Talk:James Horner

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James Horner is the Invisible Man?[edit]

why is there not an image for him? does none exist? a quick search of google finds this:

You can't just pull an image off the internet. Copyright, my good fellow. JonBroxton (talk) 20:02, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

From ViP[edit]

James Horner article[edit]

The James Horner article (about the film composer) seems to have been removed, history and all. Moreover, its talk page not only has an obscenity on it, but has been protected, though it is not on the list of protected pages. I don't see any discussion of this in the usual places (unless there's a usual place I'm just unaware of). What's going on here? -mhr 18:58, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The talk page is not actually protected, it just had the protected msg. As for the article, it may never have existed. --No-One Jones 19:03, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I'm sure the article existed. I've read it before (which is why the change to the talk page was showing up in my Watchlist today), and there was even a debate on the talk page about including some content from an external Web site (possibly here, but I'm not certain), which the author of said site wanted to include. It's a bit disturbing that it seems to have up-and-vanished... -mhr 20:52, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
It did indeed exist. Snoyes deleted it in December as it was apparently a copyvio. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:38, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I'll write up a new page. Taco 02:44, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

no particular order[edit]

The soundtracks are neither alphabetized nor in date order. What gives? MPS 20:43, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

-Also, The awards/nominations for the movie 'braveheart' on the James Horner page do not match up with those on the braveheart page..? can someone correct please.-

Skating around a rather central issue[edit]

Reinstated critism/controversy section. To paraphrase a Kryptonian, "This is not a fantasy. These are matters of irrefutable fact." –TashTish (talk) 12:22, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

No, it's not. Everybody who has listened to enough film music (1000+ scores )knows that it is not true. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 06:56, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I've listened to over 3,000 scores. It is true, and I'm a FAN of Horner. --JonBroxton (talk) 07:35, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Don't get me wrong, I own many Horner scores, but even I admit that large segments of his music is interchangable. To soften the articles about him by saying people "feel" he reuses is servicing no one fairly. Horner makes very appropriate movie music, that has a tendency to reuse entire compositional sections with no change in orchestration. That's fine.

