Christopher wrote: View Post
All I'm saying is maybe, and I don't know why you're so hostile to a simple maybe.
I'd have to go way back in the thread to the first mention, which I'm not all that motivated to do, but my impression is that you opened with way more certitude on this than "a simple maybe". So I marshaled my arguments.

"Hostile" is a strong word. I didn't use provocative phrases like "I'm not stupid enough to..." or "narrow-minded" – at least, I don't think I did.
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Old December 29 2012, 12:27 AM   #920
Christopher
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

JimZipCode wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
I'm going to compare the notes of the two basic motifs, starting them both on C for the sake of comparison.
Steiner Romulan motif: C - C# - C - D# - C - F - C
Courage Commander motif: C - C# - C - C# - B - C# - C
Wait, where are you getting this? Do you have the sheet music? From where?
I've been listening to the music for 38 years, so naturally I have the melodies memorized. I have a very good memory for music. I used an online "virtual piano" applet to play the melodies and transcribed the notes. I'm not sure what keys they're actually in -- I only have relative pitch, not perfect pitch -- which is why, as I already said, I chose to start them both on C for the sake of comparing the two melodies.


I said earlier that I would "change my tune" if we found out that the intervals in the melodies were substantially the same. You said they weren't.
I said they weren't exactly the same. I also said they were similar. And clearly they're even more similar than I realized.


You're overstating your case a little, by transposing them to the same key.
My "case" was never anything more than that there is a similarity. You're the one who's insisted on applying a bizarrely narrow and exclusionistic set of standards of what constitutes a similarity.

And I stated from the beginning that I was deliberately transposing them for the sake of comparing their patterns. I never claimed that they actually were in the same key. So I don't appreciate your insinuation that I was trying to deceive or misrepresent anything.


I'd have to go way back in the thread to the first mention, which I'm not all that motivated to do, but my impression is that you opened with way more certitude on this than "a simple maybe".
Okay, I did say the Courage motif "is pretty much a variation" of the Steiner, and I can see how that could be interpreted to mean a deliberate variation. That was a poor choice of words. All I meant is that they're very similar. As I've said, I can only speculate about whether the similarity was intentional.
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Old December 29 2012, 02:20 AM   #921
HGN2001
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

As Mr. Spock would say, "Fascinating."

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Old December 29 2012, 06:19 AM   #922
JimZipCode
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Christopher wrote: View Post
I have a very good memory for music. I used an online "virtual piano" applet to play the melodies and transcribed the notes. I'm not sure what keys they're actually in -- I only have relative pitch, not perfect pitch -- which is why, as I already said, I chose to start them both on C for the sake of comparing the two melodies.
OH! Did you sort of "hunt and peck" on the keyboard, until you felt like you had the melody right, and then transcribe what you had? Man, that's a labor of love.

Does anyone know, has any of this music been published? I know various orchestras have performed some Star Trek music – I think the Boston Pops have had some Star Trek nights – they must have gotten the music somewhere. Bremner got it somewhere. Etc.
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Old December 29 2012, 03:26 PM   #923
Christopher
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

JimZipCode wrote: View Post
OH! Did you sort of "hunt and peck" on the keyboard, until you felt like you had the melody right, and then transcribe what you had? Man, that's a labor of love.
No, it's really not that hard. I didn't "feel" I had the melody right -- I knew exactly how they sounded, and just needed to find the right keys on the keyboard. Like I said, I have relative pitch, which means I can remember musical intervals accurately without needing sheet music. I also have a very good memory for music and sound patterns. If I hear something enough times, I can remember it almost perfectly. And these are music cues I've heard dozens if not hundreds of times.
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Old December 29 2012, 09:41 PM   #924
The Warlord
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Dalen Quaice wrote: View Post
Warlord - I'll be on the lookout for the Spock's Brain cue -- I will grab a section of the audio from the episode and keep it handy as I go through the set. I just opened my set at Xmas, so I haven't had time to anal-yze all of it yet. I think the word "inconsitent" seems to best fit the description. I think they should have included the edits for tracked sequences since that is the way we are used to hearing the music for certain episodes. It would also be handy to know at a glance how many episodes utilized a particular cue as a tracked piece.
Thanks!
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Old December 30 2012, 05:22 PM   #925
Warped9
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

