SHEN | Tradition and Modernism
By ZHAO SHEN
I recently participated in a discussion on a forum for composers where one person ridiculed the trailer music for the new Star Wars movie, especially focusing on how irreverent it was to force John Williams’s beautifully orchestrated themes for the original films into the modern trailer music formula. This sparked quite the debate. On one side were the people who loved Williams’s work and couldn’t stand to see it “dumbed down” into the pounding, epic and often-formulaic genre that is modern trailer music. On the other were the defenders of the new age, those who saw trailer music as a format of music just as legitimate as any of Williams’s scores and who felt put down by the ridicule presented. The argument is rooted quite deeply in the music industry, so a little background might be helpful.