That's the sort of composer he is and there's no shame in saying that he's a very commercial, uhhh....efficient, composer. He's found what works and sticks to it. There's no shame in it and no shame in saying it.
The article doesn't even deal with the fact that his music is annoyingly repetitive. To use his Braveheart score as an example, Horner wrote a probably 32-bar long theme for Braveheart with a certain orchestration (solo instrument plays the melody, then full orchestra repeats it, I believe) and then uses that same exact segment of music over and over and over again for every dramatic scene in the movie. John Williams, in contrast, swaps around motives between different instruments and sections and will change the shape and form of themes to create an appropriate mood, Horner just plays the same stuff over and over again, ad infinitum.
there is nothing wrong with James Horner's film scores. Just because he has sections in his music that sound like they could be from another movie that he wrote for, doesn't make him a bad composer. If you still don't understand, maybe the shere number of movies he's been hired to score for says something about how well his music is appreciated. So just leave him alone.
I would like to point out that one of the reasons that Braveheart was so popular was because of its brilliant soundtrack. It really makes the movie more than what it actually is.
This seriously needs to stop. Yes, Horner reuses motifs and sometimes even subthemes all the time, but people are making a mountain out of a molehill. He's an artist, and that's his style. James Horner's music is familiar, he has certain signatures that tell the listener that it is his music. Without waxing too philosophical, it's as if he, or rather, his music, is another actor in the film. I'm a composer (not professional, or of the level of Horner), and I reuse elements of other pieces in new compositions all the time. Horner's music is very emotional, and he uses specific phrases to evoke or emphasize certain emotions. I am sick of James Horner being known as "that guy who recycles his music." Take Jerry Goldsmith, for instance. He did an amazing score for The Secret of NIMH. An eleborate passage during a scene of that movie was reused almost in its entirety in the airplane chase scene of The Mummy. It's far more common than most people acknowledge.
I've heard the "he has certain signatures that tell the listener that it is his music" line before, in a slightly different form. In fact, I heard "we have a signature style" from Nickelback's lead singer when it was pointed out that two of their songs sounded exactly the same when played simultaneously. Having "a signature style" is no excuse to use the same section over and over and over and over and over again in a score. John Willams' scores are very melodic with distinct themes for each character but his themes are rarely (if ever) played in exactly the same manner each time they're heard in a score.
I'm not sure it needs to stop... the central problem in my view isn't Horner's reuse of his own themes. It is his reuse of other composer's themes. My awareness of this problem came with Horner's first big hit, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where he clearly reused Prokofiev's "Battle on the Ice" from Alexander Nevsky. Though I've watched few of the movies he has scored (Am I the only person who never bothered to see Titanic?) some fairly cursory research turned up a number of examples where he has recycled famous bits of "classical" music (well, mostly 20th Century era). I'm no musician, but I am an academic. If I reuse someone's ideas, I have to provide a citation. For me, Horner's reuse of other's themes rankles a bit. If they provide citations at the end of the movie, even in a folksy style (If you liked this score, you'll LOVE Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky!!!) I'd think it was OK, but without citations, it is a bit dishonest. When he quotes himself, it is no big deal... they were his ideas anyway. What I have heard of his music is fine and it enhances the films it is a part of, but people should be made aware that he often stands on the shoulders of giants. I'm going to go back and look at the credits of ST2:TWOK and see if Prokofiev is credited.
In Star Trek II, only a small portion of the Battle on Ice section sounds remotely similar to Horner's score (Kirk's first encounter with Khan on the Reliant, for everyone's reference), and it is by no means plagiarism. It is hardly a significant enough resemblance or long enough to warrant a citation in my opinion.-- 03:06, 25 September 2006 (UTC) Markarian
I added a famously contentious soundtrack of his, and someone (with no user name) promptly deleted it. What is the point of that? Does someone want to revert it? I don't know what the guidelines are about that. Amazinrick 16:58, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I want to get involved in this discussion. I am an avid soundtrack fan. I am also about to finish my doctorate in trumpet, with a cognate in romantic/20th century music history. I only say this to provide context to what we all seem to be railing on James Horner for. This has gone on all throughout music history. It ranges from direct lifts of music (which in some cases I believe Horner probably does) to the subtle, subconscious influence of other composers. Does anyone know who James Horner's favorite composers are? I wonder if they are perhaps Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and the like? Horner is not my favorite film score composer, but I will avidly defend him in this case. When you spend your life listening to certain composers, styles, and time periods of music, those sections are going to show up in the music. I know Troy quotes Shostakovich 5 almost note for note for about two measures. That does not make me hate his music or think he is less of a composer. This argument always ends up creating two camps in the end. One side always says he is worthless, he plagiarizes, he is a sellout, etc. If I suggest that he is hugely popular, and he can demand anything he wants in hollywood, the sellout calls grow louder. Let us keep those facts in mind. Whether you like him or not, he is absolutely one of the top talents in the business. As long as there is influence and study of music, there will be this argument. If you don't think John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, and everyone else have these issues, you are lying by ommission. But I guess that is just my opinion then. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mahler444 (talkcontribs) 22:41, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

The "fanboy stance" here is pitiful indeed - as it usually is when it involves the very obvious, irrefutable acts of plagiarism committed by James Horner in every phase, in (almost) every score of his career. Sure enough, quotations and even rip-offs of classical - or other film music - sources are part and parcel of the film composer's job, as he or she must routinely write too much music too quickly. However, Horner is a special case in that his "thefts" are the most blatant, least creative in all of film music, with the possible exception of Bill Conti. A few examples of note-for-note, bar-for-bar rip-offs may suffice: "Stealing the Enterprise" from STAR TREK II, better known as Prokofiev's "The Death of Tybalt" from ROMEO AND JULIET; Aram Khachaturian's "Adagio" from GAYANEH pops up in at least THEE (count 'em) Horner scores: ALIEN, PATRIOT GAMES and CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER - plagiarizing one's own rip-offs repeatedly is no mean feat! Parts of "The Chase" from COCOON were once known as a section from Benjamin Britten's SINFONIA DA REQUIEM; Sergei Prokofiev tunrs up as a "role model" over and over and over, be it GLORY, or BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (with whole phrases from ALEXANDER NEWSKY's "Battle on the Ice" intact), or even the opening of AN AMERICAN TAIL, which "just accidentally" opens with the same line as Prokofiev's 1st VIOLIN CONCERTO. And then there is the "Main Title" from RED HEAT, lifted wholesale(!) from Prokofiev's OCTOBER CANTATA! Brittern is also "alluded to" oin a regular basis, his WAR REQUIEM is memorably used in Horner's TESTAMENT. How the main theme from Robert Schumann's RHENISH SYMPHONY made it into WILLOW is anybody's guess. And isn't that a motif from Béla Bartók's THE WOODEN PRINCE right there in the opening cue for THE LAND BEFORE TIME? The list is virtually endless, and I don't even wanna go into Horner's frequent cannibalizing his own music, or his previous thefts. The man is a miracle. He still has written a lot of genuinely thrilling and original film music, let there be no mistake. Thomas Muething —Preceding undated comment was added at 17:41, 22 January 2009 (UTC).