^^ I think I know what cue you're talking about and I don't recall hearing it either. I'll try to watch for it my second listen through the set.
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Old December 31 2012, 12:24 AM   #926
Dalen Quaice
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Warlord - take a listen to Track 17 of Disc 2 of Season 3 about :34 seconds in; it follows McCoy's line in Spock's Brain and matches the clip I took from the episode. I think this is the cue but it fades out at ~:51 seconds in the actual episode.
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Old December 31 2012, 04:59 AM   #927
Bad Atom
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

So I have to ask, am I the only one that went straight to the unused material when listening to this set? I loved the alternate "Wolf in the Fold" dance and the unused 1930's cues from "City".
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Old December 31 2012, 05:52 AM   #928
Dalen Quaice
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

I went to City first.... In fact, the recording of "Goodnight Sweetheart" does not sync with the recording on my two precious 16mm film prints of the episode as originally broadcast. The voice is different as well as the arrangement of music. It seems to match the "restored" copy by the Sci-Fi channel, but it is NOT the original broadcast version. The original broadcast as aired had Rudy Vallée singing taken from the soundtrack of The Palm Beach Story (1942). At some point in 1983 or so when the distribution of Trek moved to videotape, the original vanished and I presume an alternate recording was used...perhaps they recorded another version at the scoring session but liked the vintage sound of the movie soundtrack? I recall seeing it in syndication with no voice at all in the 90's. And, of course, they replaced the song all together as well as other incidental music on the Laserdisc and some VHS/Beta copies in the 80's. Curiously, I have a VHS from 1985 that has the same version as used by the Sci-Fi Channel. Paramount no longer owns the rights to this movie so I don't guess we'll be seeing the original broadcast version on any official release.

Last edited by Dalen Quaice; December 31 2012 at 06:05 AM.
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Old December 31 2012, 05:14 PM   #929
The Warlord
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Dalen Quaice wrote: View Post
Warlord - take a listen to Track 17 of Disc 2 of Season 3 about :34 seconds in; it follows McCoy's line in Spock's Brain and matches the clip I took from the episode. I think this is the cue but it fades out at ~:51 seconds in the actual episode.
You've got the right place, but it's a little after this. This version of the cue is slightly different to when it's heard a few moments later. Listen on to after McCoy says "But there is no mind" and then Kirk refers to the girl, and you'll hear it again but slightly different, and it is this different version that was recycled but is not on the set.
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Old December 31 2012, 06:00 PM   #930
Dalen Quaice
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Warlord --- Well the music is certainly edited. It fades out as Kirk says, "She took it" -- at least it does on the 2 episode DVD copy that I took a clip from as reference. Wouldn't shock me to know that the audio is slightly off on this disc. What version of this episode are you using?

I think it goes like this:

MCCOY: No. That incredible Vulcan physique hung on until the life-support cycle took over. His body lives. The autonomic functions continue. But there is no mind.

KIRK: That girl.

[Start the cue]

SCOTT: Aye.

MCCOY: What girl?

KIRK: From that ship. She took it. [Cue fades] I don't know why, or where, but she must have taken it. Bones, how long can you keep him functioning?

* I relistened several times, and I think you are correct. The version of this cue as used in this scene is not on on the disc. Track 17's cue plays earlier. However, I can still hear the same motif in the ending of the cue as Kirk speaks and it fades, so I presume it is indeed from Spock's Brain -- I "think" (stressing I am only thinking, not knowing for certain) it should be on Track 18 on the Soundtrack, but is missing -- It should be "NO MIND" although it says it is on the CD, it isn't. Track 18 starts with "Tense Moment" instead.

Last edited by Dalen Quaice; December 31 2012 at 07:00 PM.
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