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Robin Bland

The Music of Star Trek

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I know there have been a few threads on soundtracks before, but I thought it was worth being a little more general and starting a thread devoted to the music of Star Trek, as a whole phenomenon and just to celebrate it. I'm a big soundtrack collector - not just of SF soundtracks - and of music in general. But certain pieces of music have found their ways into my personal pantheon of greats, and there's lots of Star Trek pieces in there...

Sehlat Vie and I were talking about the greatness of Sol Kaplan's incidental score to TOS' The Doomsday Machine in another thread - aside from being great music for Star Trek, it's got to be one of my favourite incidental scores of all time.

Here's a taster (I borrowed your link, Sehlat): http://www.youtube.c...j1idKXAiCk#t=48

We also have a theory that John Williams may have heard Kaplan's incidentals for this episode and, er been inspired a teeny-tiny bit by it when he came to write the theme for Jaws!

Do you have favorite pieces of Star Trek music (or Stare Trek-related? Tell us about them here. I have many more and will be posting them soon...

Edited by Robin Bland

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Man, I've just been listening to that again. Kaplan used a brilliant device - he gave all the machines in the story different themes. He used the Enterprise's own of course, as established, but with his own take on it, then the Doomsday Machine had its own - that Jaws-like refrain. But even the transporters had their own little thtme! Fantastic. And the way Kaplan builds tension and suspense 'til it fairly explodes with brass at the climax of the episode when the Constellation flies into the maw of the machine and Kirk must be transported off by a malfunctioning transporter. Absolutely brilliantly gripping stuff.

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I totally love Ron Jones' soundtrack for TNG "The Best of Both Worlds". Especially that "Borg chorus". It contributes a lot to the threatening atmosphere in these episodes.

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Aside from the movie soundtracks (which have their own thread, I believe), some of the music of Star Trek (esp. TOS) really stays with you.

I like the some of the 'softer' soundtracks too; such as Alexander Courage's tracks in "This Side of Paradise" and George Duning's from "Metamorphosis."

Around the 1:15 mark:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfdRVtIyFQc

I remember ENT actor John Billingsley (Phlox) joking about his ST cred in an interview, and he began to hum this 'love theme' and it was absolutely hysterical. :laugh:

And here's some beautiful isolated music tracks from Metamorphosis:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UadUfHnWuMU

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I totally love Ron Jones' soundtrack for TNG "The Best of Both Worlds". Especially that "Borg chorus". It contributes a lot to the threatening atmosphere in these episodes.

I actually have the BOBW CD soundtrack, too!

I like this one very much, primarily because it and "Tin Man" are some of the few TNG scores I actually remember. I think one of the missteps of TNG (and by extension all of the subsequent series) was the deliberate choice to tone down the music into a kind of bland, generic, wallpaper paste sort of thing. There are a few times when TNG's music would stand out (BOBW is definitely one of them) but by and large, it was very... homogenous. Dull, frankly.

Although I loved "Tin Man", "Inner Light" (that Ressikan flute just breaks my heart), and even the brief scene in "Unification" when Sarek parts company with Picard (it almost sounds like a Jerry Goldsmith score there for a moment).

But on the whole, I love the dynamic nature of TOS' score much better; it's sometimes over the top, but it's always memorable. Even some non-ST fans know the fight theme to "Amok Time" (by Gerald Fried).

In fact, the 1996 movie "Cable Guy" brilliantly (and hilariously) references the Amok Time fight music in this scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5n28hpMFBE

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I've never paid a lot of attention to music (and it's not my kind of music anyway) but I have to mention the music from TNG's "Booby Trap". I like that one. It's basically the only one I've NOTICED, haha. (Well okay "The Inner Light" has memorable music as well.)

My favorite, however, is Jono's Talarian music that he listens to and that horrifies Jean-Luc so much. That scene is one of the BEST scenes EVER. :P

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I've never paid a lot of attention to music (and it's not my kind of music anyway) but I have to mention the music from TNG's "Booby Trap". I like that one. It's basically the only one I've NOTICED, haha. (Well okay "The Inner Light" has memorable music as well.)

My favorite, however, is Jono's Talarian music that he listens to and that horrifies Jean-Luc so much. That scene is one of the BEST scenes EVER. :P

"Shut off that damn noise." :laugh:

(I know; wrong episode, but it seemed to fit...). :giggle:

I liked "Booby Trap"'s music too. Haunting. Was that Ron Jones as well?

