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 Posted:   Aug 11, 2013 - 5:31 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

A different kind of Superman score for a different kind of Superman movie:

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/hans-zimmers-score-for-man-of-steel/

Your thoughts welcome as always. Cheers.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that there's a section I devoted to the comparison of Zimmer's and Williams' Superman themes. The two are closer than you might think.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2013 - 5:50 PM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

Once again, thank you for this analysis. I have taken 2 years of theory courses at college, but I've never gotten my hands on any film score sheets to analyze (which I would love to do sometime). Your analysis makes it clear (to me at least) that Zimmer did use multiple themes or leitmotifs in his Man Of Steel score, and while a totally different beast than Williams' Superman score, is still a work that merits some admiration.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2013 - 5:50 PM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

Oops. Uh... the devil made me do it.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2013 - 6:23 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

Your analysis makes it clear (to me at least) that Zimmer did use multiple themes or leitmotifs in his Man Of Steel score, and while a totally different beast than Williams' Superman score, is still a work that merits some admiration.

Yes, I refrained from calling them leitmotifs since their associations were rather looser than those in, say, Williams' scores. I thought "themes" aptly captured them.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2013 - 7:54 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

Movie sucked, score rocked for the most part.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2013 - 8:51 AM   
 By:   The Projectionist   (Member)

I don't think the score needs an analysis, its just ear-candy.
I'll check out the article anyway.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2013 - 8:05 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

I don't think the score needs an analysis, its just ear-candy.
I'll check out the article anyway.


To each their own, of course, but I admire your open-mindedness. I went into this score not expecting much but came out finding a lot more than I expected, and very much because I realized that the details were in things like rhythm, timbre, and thematic recurrence rather than the more traditional aspects of melody, harmony, and leitmotifs.

I found it strange, though, that Superman's themes are never heavily orchestrated (unless combined with other themes, which is different). In fact, I found Zimmer's themes for Batman in the Dark Knight series more overtly heroic, which is odd because Batman, lacking superpowers, always has to struggle to overcome his opponents. Superman, on the other hand, has those powers, but seemed to be more of the "struggler" in this film. It just seemed like we needed a big heroic outburst at some point in Man of Steel. But that's a minor point. There was still lots to pore over.

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2013 - 9:33 PM   
 By:   The Projectionist   (Member)

I don't think the score needs an analysis, its just ear-candy.
I'll check out the article anyway.


To each their own, of course, but I admire your open-mindedness. I went into this score not expecting much but came out finding a lot more than I expected, and very much because I realized that the details were in things like rhythm, timbre, and thematic recurrence rather than the more traditional aspects of melody, harmony, and leitmotifs.

I found it strange, though, that Superman's themes are never heavily orchestrated (unless combined with other themes, which is different). In fact, I found Zimmer's themes for Batman in the Dark Knight series more overtly heroic, which is odd because Batman, lacking superpowers, always has to struggle to overcome his opponents. Superman, on the other hand, has those powers, but seemed to be more of the "struggler" in this film. It just seemed like we needed a big heroic outburst at some point in Man of Steel. But that's a minor point. There was still lots to pore over.


I'm sure theres some genius in there. But I just thought it was inappropriate for a Superman story. Even if the tone is darker, grimmer, I still don't agree with Zimmer's approach. Despite his genius ability to create certain moods at the right times, creative usages of instruments, and sound design it's still comes out sounding a bit lazy, and ignorant to the notion that Superman is a symbol of hope and not despair. I don't know what John Williams would have done for certain, but I'd think he'd maintain a certain measure of hope through out the score by way of a few bars in the theme or foreshadowing during some of more intense scenes.

One thing Hans Zimmer is not doing in Man of Steel and Dark Knight is creating music. I think this is where John William and Danny Elfman really over steps him. Williams is a music composer who knows how to score a movie. So he creates music to be memorable, and makes sure that it not only fits the picture but can be admired alone, even if he has to create a specially arranged soundtrack to make it work. Hans Zimmer doesn't create music, he's more of a producer who loves sound design, who knows how to score a movie without music. He manipulates sound to serve only the fundamental purpose with no regard for how it sounds musically. This is why he doesn't need a 4 note theme, but just 1 note with appropriate rhythm and harmony will do just fine. Its like he has as a robot or program scoreing the picture.  Which just sucks the fun out of it for me.

P.S. I don't hate Hans Zimmer, I'm just dissopointed with Man of Steel and Dark Knight. My personal recommendation to good Hans Zimmer scores where he composes actual music are Regarding Henry, Green Card , Drop Zone, and Nine Months.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2013 - 10:07 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

Despite his genius ability to create certain moods at the right times, creative usages of instruments, and sound design it's still comes out sounding a bit lazy, and ignorant to the notion that Superman is a symbol of hope and not despair.

Yes, I think this is what I'm feeling is missing as well, partly because Superman is just, to my mind, a sunnier, more optimistic character than, say, Batman. But more so because MAN OF STEEL made so much of the theme of hope - in particular, the meaning of the "S" symbol, and what Jor-El tells Superman in the voice-over before his first flying sequence (the ideal for humans to strive towards).

