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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Jaws: How Two Notes Created a Monster

Jaws theme

When Steven Spielberg chose John Williams to score the music for Jaws (1975) he’d only worked with him once before on his movie The Sugarland Express (1974).

Williams eventually invited Spielberg over to his house so he could preview his idea for the main Jaws theme. Spielberg went over imagining the theme to be something “Weird and melodic, tonal but eerie and of other world. Almost a bit like outa space inside inner space.”

What he got was something very different.

John Williams sat down at the piano and played two notes on the lower keys. Two notes that would go on to signify the presence of something terrifying for generations.

At first, Spielberg, knowing that John Williams had a good sense of humour thought the whole thing was a joke, even exclaiming “You can’t be serious”. After hearing the theme a couple more times though he started to realise its potential.

Today, nearly fifty years later those two infamous notes are still instantly recognisable to both fans of the film and to people who have never even seen it.

What a legacy to leave!


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