Some needs to note that he has frequently been accused of plagerrizing his scores. This is pretty important.

He's not "plagerrizing". It's called quoting and is done by _all_ composers.
P-L-A-G-I-A-R-I-Z-E & P-L-A-G-I-A-R-I-S-M. And I don't think anybody's accusing him of plagiarism, just monotonous non-variation.
Whether he does plagiarize/recycle is debatable, but I think the fact that there is a debate (and a pretty big one, at that, from what I've seen) is probably worthy of mention. Do people agree? Any sources (forum discussions, reviews, etc.) which could be used to back this up? Nyvhek 17:45, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
A quick Google search did turn up this interesting discussion on film scoring.

I would disagree that ALL composers 'quote' other composers. Yes all composers are influenced by what they hear and particularly by music that inspires them, but to say that ALL COMPOSERS 'quote' is a gross exaggeration. So what does one make of the Adagio from "Gayane" by Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian, used in the deep space sequence of '2001: A Space Odyssey'.......compared to the deep space string music from Aliens......even if one excuses Horner by calling in mere 'quoting' It is much more than is almost exact for whole sections, multiple phrases. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

=Let me help you[edit]

Listen to Battle Beyond the Stars and tell me entire segments from Patten and Star Trek the Motion Picture weren't plagairzed. There, that good enough for you?


What happened to the "Criticism" section? Why was it removed?

There the section goes again. It's not freakin' vandalism; it's an honest discussion of his style, whatever it may be.

Fanboy vandalism[edit]

I'm watching The Howling for the first time, and the big wolf attack is Khan's attack on the Enterprise/The Rocketeer/ Battle Beyond the Stars unless you're deliberately, willfully blind, deaf or a lawyer. The fanboys repeatedly strike Horner's theft and plagiarism from the article.

Keep in mind that those three movies you mentioned were scored by Horner. You can't plagiarize or "steal" from yourself. Battle Beyond the Stars came out a year before "The Howling" so Horner couldn't have plagiarized the score for this movie for Battle Beyond the Stars, or any of the other films you mention.
I'm not a fanboy, I'm a musician and an avid film score enthisiast who is attempting to defend his favorite composer from accusations of plagiarism and outright theft. I don't know if some of you grasp how grave, damning, and serious an allegation of plagiarism is, whether in art or academia, but as per Wikipedia's Biography policy, and common decency, you'd better have your facts straight before you level those kind of charges against someone. -- 03:06, 25 September 2006 (UTC)Markarian
Copying bars of instrumentation from one's own scores is common practice. If you copy a whole theme from one movie to another, it might make sense if you describe the same thing. (Like copying the French Horn flurries or even the entire theme from Star Trek II's main title to Star Trek III, since it's the continuation of the same story) Sticking to Star Trek, Jerry Goldsmith also reused his signature theme for all of his Star trek scores. Because, of course, it IS always Star Trek.
It is not acceptable (or at least it is notable) if Horner uses a theme for the Klingons in Star Trek III and later uses the very same theme, including orchestration, as the Xenomorph theme in "Aliens". You may not call it plagiarism, but you may call it lack of imagination or of musical instinct, cut-corner attitude, lazyness or disregard for the listeners' intelligence. -- megA 10:22, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Here we go again! Another cretinous fanboy has simply deleted the entire "criticism" passage, although it lists well-documented cases of Horner's plagiarism/self-plagiarism only. Of course, it's one of the many anonymous (i.e. cowardly) non-people who don't even register, "". I though this article was limited to registered-user editing only? Thomas Muething —Preceding undated comment was added at 22:57, 26 January 2009 (UTC).

The main problem with the criticism section is that it is mostly original research. You could really argue the same points with any major film composer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to add my 2 cents that his re-using of his own scores pulls me out of the film, no longer immersed as I'm suddenly thinking of Sneakers when watching the Pelican Brief due to the near identical piano music. Surely this is harmful to a film and undesired by any director. Wonder if any film critic or film expert has mentioned similar in a citable article? unsigned comment —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:22, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

The Pagemaster[edit]

Didn't Horner also score the children's film The Pagemaster? Why hasn't that score been mentioned in the article? I'm kousekouse - I'm going to research this, and mod this article and The Pagemaster article if it turns out that he did do that score. Unless of course someone wants to beat me to it.....