In that light, it is rather odd that we don't have a brighter, more hopeful theme somewhere in there. Perhaps he felt the shoes were too big to fill going in that direction, so he wrote something quite different. After all, the close musical relationships between Zimmer's and Williams' heroic Superman themes is, I think, absolutely deliberate. And if Zimmer was to make his theme bigger and brighter, yet keeping the basic shape it has, he likely would have ended up with something far too close to Williams. In other words, it would have required taking an entirely different approach to the big, brassy, heroic sound if he injected more of the "hopeful" sound into the score.

Thanks for the suggestions as to favorite Zimmer scores - more to pore over in the future.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2013 - 11:21 PM   
 By:   stay-puft   (Member)

I don't think the score needs an analysis, its just ear-candy.
I'll check out the article anyway.


In fact, I found Zimmer's themes for Batman in the Dark Knight series more overtly heroic, which is odd because Batman, lacking superpowers, always has to struggle to overcome his opponents. Superman, on the other hand, has those powers, but seemed to be more of the "struggler" in this film. It just seemed like we needed a big heroic outburst at some point in Man of Steel. But that's a minor point. There was still lots to pore over.


The fact that most of his Batman music is in d minor already makes it darker. The soundscape is a lot gloomier.
MoS on the other hand features a lot of major key cues. The two notes phrases alone have some majestic quality to them. Not to mention the flight sequence

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2013 - 6:57 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

I don't think the score needs an analysis, its just ear-candy.
I'll check out the article anyway.


In fact, I found Zimmer's themes for Batman in the Dark Knight series more overtly heroic, which is odd because Batman, lacking superpowers, always has to struggle to overcome his opponents. Superman, on the other hand, has those powers, but seemed to be more of the "struggler" in this film. It just seemed like we needed a big heroic outburst at some point in Man of Steel. But that's a minor point. There was still lots to pore over.


The fact that most of his Batman music is in d minor already makes it darker. The soundscape is a lot gloomier.
MoS on the other hand features a lot of major key cues. The two notes phrases alone have some majestic quality to them. Not to mention the flight sequence


True, the minor mode makes it darker overall. What I'm talking about is the general level of energy for the main character's themes. You're right about the flying sequence - the first one especially had the kind of energy I mean. In fact, that theme would have been rather good for Supe's heroic theme generally, but Zimmer went for the more subdued theme I call Superman Heroic. Compare that to the theme he uses for Batman when he's heroic. It gets much bigger and brasserie than Superman heroic theme. And it came up at all those points when Bruce/Batman overcame some huge obstacle, like climbing out of the pit, for example. Superman big theme, on the other hand is pretty much restricted to the first flying sequence (at least in its big, brassy form).

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2013 - 5:19 PM   
 By:   RM Eastman   (Member)

Watched "MAN OF STEEL" last night on Blu ray, the movie itself was average at best, good performances, great special effects and lousy Hanz Zimmer music score. A Superman movie begs for a strong music score with a special main theme like Williams did in the previous incarnation. This Superman had bad wallpaper music, no theme(s), what are todays film makers thinking??

 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2013 - 7:09 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

Here we go again with the "no theme" criticisms...

 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2013 - 7:30 PM   
 By:   Superman1701   (Member)

I hated the film, but that didn't keep me from getting all wrapped up in the blu ray release and the soundtracks. I found myself in Target getting the "Target" edition even when I already have the silver can edition, and even purchased the big mega blu ray set from Amazon of this film. I will give it another chance.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2014 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

Can anyone tell me (or point me to a thread about) what the extra tracks are on the steelcase edition of the soundtrack? I had heard they aren't additional cue tracks but also heard they are. I can't really tell from the tracklisting.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2014 - 2:47 AM   
 By:   DarthBrett   (Member)

Can anyone tell me (or point me to a thread about) what the extra tracks are on the steelcase edition of the soundtrack? I had heard they aren't additional cue tracks but also heard they are. I can't really tell from the tracklisting.

The Deluxe 2-disc edition and the Steelcase edition from Target are identical other than the red case it comes in.

 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2014 - 4:06 PM   
 By:   johnbijl   (Member)

I enjoyed the read. More than I enjoyed the score.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2014 - 6:10 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

I enjoyed the read. More than I enjoyed the score.

Thanks! Just fixed the broken link on the Introspective theme so people can hear that one.

 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2014 - 6:25 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

Can anyone tell me (or point me to a thread about) what the extra tracks are on the steelcase edition of the soundtrack? I had heard they aren't additional cue tracks but also heard they are. I can't really tell from the tracklisting.


One of the cues is from the scene where young Clark freaks out in the classroom and runs to the closet.
The "Arcade" cue is more of the Zod material. Not sure exactly where it plays, maybe in the scene where he is banished in a giant dildo.

There's another one, "Earth" that sounds like an early demo to me. Can't remember the rest.

God I hate this movie. Good score though.

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2014 - 10:19 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

Can anyone tell me (or point me to a thread about) what the extra tracks are on the steelcase edition of the soundtrack? I had heard they aren't additional cue tracks but also heard they are. I can't really tell from the tracklisting.


One of the cues is from the scene where young Clark freaks out in the classroom and runs to the closet.
The "Arcade" cue is more of the Zod material. Not sure exactly where it plays, maybe in the scene where he is banished in a giant dildo.

There's another one, "Earth" that sounds like an early demo to me. Can't remember the rest.

God I hate this movie. Good score though.


Haha, I could actually hear you grudgingly giving him all of this information. I like the stuff from the trailer, and any time that appears on the 2CD set (like "Earth").

 
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