Some people may not recognize a name, but can they recognize a sound? That is the sound of John Williams’ greatest composed music for internationally famous films. Whether it is the anticipated, “DUN-DUN” heard before a shark attack in the movie Jaws, or the, “doo-doo, doo doo- do doo, doo’s” heard from Harry Potter-John Williams has connected a sound to a scene, a feeling to an event, and he has done an incredible job doing so.

John Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist-one of my favorite piano compositions of his being “Suite”, composed for the first Harry Potter film where he mimics the flight of a bird with the airy, light sound of the celeste-a mini piano. He studied composition at UCLA in California, joined the army, and then attended Julliard School of music in New York, where he studied piano. Jaws is one of the most well-known theme songs composed by Williams because of the absolute anxiety it brought audiences. A simple alternating of two notes most people recognize as, “dun-dun” brought the anxiety, the thrill, the suspense, and the rush of a heart beat to audiences. It brought power to films that many previous films hadn’t brought to the table. However, Williams surely proved he could bring that power of music to films, with the Jaws score that he very greatly earned an Academy Award for. If you’re looking for a startle, enjoy the live sound of the Jaws theme song, conducted by John Williams himself:

As well as Jaws, John Williams composed classical music for all seven Star Wars films, all Harry Potter films, Superman, ET, Indiana Jones, Home Alone, and Jurassic Park. I have to say one of my favorites would be the Jurrasic Park theme song.

The simple melody is shown here:

 \relative c' { \clef treble \time 4/4 bes4.( bes16 a) bes4.( bes16 a) | bes8. c16 c8. ees16 ees4. d16 bes | c8. a16 f8 d'16 bes c4. f16 bes, | \time 6/4 ees8. d16 d8. c16 c2~ c4 }

and is played within the first measures by flutes and harps, and is eventually built up with violins, cellos, trumpets, tubas, and French horns. The result is a very refreshing, elaborating sound that you can experience here in this video:

And for all you Star Wars fans I am sure this composition is something you hear in your sleep:

It is a composition that is powerful and invigorating. It contains a lot of energy and emotion.

However, no matter what the emotion, John Williams can portray it, and if it weren’t for him, these amazing films wouldn’t have that connection and that energy we all are so entertained by, and find truly incredible. I know that whenever I go to watch one of these old films and hear that entrance, I am immediately taken aback with excitement, and reminded of what it feels like to be a kid again, sitting back and hearing this great energy. Let’s take a moment of silence to appreciate this guy: John Williams.



copyright: Carly Ristuccia


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