Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars


John Rose, organ

Music from STAR WARS
Composed by John Williams
Transcribed for organ by Robert Edward Smith

  • Main Title
  • The Desert and the Robot Auction
  • The Princess Appears
  • Inner City
  • Cantina Band
  • Mouse Robot and Blasting Off
  • Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack
  • Princess Leia's Theme
  • The Last Battle
  • The Throne Room and End Title

Total Playing Time 44:33

When Michael Nemo invited me to record an organ transcription of the score from Star Wars, the idea at first struck me as being rather odd. I thought it over however, and I realized how appropriate the idea really was. The Pipe organ as we know it today is essentially an orchestral instrument, possessing an enormous variety of tonal capacities which can be mixed or used in counterpoint with each other just as an orchestra performs. Even the names we give to families of pipes, "reeds", "flutes", "strings" etc., are orchestral names. And the idea of using the pipe organ as an orchestra substitute is an old one ??J.S. Bach himself transcribed his own cantatas for the organ. By the end of the 19th Century, performing transcriptions of orchestral works on the organ had reached the virtuoso level, with great organists dazzling their audiences. Admittedly this trend did lead to excesses in both performance and in the manufacturing of instruments but it also helped sire a style of instruments which came to be know as "American classic." Generally speaking this is the type of instrument found in most churches across the country today; it serves the needs of classical organ literature as well as the performance of the transcriptions used to accompany choral works. The grand pipe organ sound is exactly the sort needed for a score as rich in colorful sounds as John Williams' Star Wars. The composer himself has described his score as being of the romantic-symphonic, 19th Century school, and that is exactly the sort of music that has been so often successfully transcribed for the pipe organ. Not only is such a project good musical fun in a legitimate style but hopefully it can help introduce another generation to the majestic sound of one of man's oldest musical instruments.

--John Rose (1977)