Monday, March 07, 2005

March of the Slave Children from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom by John Williams

The piece starts off ominously and dominately with the low strings and basses and piano playing melodic gesturs answered by percussion. A 4 bar introduction is played by the glock and the high woodwinds playing their own motivic gestures as the snair drum marches on. Then the main theme is played by the horns. After the natural break of the phrase of the melody the low brass make interjections before the consequent begins. The melody definately has a powerful quality to it even though slave children are weak. The power comes from the inevitable victory. The melody sounds very foreign and exotic, from a different land. At the end of the consequent a brief shout chorus is played by the brass. The strings and high woodwinds then repeat a motivic gesture that is normally heard as the accompaniment to the main melody, but in this instance it is the only melodic material heard. This 4 bars is a transition into the main theme again. It requires a transition because the texture and density is different second time around. The trumpets play the theme with the horns, but the trumpets are definately dominating the texture. The piece has more of a march feel to it now as the percussion are in a march groove and the low brass are playing 16th note passages characteristic of marches. The consequent of this melody then modulates and the material we heard in the brief transition period is now heard at almost an equal dynamic as the main melody now in a different key and a thicker and darker texture. After the end of the phrase a development section happens, functioning also as a transition. There are many motivic gestures played, but not melodic really. It is a serious of scaluar passages passed between the trumpets, trombones, and horns. This brings us back into the main melody for a final statement of it before the B theme. Texture and density change as the B section comes in. It is dominated by the flutes at a lower dynamic as the strings are playing pizzicato background. The mood of the music now is definately playful. The B section has a secondary theme that comes in with the horn and glockenspiel with more rhythmic intensity. The secondary theme is played agian in a more majestic fashion and with a cadential extension. The texture is dominated by the trumpets. This bleads immediately into the primary theme again played by the flutes but then echoed by the muted trumpet. Once again the secondary theme comes in full force. This leads right into the same material we saw in the A section that I deemed as transitionary as the accompaniment to theme is played by itself. The main theme comes back with the horns and with less orchestration. The repeat of the phrase is more heavily orchestrated. This time an 8 bar transition/development occurs as no real melodic gestures are played, gearing us up for the final statements of the main theme. It comes back in with full majesty and victory with the horns and trumpets dominating the testure as the woodwinds and high strings are working furiously, pumping out the accompaniment. A terminative section begins with woodwind and string runs. Crunch chords and fanfare gestures are played. Much call and answer is heard between the brass.

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