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FSU College of Music Takes Us Behind the Music of Star Wars

FSU College of Music Takes Us Behind the Music of Star Wars
Posted at 3:00 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 12:51:50-04

WTXL is looking at different aspects of the world famous film franchise all month long. Tune-in Mondays at 5:30 p.m. Next week, we will take a look at light saber and blaster technology.

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - The FSU College of Music has quite a few Star Wars fanatics and they know a thing or two about the music behind the films.

FSU's Patrick Dunnigan, Director of Bands, and Ian Crumpton, a junior in the College of Music, are heavily involved with the popular FSU Marching Chiefs Star Wars halftime shows.

"I'm a pretty big fan", said Dunnigan. "I don't own a costume but I'm about a big a fan as you can get short of that."

"It started ever since I was really little, when the prequels were coming out", said Crumpton. "My parents were always really big fans. They went and saw the original ones so they were starting to take me to these [movies]."

With the Cantina theme in particular, Dunnigan believes the music isn't coming from the instruments shown in the scene, but somewhere else. "You have classical instruments playing jazz-like music, which doesn't occur a whole lot in our world so I think that makes it really clever", said Dunnigan.

"I think without question, those are props that you see in the movie. They have been recorded probably using sequencers, digital samples that have been altered, keyboards, [and] drum machines to come up with the sounds that sound familiar but not exactly like what you'd hear with an acoustic instrument."

So the Cantina musicians are not playing "real instruments". That's okay, because whether it's a funky dive bar in the future or the overall score in general, the music of Star Wars still shines.

The composer, John Williams, helped create the music for all seven movies. You may also know him from Jaws, Superman, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Home Alone, Schindler's list, and Harry Potter. And that's not even a third of all of the movie scores he has composed.

"John Williams is just a rare individual who just has this knack for taking images that you see in film and translating that into the absolutely most perfect music," said Dunnigan.

"[It is] Some of his best work for the new movies and the originals, of course", said Crumpton, "Because everyone knows them even today."