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Jaws and Rite of Spring


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Many people have scoffed at the suggestion that Jaws was inspired by The Rite of Spring. I was one of them... until I actually listened closely.

These two main themes are pretty much based on the same dissonant chord.

Pianists, play the following-

RH: Eb7 chord in 1st inversion, play it in the middle C octave

LH: E note, play it two octaves below

This is the cell that is prominent through much of Rite. Play it quickly and repeatedly with the ragged accents of Danses des Adolescentes and you'll hear it.

Now for Jaws... instead of repeating that chord over and over again, transpose both hands up a half step so that the RH plays an E7 chord 1st inv and the LH plays an F. Go back and forth between these two chords quickly and staccato, just like you were playing the Jaws theme.

There you go.

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Many people have scoffed at the suggestion that Jaws was inspired by The Rite of Spring. I was one of them... until I actually listened closely. These two main themes are pretty much based on the sam

Always thought the similarities to this were GLARING as well, although the harmonization is different. Here's to Gerald Fried!

I don't know how much truth there is to this, but I heard the Stravinsky Foundation sued John Williams for the above similarities between Jaws and Dance of the Adolescents.

I just think it;s hilarious that Williams went on to rip off Rite of Spring much more obviously in the Dune Sea music from Star Wars. I wonder if it was his revenge! :sleepy:

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Many people have scoffed at the suggestion that Jaws was inspired by The Rite of Spring. I was one of them... until I actually listened closely.

These two main themes are pretty much based on the same dissonant chord.

Pianists, play the following-

RH: Eb7 chord in 1st inversion, play it in the middle C octave

LH: E note, play it two octaves below

This is the cell that is prominent through much of Rite. Play it quickly and repeatedly with the ragged accents of Danses des Adolescentes and you'll hear it.

Now for Jaws... instead of repeating that chord over and over again, transpose both hands up a half step so that the RH plays an E7 chord 1st inv and the LH plays an F. Go back and forth between these two chords quickly and staccato, just like you were playing the Jaws theme.

There you go.

Hey Eric this is something I have noted in the past as well. The "Augers" chords in "Rite of Spring" are a full E-major chord ((Root, third, fifth, also the upper E) starting one ledger line below bass clef in the LH, and on top of that is an E-flat 7 chord in first inversion, in the octave surrounding middle-C, in the RH (the "rite" hand...har!).

JW harmonizes the half-step based Jaws motif with parallel dominant sevenths in first inversion (the E-flat 6/5 to E 6/5) in the RH, with only the "root" of the lower E-major chord in the LH. This half-step polytonality definitely gives a very unsettling, primitive sound.

This is an interesting harmonization...a dominant chord in first (6/5) inversion is filled with dissonant intervals, and adding the bass a half step above the "tonic" of these dominants adds even more dissonance.

This is what I'm doing on my holiday off.....lol.

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Many people have scoffed at the suggestion that Jaws was inspired by The Rite of Spring. I was one of them... until I actually listened closely.

These two main themes are pretty much based on the same dissonant chord.

Pianists, play the following-

RH: Eb7 chord in 1st inversion, play it in the middle C octave

LH: E note, play it two octaves below

This is the cell that is prominent through much of Rite. Play it quickly and repeatedly with the ragged accents of Danses des Adolescentes and you'll hear it.

Now for Jaws... instead of repeating that chord over and over again, transpose both hands up a half step so that the RH plays an E7 chord 1st inv and the LH plays an F. Go back and forth between these two chords quickly and staccato, just like you were playing the Jaws theme.

There you go.

The "Augers" chords in "Rite of Spring" are a full E-major chord ((Root, third, fifth, also the upper E)

Yeah I said it was an E note but you're right, it's an entire E triad in the LH.

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The Jaws theme is actually based on Gerald Fried's theme for the Doomsday Machine

Always thought the similarities to this were GLARING as well, although the harmonization is different. Here's to Gerald Fried! :)

I can't say I know much about this. Any clips online of the part you are talking about?

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The Jaws theme is actually based on Gerald Fried's theme for the Doomsday Machine

Always thought the similarities to this were GLARING as well, although the harmonization is different. Here's to Gerald Fried! ^_^

I can't say I know much about this. Any clips online of the part you are talking about?

Actually, I guess Steef and I were both wrong. It's a Sol Kaplan score, not Gerald Fried.

The main spot in the episiode is at the end when Scotty is trying to get Kirk beamed aboard and the transporter keeps malfunctioning (as usual). It's just a repeated half-step, E to F, in the bass clarinet and low strings. It eventually goes to a whole step, E to F#, etc., but it is very "Jaws-like."

I'm pretty sure that even Sol Kaplan didn't write the first half-step eighth-note motif, just an interesting similarity.

BTW if you get the soundtrack to "The Doomsday Machine," you can hear this at around 1:46 in the track "Kirk Does it Again." I believe it's on iTunes, but I may be wrong...I've been wrong before. (See above...!)

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