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Film Composers: John Williams

John Williams composer

I think it's safe to say that no other composer has made a bigger impact on modern cinema than the legendary John Williams.

At a time when traditional orchestral music seemed to be dying out in cinema, he was an influential figure in making it popular.

Without his contribution, so many of our favourite films would be missing their iconic theme music and might not have had half the impact that they have today.

I’m talking of course about films like Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T, Harry Potter, Home Alone, Jurassic Park!!

The list goes on and on!

Like many composers John Williams has frequently worked with some of the same directors, most notably George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. In fact Williams has composed the music to all but just a few of Spielberg’s films.

Few composer's work is as instantly recognisable as his. The Jaws theme must be the only piece of film music that can be identified by just two notes! When he proposed the idea of that music to Stephen Spielberg, Spielberg thought he was joking as he’d imagined a swashbuckling type theme for the film. Who’d have thought those two notes would become what they are today and symbolise so much!

Imagine the Star Wars films starting without that epic theme music as we watch the yellow text disappear into the stars. Imagine Indiana Jones riding into the sunset without the “Raiders March” playing in the background, or the kids riding their bikes into the sky in E.T without the “Flying Theme” there to make it even more magical!

In 2005 The American Film Institute even selected Williams’ score to Star Wars (1977) as the greatest American film score of all time!

With countless awards and nominations under his belt John Williams’ contribution to film is nothing short of legendary!

And just because, here’s the opening of Star Wars: A New Hope (1977).

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