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The Official Star Trek Music Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Music' started by Ockeghem, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    I thought it might be enjoyable to discuss the music of Star Trek (any of the series or films).

    Although I like most of the music used in Trek (e.g. the trombones that often accompany Klingon segments in TNG, the gorgeous brass underpinnings that surround Data and Picard while they are on the Scimitar in Nemesis, listening to the opening of one of the movements from a Brahms sextet in the TNG episode Sarek, or the ambitious polyphony performed by Jack, Patrick, Serena, and Lauren in Chrysalis), I would have to say that I am partial to the music used on TOS (not necessarily the opening music, but the stock vocabulary used throughout the run of the series). It's wonderful, ethereal and other-worldly, and at times, definitely occcupies a different 'sound world.' When listening to it, I rarely (if ever) believe I am on earth. It somehow has the capacity to 'transport' me to another time and place, which for me makes it all the more believable that I am on one of those strange, new worlds.

    Segments I am particularly fond of are the pizzicato string work done during the opening scene while on Deneva in Operation-- Annihilate! (this is the same music heard in This Side of Paradise right after Kirk says 'Gentleman, we're debating in a vaccum ... let's go get some answers'); the passage which accompanies Nona when she is healing Kirk in A Private Little War (also heard when Szabo is conducting the seance in Wolf in the Fold, and after Spock is sprayed by the plants in This Side of Paradise, and--I think--during one of the segments in Return of the Archons); and the wonderful closing music as Charlie is taken away by the Thasians in Charlie X (also heard when the away team beams over to the Botany Bay in Space Seed, except that in Space Seed the transporter sound effect accompanies the segment--and the overlap of the transporter beam effect and the music with definite pitch is gorgeous; I don't think it occurs elsewhere in all of TOS). (N.B.: It is interesting to note that the segment when they first beam over to the Botany Bay in Space Seed is very nearly the same progression that is heard in the VOY episode Time and Again, when the away team is examining the subspace fractures first experienced by Paris earlier in the episode. When I first heard the passage in Time and Again, I got out my DVD of the TOS and VOY episodes in order to compare the two. The similarity is haunting. At first, I thought I was hearing TOS stock music, but after repeated listenings, I realized that the harmonic successions in the two scores were not identical. It is quite astonishing, to say the least.)

    These excerpts are part of the wonderful, imaginative stock vocabulary used througout much of TOS. You can hear the aforementioned segments in several shows, and during many different scenes, not all of which are mentioned here. What are your favorite segments of music in Trek?
     
  2. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    For me the best piece of "Trek" music is that played when the three Klingon ships appear in the first film. That music, along with the sight of the bad ass Klingon ships, was worth the price of admission.
     
  3. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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  4. Tarkin The Ewok

    Tarkin The Ewok Supporting Actor

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    Besides the opening themes for the first four series, I'm quite partial to the main theme from First Contact.
     
  5. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    ^^^
    Tarkin,
    Just a general comment. I took a peek at your DVD collection. Nice! I liked the set up of the page, and esp. the blues (or blue greens?)--very easy on the eyes.
     
  6. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Favorite Trek score is probably Cliff Eidelman's thrilling score for The Undiscovered Country.

    I've felt that Goldsmith's later Yrek efforts were a trifle bland compared to TMP...
     
  7. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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  8. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Not just his Trek scores. I felt his Air Force One opening was too similar to First Contact's opening.
    But since we're talking Trek scores, I'll just add a "me too" for TMP. I used to listen to it every night while doing my homework in high school.
    For the most part, the music has been strong in the films, although Generations was bland and I don't remember much about the music from the last two movies, which I've only seen once each.
    I would also say that the opening theme for Voyager was the best part of that series.
    Now don't ask me to talk about specific elements. I've never really studied the music and it's been a couple years since i listened to any of it...which means I need to pull the DVDs out and watch them.
     
  9. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    nolesrule,
    Those are all good points. I really do like the theme to VOY quite a lot, maybe the best of all as far as the series are concerned (although the theme to DS9 is right up there for me). In my family, when listening to the VOY theme, we frequently see who out of our children will remember to crash the cymbal at the appropriate time. [​IMG]
    BTW, I don't think your link ("My DVD Collection") is working. I've tried to access it a few times, with no luck.
     
    Jason_V likes this.
  10. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Yeah, the DVD Profiler website moved. I need to get the link updated when I have a few minutes to look the URL up. I turn off user sigs on HTF, so I forgot I even had that link there.
    I'm a stay at home dad, so I have time on my hands during the day. I'll start watching the movies again over the next couple weeks and see if I can come up with some good comments.
     