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I've never paid a lot of attention to music (and it's not my kind of music anyway) but I have to mention the music from TNG's "Booby Trap". I like that one. It's basically the only one I've NOTICED, haha. (Well okay "The Inner Light" has memorable music as well.)

My favorite, however, is Jono's Talarian music that he listens to and that horrifies Jean-Luc so much. That scene is one of the BEST scenes EVER. :P

"Shut off that damn noise." :laugh:

(I know; wrong episode, but it seemed to fit...). :giggle:

I liked "Booby Trap"'s music too. Haunting. Was that Ron Jones as well?

I love how he doesn't even know what it is and how he has to scream to make the computer stop and how Jono just lies there and is all like BLERGH THIS NEW STEP-DAD RUINS EVERYTHING. I'd have been all like "OMG JONO WHAT IS THIS DO YOU HAVE MORE OF IT". I can just see the horrified look on Jean-Luc's face.

I had a look at wiki and yes it says Ron Jones did the score.

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I've never paid a lot of attention to music (and it's not my kind of music anyway) but I have to mention the music from TNG's "Booby Trap". I like that one. It's basically the only one I've NOTICED, haha. (Well okay "The Inner Light" has memorable music as well.)

My favorite, however, is Jono's Talarian music that he listens to and that horrifies Jean-Luc so much. That scene is one of the BEST scenes EVER. :P

"Shut off that damn noise." :laugh:

(I know; wrong episode, but it seemed to fit...). :giggle:

I liked "Booby Trap"'s music too. Haunting. Was that Ron Jones as well?

I love how he doesn't even know what it is and how he has to scream to make the computer stop and how Jono just lies there and is all like BLERGH THIS NEW STEP-DAD RUINS EVERYTHING. I'd have been all like "OMG JONO WHAT IS THIS DO YOU HAVE MORE OF IT". I can just see the horrified look on Jean-Luc's face.

I had a look at wiki and yes it says Ron Jones did the score.

Well, I don't see you and Jean-Luc enjoying any ship's Mozart festivals together anytime soon :giggle: (I loved how you addressed this in your fanfic, by the way ;) ).

And thanks for the Ron Jones confirmation.

But yeah, sadly (for me anyway) most of the music in post TOS ST just sounds like wallpaper. It doesn't 'pop' the way TOS did.

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I've never paid a lot of attention to music (and it's not my kind of music anyway) but I have to mention the music from TNG's "Booby Trap". I like that one. It's basically the only one I've NOTICED, haha. (Well okay "The Inner Light" has memorable music as well.)

My favorite, however, is Jono's Talarian music that he listens to and that horrifies Jean-Luc so much. That scene is one of the BEST scenes EVER. :P

"Shut off that damn noise." :laugh:

(I know; wrong episode, but it seemed to fit...). :giggle:

I liked "Booby Trap"'s music too. Haunting. Was that Ron Jones as well?

I love how he doesn't even know what it is and how he has to scream to make the computer stop and how Jono just lies there and is all like BLERGH THIS NEW STEP-DAD RUINS EVERYTHING. I'd have been all like "OMG JONO WHAT IS THIS DO YOU HAVE MORE OF IT". I can just see the horrified look on Jean-Luc's face.

I had a look at wiki and yes it says Ron Jones did the score.

Well, I don't see you and Jean-Luc enjoying any ship's Mozart festivals together anytime soon :giggle: (I loved how you addressed this in your fanfic, by the way ;) ).

And thanks for the Ron Jones confirmation.

But yeah, sadly (for me anyway) most of the music in post TOS ST just sounds like wallpaper. It doesn't 'pop' the way TOS did.

