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Many of us have discussed the similarities between Jaws and Dvorak's New World Symphony. I think I might have found something even closer. Today I was listening to Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and spotted a very small moment which sounds almost exactly like Jaws. Anyone know the spot I'm referring to?

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I never heard the similarity between Jaws and Dvorak's 9th(5th) , the atmosphere is all wrong.

Yep , this (Prokofiev) is better.I remember many times marking the shark's fin with my hand while playing this.

btw- it's quite a common bass figure characterising some threat or attack in classical music.

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Must admit I do not get the Dvorak thing at all, and I'd have thought that "Peter and the Wolf" would be the last contender from Prokofiev.

Surely the strongest "classical" influence on "Jaws" must be Stravinsky's "Sacre du Printemps" or "Rite of Spring"?

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I never heard the similarity between Jaws and Dvorak's 9th(5th) , the atmosphere is all wrong.
Must admit I do not get the Dvorak thing at all...

I believe the similarity between the two pieces that most people hear is that of the main shark motif in Jaws (da dah....da dah....da dah da dah etc etc) and the beginning of the 4th movement of Dvorak's 9 Symphony.

Personally I think this is just a coincidence. Both pieces have a prominent two-note ascending theme in the low strings which some people probably assume are related to one another (implying that JW used this as inspiration). But while Dvorak's theme is only for a few bars at the most, JW plays around with this two-note motif for sometime, further augmenting it with brass punctuations. This is why I don't think the two pieces are similar.

It would help if you told us what moment it was.....

This part..

http://hometown.aol.com/Orlandopiano/jaws6.mp3

You have to turn the volume up loud enough to hear it.

Now *this* part I can hear the similarity. But then again, i'm not surprised since Prokofiev seems to have been a major influence on JW as many people have noticed before (I made a thread recently comparing parts of Prokofiev's 5th Symphony to E.T. and Close Encounters).

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I guess this is an easy arguement, because of the simplicity of the theme, but every time a piece is spotted with two notes a half step apart, it is not always taken from "inspiration". Williams has never said "La Mer" was a source of anything. What about the second movement of Mahler's 6th Symphony? That little patch of a few seconds in the middle of the movement must be an inspiration too, right? No. It's the the idea Williams came up with when he saw the film. "What can I do musically to invoke terror, and the presence of the shark?" Perhaps something that sounds like a heart beat. An impetus, a driving force. Of course it's similiar to all the works mentioned in this thread. It's a chromatic step forward and then backwards, rinse and repeat. Williams even throws in a third note which everyone always forgets.

Tim

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I guess this is an easy arguement, because of the simplicity of the theme, but every time a piece is spotted with two notes a half step apart, it is not always taken from "inspiration".

Let me also add that it's the same two notes (E and F) played with the same general instrumentation, articulation, and tempo. But I agree, more likely to be a coincidence than anything.

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I guess this is an easy arguement, because of the simplicity of the theme, but every time a piece is spotted with two notes a half step apart, it is not always taken from "inspiration". Williams has never said "La Mer" was a source of anything. What about the second movement of Mahler's 6th Symphony? That little patch of a few seconds in the middle of the movement must be an inspiration too, right? No. It's the the idea Williams came up with when he saw the film. "What can I do musically to invoke terror, and the presence of the shark?" Perhaps something that sounds like a heart beat. An impetus, a driving force. Of course it's similiar to all the works mentioned in this thread. It's a chromatic step forward and then backwards, rinse and repeat. Williams even throws in a third note which everyone always forgets.

Tim

Actually on the JAWS RSNO Mc Neely recording it is wrote - The pier incident : (...) a quote from Debussy 's symphonic sketch "LA MER" ( 1903 -1905) complete with his stylized horn calls- and dramatically textures . then, The alimentary canal : (...) and an oblique reference to the Debussy. Into the estuary : Weird harmpnies and recaps of the Debussy make it even stranger. Three Barrels Under : Shark figure with Debussy harmonic sequences on top ..

OK, he as never said but he have composed in the vein of Debussy...

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Wasn't it common knowledge that the Jaws Theme is dirived from Sol Kaplan's theme for the Doomsday Machine in the Classic Trek episode with that same name?

Those damn trekkies, even Jaws is not safe.

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