You should add Horner's works with Mel Gibson and Joe Johnston, among others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:07, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Forgot to sign --Kousekouse 11:34, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Middle name[edit]

Where can proof of Horner's middle name be found? There is no definitive proof provided that his middle name is "Roy". iMDB is NOT proof, especially considering the biographies on that site can be written by "Anonymous" authors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nl197 (talkcontribs) 07:27, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

His full name is listed in the California Birth Index - [1], which of course comes from the State of California's records. I'm putting that back now. - DoubleCross (talk) 22:45, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. This article is B-class, but it has some issues, and some room to grow. My full review is on the comments page; questions and comments should be left here or on my talk page. Magic♪piano 15:31, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

Just FYI, I've trimmed the criticism section down to an extremely succinct summary of the issues. I'm not trying to deny or censor anything, but rather to apply WP:BLP with full force to legally delicate BLP material. I'm not even trying to deny the criticism's prominence (I've known about the criticism ever since I took an interest in Horner's music over a decade ago), but instead to request that any editors who wish to elaborate on specific critiques bear the WP:BURDEN of proving the WP:PROMINENCE (not just the verifiability) of any of these critiques. Cosmic Latte (talk) 02:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Critical debate?[edit]

I can see why this section was edited, but now it's just too rushed. There are several sources about these plagiarism issues, and I think it is important to add examples. --Surten (talk) 06:37, 3 December 2009 (UTC)Surten

On the issue of self-copying[edit]

Many of the edits - particularly controversial ones - have focused on Horner's alleged tendency to copy motifs from his past works for use in new ones. Just so there are no misconceptions, I am a fan of Horner. This post will address three fundamental questions:

1. Does Horner actually copy himself?

Yes, it appears that there is a degree of similarity both stylistically and melodically between some of his works. I have his scores to Avatar, Apollo 13, Titanic, Deep Impact, Apocalypto, and Perfect Storm, and notice particular similarities between Apollo 13 and Perfect storm (Both mid-90s), and Titanic and Avatar. For example, those who know the Avatar score will know the "three chords" that form the core of many of the melodies, found in nine of the tracks, including "Bioluminescence of the Night", "Climbing Iknimaya", and "Pure Spirits of the Forest". These chords appear copied right out of Titanic. Additionally, the final "I see you" track on the Avatar score appears a direct imitation of "My Heart will go on" from Titanic; both are "commercialized" versions of the melodies found in the "real" score.
So yes, Horner does imitate himself.

2. Is this unique to Horner?

No. I have over ninety scores from Zimmer's Remote Control Productions, and I see a great deal of stylistic (and occasionally melodic) similarity between those scores. Take my favorite score, that to the Transformers film, written by my favorite composer, Steve Jablonsky. Stylistically, it has been said - and I rather agree - to be extremely "Zimmer-like" in its instrumentation and thematic qualities. Melodically, I noticed - in the process of notating one track - a near-identical similarity between the fanfare at the end of "You're a Soldier Now" and one of the signature melodies from the Pirates of the Caribbean score (written by Klaus Badelt, but also Zimmer-like), though the similarity is disguised by instrumentation differences (Strings in POTC, Brass & Percussion in Transformers).
I have also seen more overt copying in unrelated composers' work. For example, one of the signature melodies in David Arnold's score to Independence Day is "C-DEC--F--EDE-C--". Seeing an excerpt from a movie (that I have never heard of) called "Stargate", also scored by Arnold, I happened to notice the exact same melody was used at one point.
So no, Horner is not the only one who copies himself (or others).

3. Is it something to include in the article?

Only with extreme caution. Content such as this is the very reason the policy of WP:BLP exists. Alleging on a site as prominent and ubiquitous as Wikipedia that a composer often plagiarizes oneself, or worse, others, has the potential to be extremely destructive to their reputation, and may damage their future as a composer.
Therefore, the content, if discussed, must be discussed briefly, and only with very reliable sources. Ideally, it should also be juxtaposed with a moderation; eg, "Horner has been accused of copying motifs from other works <citation> , but he is not the only one to have done this. <citation>.

