We have a special treat for you and it is courtesy Cameron Patrick, a composer/orchestrator/violinist who in 1986 wrote his undergraduate thesis on Jerry Goldsmith’s score to Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). This is a major piece of film music scholarship, containing a beyond-thorough analysis of Goldsmith’s themes, orchestrations, scoring and more—with copious music examples. Download the thesis for free in pdf format, scanned from the original document (4.7 MB). (Please be patient while V'Ger downloads the file to carbon-based lifeforms.) Also, please read Cameron’s 2010 introduction.
A short introduction from my point of view:
I met Cameron Patrick in the 1990s and upon learning he had written a senior thesis on Goldsmith’s ST:TMP score (I was in college at the time), I had to have a copy—and he kindly obliged. It was everything I had hoped it would be. I devoured it and kept on my bookshelf, pulling it out in the years since to play through the music examples and reeducate myself as to the subtleties of Goldsmith’s masterpiece. It was only upon my most recent doing so that I thought, why don’t we just scan this and make it available for everyone?
I got in touch with Cameron several weeks ago and he graciously accepted this proposal. He even wrote a new and quite self-deprecating introduction—and I’m writing one of my own to counter his humility and self-effacement. Please do not let him fool you: This is a terrific piece of work. I have spent hours at the piano enjoying it and I hope you do too. Even if you don’t read music, there is a great deal of insight and information to devour.
I do want to complement Cameron’s introduction by explaining why we’ve chosen to present the original scanned document rather than a newly typed version that might be easier to read and search. Flash back 15 years (give or take a few): even in the copy of the thesis Cameron gave me in the ’90s, he tagged it chockablock with post-it notes trying to clarify this or that point. He was, and is, honestly concerned about some of his youthful observations being naïve or ungracious. I remember thinking, dude! You were a kid! Nobody cares!
When I recently got in touch with him to propose publishing the thesis, he repeated almost exactly the same self-critical nitpicks that were in his post-it notes 15 years ago. (What a memory!) He suggested retyping and revising the document (especially redoing the music examples with modern digital notation) so as to eliminate the handful of things that bothered him. Here’s where my experience in fandom-publishing comes in: I told him, if you do this, it is opening a can of worms. Sure, you can fix a typo here or a line there, but you in 2010 are a different person than you were in 1986. You are inevitably going to want to rewrite and revise, it will take forever—and may never happen.
Thankfully, Cameron agreed with me. And the beautiful thing is, if he wants to proceed with a modern revision and/or updated musical examples, there’s no reason he can’t do that andkeep the original pdf online. (I’ll be available to help in any way I can.) Don’t you wish George Lucas felt the same way? (By the way, I practice what I preach: all backissues of FSM are available on our website, albeit to FSMO members, including many articles by yours truly written as a teenager—or later—that would charitably be called asinine.)
For now, we are publishing Cameron’s thesis in its original form: no re-touching, no revising, no retyping. (My only regret is that the text is not searchable.) It is a piece of history now and should be read and understood as such. Fortunately I was able to convince Cameron that you, the film music world, will appreciate this—so you had better not let me down. While criticism and feedback is always welcome, you must understand and appreciate the context in which the thesis was written and is now being presented.
But I can’t anticipate any reaction other than what I have felt all the years: thank you!
A few other thanks: to Vincent Jacquet Francillon, who put me in touch with Cameron all those years ago, and did so again in 2010; to art director Joe Sikoryak and his daughter/apprentice Jessica for cleaning up the scans; and to Marilee Bradford at the Film Music Society who gave permission for the brief Cue Sheetcolumn to be reproduced (see Cameron’s introduction).
About the pdf: we still need someone who could fix the pages as you will notice they tend to tilt left or right from page to page (a result of the original thesis having been Xeroxed, then scanned). If you have Photoshop and want to help out, email me. UPDATE 4/27/10: Many thanks to NIcholas Lashley who has straightened/rotated pages. The updated file is now available. Volunteers no longer needed!
Finally, given the preposterous amount of copyright violation in the Internet, I’m going to go above and beyond the line of duty to state the following: Jerry Goldsmith’s score to Star Trek: The Motion Pictureis published by Sony ATV Melody (BMI). Alexander Courage’s “Theme From Star Trek(TV Series)” is published by Bruin Music Company (BMI). Star Trek: The Motion Pictureis ©1979 Paramount Pictures. Star Trekand all related trademarks are property of CBS Studios Inc. Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No. 6, Sinfonia Antarctica and London Symphony are published by Oxford University Press U.K. (ASCAP). All material is copyrighted by their respective owners and is used in the pdf for purposes of scholarship according to fair use doctrine. All responsibility is being borne by Film Score Monthly. The thesis itself is ©1986 Cameron N. Patrick.