  11. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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  12. seanOhara

    seanOhara Supporting Actor

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    My favorite is the end credits of Star Trek IV. And I'd love to have the punk rock song from the bus scene.
     
  13. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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  14. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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  15. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Dave Hahn:
     
  16. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Well, I got around to watching TMP through First Contact over the last week or so, and my original thoughts on the film scores still stands.
    Goldsmith's TMP was exciting and awe-inspiring, but I feel could have used a little more touch of Alexander Courage to help bridge the gap.
    Horner's TWOK was perfect for the action-packed film. But still had the gentle touch with the Genesis theme.
    Horner's SFS was mainly a rehash of themes from TWOK, which worked as a bridge to connect the films as the story was connected. I wasn't so thrilled with his Klingon theme, which I don't feel was as good as Goldsmith's, and I kept comparing.
    Rosenman's TVH theme was light-hearted and perfect for the material. Even the "intense" chase scenes (Checkov's 2 escapes) were jovial in tone. I really loved the credits music.
    Goldmsith's TFF music reused many elements of his TMP music, which I think benefitted the film and was probably the best part. He increases his use of Alexander Courage's original ST music, something that was mostly missing from the first movie.
    Eidelman's TUC score was both haunting and mysterious, which fit the plot perfectly. The music underneath the cast signoff at the end of the film was grand and a perfect emotional conclusion to the final original cast film.
    McCarthy's Generations score was unremarkable in just about every way. You could feel the hint of DS9's title them during the opening, but it was soft and understated, like the rest of the score. There was absolutely nothing to grab hold of and probably served to diminish the film as a whole.
    Goldsmith's First Contact did the material justice. Like in TMP, he found ways to go beyond just the orchestral score, lending the Borg a more electronic presence. His opening theme was good, though not as strong as the TMP/TNG, and unfortuantely was too similar to the opening theme of Air Force One. Of course, I feel that John Williams has been suffering from this issue in his scores of the last 6-7 years as well, but that's a subject matter for another thread.
    And that is my brief synopsis/opinion of the scores of the first 8 Trek films. If anyone can't figure out abbreviations, then that's your problem. [​IMG]
     
  17. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Screenwriter

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    For the sake of completeness, I'll add this:
    Star Trek: First Contact and Air Force One were composed almost back to back. Plus, Air Force One came afterwards.
    The main theme to U.S. Marshals is the same as the action theme in Star Trek: Insurrection, both of which came out in 1998.
    In both cases, the Trek renditions beat the other ones hands down.
    Anyway, I have a bit of Trek music, and while I'm partial to the Khan and Spock scores (because I'm a total JH nut) I love both Horner's theme and Goldsmith's theme almost equally. That being said, they have nothing in common so I've never felt the need to compare them.
    I absolutely HATE the TNG version of Goldsmith's theme, because it's sounds so cheaply done. I really enjoyed Dennis McCarthy's own TNG theme that was rejected, but I understand why it was never used - it's too "big" and feels more at home in an '80s sci-fi movie rather than a weekly Star Trek show.
    I have every single rendition of the great DS9 theme made for the show (more than just two) and it's always been a dear favorite.
    I'm glad it's unanimous: The Voyager theme IS the best part of that series. I love its sad, noble beauty. The show actually felt that way at first, but lost that soon after.
     
  18. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I'm well aware that Air Force One was second. I remember sitting in the theater for that movie and shortly into the titles thinking that it had to be Goldsmith doing the score because it was so similar to First Contact. And then I waited for the music credit to validate my thought, which turned out to be correct (obviously).
    I only saw Insurrection in the theater once, and while I caught U.S. Marshals on TV, it was only about a year ago so there was no way for me to make the comparison.
    The Voyager theme gave me so much hope for that show, but I never even made it through the first season. I was a freshman in college at the time, and I remember a bunch of us gathering in a neighboring dorm room to watch the first episode.
    I've never heard McCarthy's TNG theme. I'll have to see if I can find it.
     
  19. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Screenwriter

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    Here you go:
    TNG Rejected Main Title Theme
     
  20. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Thank you very much Nicholas. That was certainly interesting to listen to. Until you mentioned it, I never even knew he'd taken a stab at it.
    The first thing I noticed was that it used the same opening as the updated TNG theme in later seasons (which I felt was the better version). But once it got into the main part, my first thought was, and I'm totally serious about this, but my main thought was "Galaxy Quest". I guess that's in line with what you said about being a theme for an 80s sci-fi movie.
    As for McCarthy's arrangement and conducting of Goldsmith's Star Trek theme for TNG, it always seemed thin in comparison. I can't think of another word to describe it.
     

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