-RadicalOneContact MeChase My Tail 20:05, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Very well put. Thank you. What you've said (especially #3) is essentially what I had in mind when trimming down that section last year, and I'm glad to see that the section hasn't been allowed to get out-of-hand again. :-) Cosmic Latte (talk) 10:00, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
There have indeed been users trying to add more, this and this being good examples. To be fair, there have also been attempts to remove the section entirely. -RadicalOneContact MeChase My Tail 21:05, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

hi james —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 7 April 2010 (UTC)


Does anybody else think this article needs a major overhaul? I recently dismantled and rewrote the Jerry Goldsmith article into something more sensible and detailed and I think the Horner article is long overdue for the same treatment. He's far too prolific in the film music community to have such a lackluster article. If anyone agrees, please share your thoughts. I would really hate to be the only participant in such a tiring endeavor... Jg2904 (talk) 18:12, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Alright, it's been a year. I'm giving it an overhaul. Thanks for your interest, everybody. Jg2904 (talk) 20:45, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

This article really needs some information on the plagiarism controversy. Horner actually had to pay a settlement to the estate of Raymond Scott because of his use of Powerhouse (song) in Honey I Shrunk the Kids. The section as it presently stands is far too short. (talk) 15:17, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Incorrect, or at least mislabeled source.[edit]

Citation 2 does not lead to the "USA Today Coverage of Horner's Work," but rather to the same article as citation 8. I don't know if this is simply the wrong link or if it is mislabeled, but either way I think it warrants attention. (talk) 22:16, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Plane crash[edit]

There are not yet any confirmed reports that he was the pilot killed in the plane crash. will381796 (talk) 01:57, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Post from family member. Not sure the relation, but Horner is in her profile picture. I'm also seeing the Twitters and Facebooks of many musicians in the industry confirming it was him as well. Rusted AutoParts 02:51, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
It is almost certainly him. However, Wikipedia (as an encyclopedia) cannot included the data without a reliable, secondary source per policy. Until then, the living persons policy applies. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 02:55, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

A reliable primary source is required, not secondary. Wikipedia is a secondary source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:51, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Um ... no. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Please read WP:RS for what a secondary source is (TL;DR: one not published by its subject or its immediate concerns). —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 04:55, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

They've confirmed it's him. (talk) 03:52, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Nevertheless, this makes me nervous. The Hollywood Reporter, usually a reliable source, uses that facebook post as its source, as opposed to actually speaking to someone ... —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 03:56, 23 June 2015 (UTC) AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:24, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

After the Giffords error, I will simply recommend editors consider reading and taking to heart the advice in WP:BNS. With respect and thanks, --j⚛e deckertalk 05:13, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. Once Variety wrote that they had confirmed it—despite not initially saying how—my comfort level rose considerably. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 05:19, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
The Guardian has reported it - though writing "confirms the Hollywood Reporter", which might be read as slightly hedging their bets. [2] AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:26, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Exactly—hence Joe Decker's point re BNS and my slight nervousness even in the face of Variety having "confirmed" it. Variety is pretty much the gold standard wrt entertainment news but, with nothing in the story as to how they confirmed it, I still had a bit of the jitters. Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 05:44, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
BBC: [3], UPI [4] give me more comfort. --j⚛e deckertalk 05:53, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Heh ... not much more, really. BBC doesn't cite any confirmation, while UPI cites Patrycja's facebook and the CBS Los Angeles article that doesn't confirm the pilot's identity—though it does mention that Horner's attorney "was expected to make an official announcement on Tuesday morning." —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 05:59, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
The FAA stated any confirmations of Pilot identity will need to be released by the local officials whos jurisdiction in which the crash happened. At this point, that has not been released by Ventura or Santa Barbara counties. Any mention of him being the pilot that died, whether by family twitter statements or other forms of communication, is not officially confirmed and only speculation. I would imagine the family has not identified a body only hours after the aircraft went down seeing how the FAA and NTSB would have a control system in place to provide a sterile crash scene. Kevintampa5 (talk) 14:31, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Musical borrowing[edit]

I see this section has been debated many times in the past, with people being called "fanboys" and so on. But, it really is a combination of original research and synthesis.

The first para makes a broad claim about Horner recycling passages from his own work and using passages from other works. It goes on to provide examples, citing a blog (poor), a book about Star Trek music (questionable, the publisher's web site doesn't even work), and a Filmtracks article (OK). One decent example, but no source actually tying those things together and verifying the overall analysis. This violates WP:OR and WP:SYNTH.

