John Williams composed the music that adds so much feeling and emphasis to the already extraordinary film created by George Lucas. Williams did not begin his career in film. Initially, he worked in television and, later, transitioned to become a pianist for films. John Williams has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Hollywood to create some of the most meaningful soundtracks that exist today. In a succession of events, George Lucas asked Williams to score his Star Wars film, earning him the third of five Academy Awards to date. Williams' close collaboration with Lucas and another important director, Steven Spielberg, has given him the opportunity to compose the scores for some of the most important and successful films in the past few decades. Without John William's contribution to films such as Star Wars and Jaws, we would certainly be viewing- and remembering - these films in a very different way. The musical component which Williams contributes adds suspense, happiness, sorrow, and a myriad of other emotions, where appropriate, to enhance a film's message and impact. The musical score ingeniously adds another dimension and completes the film's settings and action to bring a uniqueness that might otherwise be lacking.
Williams's music comes from the classical tradition, based on the style of late Romantics. At times, the music has modernistic overtones, but mostly it is "just wholesome music full of good memorable tunes with fanfares and fun marches." Williams is thought to be astoundingly capable of constructing "a tune and sound which perfectly complements the mood of a film."
John Williams is a diverse composer who has not only worked in film, but has also conducted orchestras and been commissioned to score events such as the Olympics. Williams is perhaps America's most well known and respected contemporary composer and, as such, his musical contribution to Star Wars is significant. The film is wildly popular because of the successful visual and aural components that merge to create the Star Wars phenomenon. This article puts appropriate emphasis on Williams' role in the film (and also lists his role in several other films).
Max Steiner was born in Vienna. His grandfather was a "musical impresario". His godfather was Richard Strauss. For a short time, Steiner studied with Gustav Mahler. Steiner studied violin, trumpet, piano, and organ. From the age of twelve, he conducted concerts and from the age of eighteen, he worked a great deal in Britain. Following the outbreak of the war in Europe, Steiner accepted an invitation to move to New York where he spent many years working on theater production, conducting, orchestrating, and producing arrangements for many shows and musicals. Steiner worked with George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Sigmund Romberg before he moved to Hollywood to work for RKO and then Warner Brothers.
Steiner worked in Hollywood from the 1930's until the 1960's. He worked on several musicals as musical director and is now known primarily as a composer. His work on the scoring of films includes such masterpieces as "Tara's Theme" from Gone with the Wind, which is instantly recognizable. This work is significant in its representation of Tara - the house and plantation - and its important role in the film. Steiner received many Academy Award nominations and won three times. The "Max Steiner Award" was created in his honor for film music which recognizes Steiner's pioneering role in the early development of the craft of score composition.
Max Steiner's music style is highly distinctive. He does not use subtle nuances, but rather, his language is very direct, illustrating the emotion of the film at particular moments in time. Although Steiner has his signature style, he has been known to borrow an idea or melody from other sources. He has also been criticized for "Mickey Mousing" the film. However, Max Steiner made his mark as a pioneer in the composition of music for film. He created several music scores for films, some of which have become renowned for their power and drama, i.e. King Kong.
Steiner was another key component contributing to the success of Gone with the Wind. The blockbuster movie was further enhanced by the powerful score which complemented the intense plot and scenery. This issue illustrates the magnitude of Steiner's influence in the film industry. The public was aware of Steiner's reputation and when his original score for Gone with the Wind was played, the audience instantly recognized it as Steiner's work. This important facet of the film not only contributed to its overall impact, but most certainly helped contribute to its success.