I'd tell him where to shove his Mozart if he kept insisting on taking me with him. :dry: OR I'd make a deal. I accompany him to a Mozart concert and he accompanies me to a recording of a Rammstein concert on the holodeck. I am preeeeeetty sure his "COME WITH ME TO THAT MOZART CONCERT" request would die right there. :P

The only TOS music I even really remember is the "Amok Time" one. Because:

tumblr_lxkagtHYPK1qbgx8ao2_250.gif

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tumblr_lxkagtHYPK1qbgx8ao2_250.gif

Looks more like a deleted scene from the uh, unrated version of "Amok Time".... :P

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tumblr_lxkagtHYPK1qbgx8ao2_250.gif

Looks more like a deleted scene from the uh, unrated version of "Amok Time".... :P

It is an actual gif from the actual episode, though. Not sure what that says about these two. :P

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tumblr_lxkagtHYPK1qbgx8ao2_250.gif

Looks more like a deleted scene from the uh, unrated version of "Amok Time".... :P

It is an actual gif from the actual episode, though. Not sure what that says about these two. :P

Well, we know how Spock got over his ponn far... and it wasn't through fighting. :giggle:

I could just see Bermaga (if he were producer then) standing over them yelling, "Kroykah!" :laugh:

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...And here's some beautiful isolated music tracks from Metamorphosis:

George Duning's Metamorphosis is another of my favorites. It is unashamedly romantic, yearning and really very beautiful. Bob Justman said he'd always get Steiner if he could, because Fred Steiner somehow just understood the essence of Star Trek. But if a show was coming up that had some romantic element, he'd get Duning. I love Steiner's scores - Corbomite Maneuver is a classic - but I go back to Duning's score for metamorphosis again and again. It's default music on Valentine's Day!

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...And here's some beautiful isolated music tracks from Metamorphosis:

George Duning's Metamorphosis is another of my favorites. It is unashamedly romantic, yearning and really very beautiful. Bob Justman said he'd always get Steiner if he could, because Fred Steiner somehow just understood the essence of Star Trek. But if a show was coming up that had some romantic element, he'd get Duning. I love Steiner's scores - Corbomite Maneuver is a classic - but I go back to Duning's score for metamorphosis again and again. It's default music on Valentine's Day!

"I... do... not... understand."

Sorry; I tried to resist doing the "Companion" quote, but I couldn't stop my fingers in time... :P:giggle:

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Futurama borrowed that Amok Time fight music in one of their episodes. Fry and Zoidberg had to fight to the death in an arena so that music was entirely appropriate :giggle:

I've never paid a lot of attention to music (and it's not my kind of music anyway) but I have to mention the music from TNG's "Booby Trap". I like that one. It's basically the only one I've NOTICED, haha. (Well okay "The Inner Light" has memorable music as well.)

My favorite, however, is Jono's Talarian music that he listens to and that horrifies Jean-Luc so much. That scene is one of the BEST scenes EVER. :P

"Shut off that damn noise." :laugh:

(I know; wrong episode, but it seemed to fit...). :giggle:

I liked "Booby Trap"'s music too. Haunting. Was that Ron Jones as well?

I love how he doesn't even know what it is and how he has to scream to make the computer stop and how Jono just lies there and is all like BLERGH THIS NEW STEP-DAD RUINS EVERYTHING. I'd have been all like "OMG JONO WHAT IS THIS DO YOU HAVE MORE OF IT". I can just see the horrified look on Jean-Luc's face.

I had a look at wiki and yes it says Ron Jones did the score.

I love Jono's music too :) I also love the Klingon 'music' Jeffrey was listening to in VOY: Real Life.

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Futurama borrowed that Amok Time fight music in one of their episodes. Fry and Zoidberg had to fight to the death in an arena so that music was entirely appropriate :giggle:/>

I've never paid a lot of attention to music (and it's not my kind of music anyway) but I have to mention the music from TNG's "Booby Trap". I like that one. It's basically the only one I've NOTICED, haha. (Well okay "The Inner Light" has memorable music as well.)

My favorite, however, is Jono's Talarian music that he listens to and that horrifies Jean-Luc so much. That scene is one of the BEST scenes EVER. :P/>

"Shut off that damn noise." :laugh:/>

(I know; wrong episode, but it seemed to fit...). :giggle:/>

I liked "Booby Trap"'s music too. Haunting. Was that Ron Jones as well?

I love how he doesn't even know what it is and how he has to scream to make the computer stop and how Jono just lies there and is all like BLERGH THIS NEW STEP-DAD RUINS EVERYTHING. I'd have been all like "OMG JONO WHAT IS THIS DO YOU HAVE MORE OF IT". I can just see the horrified look on Jean-Luc's face.

I had a look at wiki and yes it says Ron Jones did the score.

I love Jono's music too :)/> I also love the Klingon 'music' Jeffrey was listening to in VOY: Real Life.

I remember that! For some reason I had that in my head as a Simpsons episode. Maybe they did it twice - that fight music is iconic.

