The other night my wife was watching Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. It was at the beginning of the movie. Some stuff was happening with C-3PO and R2-D2...a battle with some Storm Troopers...I'll be honest with you, I'm not a big Star Wars guy. For me, George Lucas has better films. Anyway, the theme music came on and I asked her if it was John Williams...and it was.
I started thinking that this guy writes a lot of memorable music for movies. I know that, in addition to the Star Wars films, he wrote the themes to Jaws, the Indiana Jones films, and some Spielberg films. What else? I went to IMDB (John Williams as Composer on IMDB) and it turns out that he is prolific...very prolific! He has composed scores for a boat-load of movies, video-games, tv-series, and documentaries.
So, where am I going with all of this?
Is writing musical scores for media like movies, video games, and tv shows, the modern version of writing symphonies and operas as a court composer in the classical period?
Is John Williams a modern day Joseph Haydn?
Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809) lived for nearly 80 years during a time when life expectancy was probably closer to 50 or 60 years. He composed for over 60 years of his life writing 106 symphonies, 83 string quartets, 45 piano trios, 62 piano sonatas, and 26 operas. Is there an IMDB for classical composers? I guess its Wikipedia
John Williams (1932 - still going strong) is 80+ years young and still cranking out musical scores like sausages. At the time of this writing, IMDB shows over 150 composer credits, over 270 soundtrack credits, and over 40 Oscar nominations. That's a lot of treble clefs.
The next time you find yourself humming the theme to Raiders of the Lost Arc, check out The Music of John Williams The Definitive Collection on Amazon