The second para makes a broad claim about "musical borrowing" being commonplace and cites one sources about Handel. Then, it says people frequently criticize Horner for this activity, citing two sources comprised of fan letters and one serious article from The New Yorker. That last may be the only source in the entire section backing up the idea that Horner is criticized for "borrowing".

Honestly anyone who's familiar with film music knows that Horner does this and is well-known for doing it. But we really need to rewrite this section and get some better sources. Otherwise, it should be cut down to what's verifiable by the only good sources there. --Laser brain (talk) 15:52, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I'd love to provide more and better sources, but the fact that better sources are desirable doesn't mean that the existing ones aren't valid or don't demonstrate the points for which they're cited. More importantly, it's neither original research nor synthesis to arrange relevant facts in order to support a statement of fact found in many sources. If you want better references, by all means help me find some. Don't just label things "original research" because it's hard to find sources of the highest quality. Bear in mind that, as much as the editors here may enjoy the music, it's not going to be the subject of a lot of scholarly publications, and that will limit the quality of the sources available. But that doesn't mean they're not valid. Nor does the fact that a publisher goes out of business invalidate citations to published and catalogued books.
I should add that, although I haven't cited them as such, just as a book is a valid source for its own contents, a musical composition is a valid source for its notes. It wouldn't be original research to note that Reflections on Blah contains several quotations from Hamlet, even if it doesn't identify them as such. We're not talking about brief two- or three-note motifs that are hard to identify or show their relation to the source; but, at least in the case of the Prokofiev or the Schumann, long passages so clearly quoted that you can't listen to the sources without recognizing them from Horner (or vice-versa). They're open and obvious. I'm not advocating that the music itself be the only source for the fact of borrowing; but certainly there's enough proof to justify not deleting the assertions that it occurred, the widely-known accusations of unoriginality that arise therefrom, or the fact that quoting from other composers (or one's self) has been a common practice for hundreds of years.
I went to a great deal of trouble to rewrite this section just a few months ago, trying to make it more neutral and to provide sources. I edited it down a little more today, to make it even more neutral and more concise. There are now additional sources, which meet Wikipedia's minimum criteria for references. If you think you can find better sources, go ahead and add them or replace the ones that are there. But as it stands now, there is adequate sourcing for claims that we know perfectly well are neither dubious nor controversial. It's a short section; one paragraph after a little more trimming, and it's got eight published sources. P Aculeius (talk) 17:42, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Re: "[I]t's neither original research nor synthesis to arrange relevant facts in order to support a statement of fact found in many sources." I have no doubt that's what you're doing, but to the outsider it could appear that you are making a statement you believe to be true and then cherry-picking sources to support it. I am not criticizing you personally, I am just suggesting we improve the sources so that the section is bullet-proof. I have access to several libraries, so I can look for sources. --Laser brain (talk) 18:00, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I've just removed what appears to be WP:SYNTH, which I note was added while simultaneously removing valid material which *did* have a reliable citation (and had in fact been used sparingly - one could easily have included its mention that Horner has been sued for plagiarism): I have reinstated that relevant material. If an editor can find reliable sources that state that what is today considered plagiarism is a continual and common practice in classical music, and not simply in the 18th century when Bach and Handel were active (folk songs really don't count, for obvious reasons), well and good. Happy hunting! Alfietucker (talk) 21:25, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, but "many" and "generally avoiding" violate WP:WEASEL. Something more accurate per the sources would be better. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 21:54, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you're right about "generally avoiding" violating WP:WEASEL - it is not in the same order as "generally claimed", and seems accurate enough as it implies that in *some* cases he has been sued, which according to the cited source he has. I'm not so worried about "Many" (not my wording) either, though perhaps this is more a breach of the policy. Perhaps it could be reworded uncontroversially as "Several". Alfietucker (talk) 21:59, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
The problem is this: the source is an editorial review by Christian Clemmensen that does not cite his assertion that "Horner was also skilled in the adaptation of existing music into films with just enough variation to avoid legal troubles, though he does remain one of the few major composers ever to be sued for plagiarism. He succeeds at this task with better efficiency in some projects than others ..." I'm going to attempt a rewrite in a moment that I hope will address this. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 22:06, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Done. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 22:15, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Two problems with where it stands now. First, the emphasis now seems to be on Horner being sued, even though being sued for plagiarism isn't the same as demonstrated plagiarism; because of the placement of the statement from Filmtracks, the paragraph now suggests that Horner reworked passages from Prokofiev, Schumann, Wagner, and Orff in order to avoid being sued. But there's no evidence of that; the passages are clearly recognizable (well, the first three are, I'm not familiar with the Wagner and Orff excerpts). There was no possibility of Horner being sued for quoting Schumann or Wagner, and there's no evidence that he was ever likely to be sued by the Prokofiev or Orff estates, or that he made any changes to the music in order to avoid it. Not to mention that he couldn't be sued for quoting his own earlier compositions and had no need to rework them in order to avoid legal difficulties.
Second, a quick Google search for articles about Horner being sued didn't turn up any evidence that it had ever happened. The Filmtracks article doesn't say who's supposed to have sued him or when or in connection with what score. Other references suggested that he had been sued "repeatedly" and "successfully," but give no specifics. I couldn't find anything identifying an actual lawsuit; there's a rumour of a settlement with Enya, but no reference to a lawsuit, no clear allegation of plagiarism. I did see some message board posts that claimed Hans Zimmer had been sued by the estate of Gustav Holst... but while there were tons of hits for people claiming that Horner could be sued or ought to be sued, nobody seemed to know about him actually being sued. So while I'm not contending that Filmtracks shouldn't be a cited source in this article, I think the article may simply have been repeating rumors, not reporting facts, when it claimed he had been sued. And as I said, a suit is just an accusation.
Unless there's some evidence of a trial or a verdict, mentioning being sued may be giving undue weight to a rumor. P Aculeius (talk) 23:42, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I see you moved the passage, which does a lot to fix the first of the two problems I mentioned. Thanks! But I still think we have an undue weight problem if there's no evidence that it actually happened, other than a passing mention in the Filmtracks article that doesn't give any specifics, and even less-specific (and inconsistent) claims on message boards. P Aculeius (talk) 23:45, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree with you. Face-smile.svg (Edit: I've trimmed the passage but, honestly, that may still be problematic.) —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 23:58, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
After reviewing the change, I agree with your resolution, but I decided that quoting the article would be more neutral than paraphrasing it. What do you think? P Aculeius (talk) 00:22, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
👍 😄ATinySliver/ATalkPage 00:41, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 June 2015[edit]

