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MohicanLand Musical Musings: The Music of The Last of the Mohicans

Last of the Mohicans
The "Main Title" is the heart and soul not only of the movie but much of the rest of the soundtrack as well. Trevor Jones, who wrote this piece, reused it over and over again in the movie, in several variations, and so much of the rest of the music hangs from it.

This piece is written in the key of D-minor. While minor keys are generally recognized as the sad keys (major keys being bright, happy or jubilant keys), D-minor is one of the saddest, darkest keys.

In terms of music theory, the "Main Title" we hear in the movie and on the CD has what is called an A-A-B structure, where A and B refer to specific and unique sections of music. The "Main Title" opens ominously with just the drums––the drums of war––for one full measure, and then what sounds to be low strings and bassoons play a variation of the melody, barely hinting at what is to come. The CD version is different in that it does not include this opening measure of the drums alone, but starts immediately with the entrance of the strings and bass instruments. Throughout the introduction in both versions, the musical emphasis remains on the drums while the music crescendos toward that grand entrance of the main body of the orchestra and the first blood-stirring chord of the "Main Title". This grand chord signals the opening of the A section. The A section is repeated and is then followed by the second section, the B section. Both sections are in a slow 4/4 time, and both are 4 measures long.

The first occurrence of the A section is rather dark, but very grand, very big. The melody i