Think it was a big mistake for the TNG producers to get rid of Ron Jones. His dramatic flourishes were much missed after season 4. You could tell that the other house composers - McCarthy, Chattaway - were really told to tone down any personality of their own, also. After that point ST TV music became a lot more soft focus, if you'll pardon a visual term. Generic. There were no more character themes - you never got that fantastic vocoder 'Borg chorus' after Jones was axed. And yet that was one of the things that helped make them so eerie in BoBW!

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There were no more character themes - you never got that fantastic vocoder 'Borg chorus' after Jones was axed. And yet that was one of the things that helped make them so eerie in BoBW!

That was one of the reasons I bought the CD soundtrack of BOBW. And yes, it would've been nice if that'd been retained as their theme throughout the series (and on VGR).

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There were no more character themes - you never got that fantastic vocoder 'Borg chorus' after Jones was axed. And yet that was one of the things that helped make them so eerie in BoBW!
That was one of the reasons I bought the CD soundtrack of BOBW. And yes, it would've been nice if that'd been retained as their theme throughout the series (and on VGR).

I'm a bit of an an obsessive soundtrack nut, and I bought the Film Score Monthly collection of all the Ron Jones' TNG soundtracks. The man was incredibly diverse in his approach - he really did take an individual thematic approach to every episode he scored. But BoBW is undoubtedly one of his finest - and that signature for the Borg is one of the single most eerie things that Star Trek, in any of its incarnations ever came up with. The producers really missed a trick by dismissing that refrain - and Jones.

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The score for Tinman has to be by far, my favourite score from next gen... IMO it is the most cinematic that the series ever got. I also loved "The Search, part 1" in DS9.

Here is a copy of another post I made under the TOS board regarding Jaws and the Doomsday Machine...

On a side note about music here is a comparison of the Jaw theme to Dvoraks symphony no. 9... that DumDum sound has been around for quite some time.

http://www.youtube.c...d&v=UPAxg-L0xrM

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The music I liked from an early age was Star Trek III's, chiefly Stealing the Enterprise (specifically the moment Enterprise bursts into the open) and the auto destruct music -heartwrenching, despairing with a note of hope at the end.

I fear Giaccino [sic] has not a patch on the previous five composer's, not just the awful track titles but it needs an upping of game.

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I absolutely love that piece, Stealing the Enterprise. Brilliant piece of film music that has everything. Horner's score for III often gets compared unfavorably to his score for II, but I don't agree. It's perhaps not as original - obviously he repeats his main title - but certain cues like the two you've mentioned really get me and are amongst my most-listened to pieces of Star Trek music.

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I've been scouring trek music via my apple music trial, I'm really enjoying a lot of the music the Trek music that I don't already own.  In particular the City of Prague Philharmonic's "The Music of Star Trek" has one of the best DS9 themes ever recorded in my opinion.  You should all check it out:  https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-music-of-star-trek/id325969102

I had heard that version a few years ago and though it was something done during the series' run, but it's just lovely.

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I've been scouring trek music via my apple music trial, I'm really enjoying a lot of the music the Trek music that I don't already own.  In particular the City of Prague Philharmonic's "The Music of Star Trek" has one of the best DS9 themes ever recorded in my opinion.  You should all check it out:  https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-music-of-star-trek/id325969102

I had heard that version a few years ago and though it was something done during the series' run, but it's just lovely.

Wow, yes... It soars! It's a really lovely arrangement. I always recall Rick Berman saying he wanted the opening titles to be a "ballet" around the station, and while both McCarthy versions of the theme did achieve a sense of grandeur, I suspect he never let rip in the quite the way he wanted to. This one goes for it - feels very "big screen." those City of Prague Orchestra revamps of beloved movie themes are often worth a listen... Found many unexpected gems there. Somewhere I have copies of their "Best ofs" of both Thomas Newman and Hans Zimmer, both of which have some great variant arrangements of very recognizable Thames on them. 

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Holy crap, that's GOOD. Dennis McCarthy was truly capable of so much more than he was allowed to actually do, and I've always admired what he was able to do given the constraints placed upon him... especially back in The Next Generation, when the producers really favored that... uh... muted approach to the music. I'm so glad that the latter seasons of Voyager and all of Enterprise was so much less restrained. Say what you will about those shows, they always had excellent music.

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