Harry Horner was born in Holitz, former Austro-Hungaria, (talk) 17:16, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

No source provided. --Laser brain (talk) 17:22, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Also, assuming it's true, it would be Austria-Hungary or the Austro-Hungarian Empire, not Austro-Hungaria. Even though there's a redirect by that name, it doesn't appear to have been a common name, and it was never official. P Aculeius (talk) 17:46, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

"death_cause =" in infobox[edit]

Just to throw a couple of pennies in here, I believe this parameter will eventually be appropriate, since the infobox is "facts at a glance". "How did he die?" is a question worth answering for pretty much anyone who did not die of "old age" or "natural causes". That said, "plane crash" is not a death cause; presumably, it will be "blunt force trauma (plane crash)". —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 20:06, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm actually wondering why his death isn't included in the lede – certainly the circumstances here are notable enough to merit inclusion in the lede? Add-on: I guess we're waiting for official sourcing for that?... --IJBall (contribstalk) 00:36, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Probably; I hadn't even noticed that it had been removed ... xD —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 00:42, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

"rowspans" in sortable tables[edit]

WP:FILMOGRAPHY no longer specifically says to avoid rowspans, and Bugzilla: 41886 41889 seem to suggest the issue was fixed. That said, the examples in FILMOGRAPHY still show separated entries within same years. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 20:40, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

FWIW, I generally think 'rowspans' are only appropriate in the 'Year' column for FILMOGRAPHY tables, and shouldn't be used in any other column. --IJBall (contribstalk) 00:40, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
It mostly was used in the year column; it apparently "exploded" the tables in any sorting other than the default. Supposedly fixed, but apparently still not preferred. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 00:45, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

The Oxford comma[edit]

There's been a minor back-and-forth wrt use of the Oxford comma after "conductor" in the lead sentence. I believe it's correct without.

