Why Is THIS the Most Influential Music Cue in Hollywood?

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No surprise here: a Hans Zimmer film score cue that’s massively influential on an entire generation of composers. But what may surprise you is WHICH ONE. And WHY. 

Today we’re breaking down Zimmer’s famous set piece for Terrence Malick’s 1998 film The Thin Red Line. In a movie about becoming forever changed by the experience of war, this rich, yet repetitive cue uses a structure common in Gregorian Chant music to underscore that emotional sea change with expert subtlety. 

And that’s just the beginning…

From Steve Reich’s minimalist influence to orchestration that suggests counter melodies as wandering characters in the narrative, to becoming “forbidden” by Zimmer himself, this one cue has appeared in tons of movie trailers and temp tracks, and has spawned a whole era of copycat composers working in Hollywood. 

So, how did he do it? Let’s dive in to find out! 

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