Hans Zimmer, "Gladiator"
Transcription and Fingering: Renato Bellucci
I have a special place in my heart for great movie scores such as Cavatina, Chi mai, The Mission, Gladiator.... for one thing, most composers include the guitar in some parts of the score and the caliber of some of these composers is simply as good as it gets. I think that Ennio Morricone is a genius. Once upon a time in America, one of his co-paticipations with the Italian director Sergio Leone, is an orchestrated piece of work between images and music. Hans Zimmer reaches the same grandeur with Maximus.
The theme appears during the movie played on guitar by the Brazilian player Heitor Pereira. Once again, I could not resist the beauty of the piece and it will be part of my concert programs.
Hans Florian Zimmer; born 12 September 1957 is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 150 films, including award-winning film scores for The Lion King (1994), Crimson Tide (1995), The Thin Red Line (1998), Gladiator (2000), The Last Samurai (2003), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), and 12 Years a Slave (2013).Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios and works with other composers through the company which he founded, Remote Control Productions. Zimmer's works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. He has received four Grammy Awards, three Classical BRIT Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award. He was also named on the list of Top 100 Living Geniuses, published by The Daily Telegraph.
Staff and Video 1
The opening section -Tambora (drums)- resembles the distant rumbling of drums and explosions. Stretch the tempo to your pleasure to add drama and sweetness. Tambora is performed hitting softly but swiftly the strings in the bridge area. You hit as many strings as the music requires. Experiment hitting at different distances from the bridge and you will discover a variety of tones... Sometimes tambora can be played with the outside part of the right thumb by keeping the RH almost parallel to the soundboard and rotating the wrist counterclockwise causing the thumb to hit the strings.
Arpeggiated chords are used extensively in Gladiator and I explain how they work in depth in the Complementary video to the right. At the end of this measure I use the base of finger 1 to play the F on the first string. You must see finger 1 as having not one but two tips that can be used to stop string 1: One tip is the one you use normally and the second one is the one found where the finger meets the palm of the hand. Refer to the image below to the right.
Whenever a finger has to reach elusive notes on the upper strings, help
your playing by using the whole plying apparatus. The elbow reaches
closer to the side of your body and finger 3 reaches comfortably.
The correct use of the playing apparatus will enable you to avoid string squeaks. What you do is lift the hand off the fingerboard perpendicularly with respect to the strings. You do this by pushing forward with the elbow. Once the fingers are off the fingerboard, you move to the new position.
Revision: Santa Monica, CA, September 25, 2012
Asunción, February 25, 2013
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