The phrasing, "composer, conductor, and orchestrator of film scores" grammatically separates the first two activities from "of film scores", as if to say he was a composer ... and a conductor ... and an orchestrator of film scores. Clearly, all three apply to the noun subject. Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 03:45, 24 June 2015 (UTC)


LiuserK is insistent on inserting a laundry list of celebrities who have expressed condolences over Horner's presumed death. I removed it first as being unsourced and again as violating WP:MEMORIAL. My stance is that this list, while feel-good and nice, is not relevant or appropriate for an encyclopedia. Rather than remove it a third time, I'm asking for other opinions here. I will respect consensus either way. --Laser brain (talk) 16:46, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Support removal, it is not notable and not really needed in a biography. MilborneOne (talk) 17:24, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Not sure, Celine Dion and Russell Crowe seem relevant due to Horner's best-known works and their high profile. Perhaps the section could be rewritten more concisely without deleting the more notable people. In any case, it's not what the paragraph under WP:Memorial is about. That just says that you don't use Wikipedia as a memorial to deceased persons who otherwise don't satisfy notability criteria. And that's not the case here, since the subject is notable, and so are the people commenting on his death. P Aculeius (talk) 18:30, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
This happens whenever somebody in the spotlight dies, it would be notable if nobody expressed condolences but this normal practice and not really notable or encyclopedic. MilborneOne (talk) 18:39, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Such a paragraph does, IMO, speak to the impact the deceased person had, and is appropriate and enyclopedic as long as it's as brief as possible. To that end, I'm going to go trim Dion's quote. Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage ✍ 19:54, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I think it's germane to speak of people whose careers were firmly linked with Horner's (like James Cameron) but other celebrities should be omitted. --Laser brain (talk) 11:36, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, but the people who were mentioned all had direct connections. Horner wrote the music for Celine Dion's most famous song, and the score for one of Russell Crowe's most famous films (and one that was in the news quite recently). So there was no particular reason for editing them out. P Aculeius (talk) 12:49, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks all for the discussion. I think Laser brian's disagreement with me came from our different definitions of "a laundry list of celebrities" vs. a few of Horner's closest collaborators. Dion and Crowe can surely be considered in the latter, as "My Heart Will Go On" is considered Horner's most famous work and Dion's signature song. "A Beautiful Mind" is also one of Crowe's finest performances, and quite significant to the discussion. I hope this issue has been resolved. Thanks everyone! LiuserK (talk) 14:56, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Death in lead[edit]

I've restored to the lead, with proper brevity, Horner's death. Per WP:LEAD#BLP: "When a subject dies, the lead need not be radically reworked. Unless the cause of death is itself a reason for notability, a single sentence describing it is usually sufficient." —ATinySliver/ATalkPage ✍ 21:04, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Comment, what you've put in there is fine. But I will note that the cause of death in this case is, I believe, somewhat independently notable in its own right. --IJBall (contribstalk) 23:07, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Spot-on! That's exactly why I wrote it that way: factual, and without linger. Face-smile.svg (Edit: I took "Unless the cause of death is itself a reason for notability" to mean cases where the cause of death is why an article's subject would be notable.) —ATinySliver/ATalkPage ✍ 23:13, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Infobox Suggestion[edit]

Is it necessary to say that Horner played piano in the infobox? He is known as a composer and conductor, so the instruments he plays might not be important. LiuserK (talk) 18:04, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Agreed; I'd consider that entirely peripheral. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 🖖 22:12, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

WikiProject California rating[edit]

@Tbhotch: I see Viriditas is listed as a member of WPCA; you are not. May we understand the specific reason you've made this reversion? —ATinySliver/ATalkPage  10:09, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

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NTSB preliminary report[edit]

The NTSB has released their preliminary report, so I think we should incorporate that in the article if it is necessary. Thoughts? Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 06:22, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea, as long as we're not trying to interpret it. --Laser brain (talk) 12:08, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:James Horner/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 15:29, 8 January 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 19:26, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 30 July 2016 Death and Legacy Errors.[edit]

Caught007 (talk) 03:12, 30 July 2016 (UTC) Please review portion "received receiving" advisories, etc... many errors.

Fixed. --Laser brain (talk) 03:14, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

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Musical Borrowing section[edit]

One of the books on the making of Titanic indicated that after Enya declined to compose music for the film (after James Cameron said he'd used her music as temp tracks), Horner was instructed to compose an Enya-like score. Indeed, the musical score of the film, in particular Heart Does Go On and the Southampton segment that plays during the launch, are very reminiscent of Enya's work (with Norwegian singer Sissel performing Enya-like wordless vocals). If sources can be located I think it's relevant to mention this in the borrowing section. (talk) 03:24, 19 April 2017 (UTC)