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Was Jurassic Park Theme song original?

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I'm a big fan of John Williams and have loved the score from Jurassic Park. I've also played the piano for many years and ran across a piece composed by  Denes Agay titled Little Suite in Baroque Style 1. Prelude. It's uncanny how this piece, published in 1972,  sounds so much like the Jurassic Park theme song, published in 2007. Is there a connection?

Thank you,

Sonny Garza

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Do you mean this piece? I couldn't find anything else.

 

 

I mean, I can see where you're coming from, but it would be a real stretch to call that 5-note motif an inspiration for the Jurassic Park theme. It's a completely different style of music, too. There are no uncanny similarities that I can hear.

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When people say Jurassic Park theme I still think of the Helicopter theme.

 

Timestamped here, a lot of the harmonies and melody are identical to a phrase in Jurassic Park. There is definitely a connection as the majority of composers (no matter their skill) will unnoticeably copy little bits of different pieces to form a new piece. It doesn't have to be taken all from one source. It's more of a rare occurrence for a composer to sit at a piano coming up with totally original sequence, because the brain can't immediately interpret their utilization within a musical structure. Something 'heard' in memory tends to sound better, subconsciously artists take this without realization of their dependence, and thus, composition isn't solely a creative process, but an expressive process. Williams has a unique sound because he likes unique things, and subconsciously attracts to them. If only we were all as gifted as him meticulously stringing inspiration together in a unique, creative way.

 

 

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I do say so.

 

Of course what also happens is composer B takes exactly from composer A, then composer C either takes from A or B. There's no sure saying that Williams heard this directly, or only heard something composed before 1972 like the vaguely similar Bach piece, or made up that phrase of Jurassic Park in his mind, but the former is more likely.

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The similarities are so strong I don't see how they could be denied. Possibly subconsciously lifted, but the resemblance is so strong (starting at 0:44 in the video) that I'd lean towards a deliberate repurpose job.

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Thanks for the interesting feed back. I'm pretty sure there are no lyrics except for Jeff Goldblum's version sung on Seth Myers show. Was wondering if a.composer can use another composer's main theme if the first composer is still living?

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4 minutes ago, fanofjw said:

Thanks for the interesting feed back. I'm pretty sure there are no lyrics except for Jeff Goldblum's version sung on Seth Myers show. Was wondering if a.composer can use another composer's main theme if the first composer is still living?

No, unless the composer is in a coma, then everything is fair game.  That is why I need to get my vacuum cleaner back from Williams.  

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Imagine being shown a photograph of a "look-alike" of you from halfway across the world, and someone insisting that since you look so similar, you MUST be related.

 

Morricone once lost a court case because the judge couldn't understand how narrowing commonalities of an instrument, tuning, and technique, can take two individuals to the same spot.

 

If you think that similarities cannot occur in more than one element of music, imagine a pianist who can play with two hands, accompany a melodic line with harmony, transpose, improvise, and come up with variations.

 

Unrelated, but worth mentioning that Williams sometimes actually sounds a bit like very obscure students of great composers, because he has had the same starting points.

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I was once told by a composition teacher that if we just compose on instinct, you will just instinctively end up ripping off other composer whether you realize it or not, and that's why he told me, the only correct way to write music was with a tone series and mathematic formuli. That is total crap, but natually composers do do that sometimes, and sometimes they do it intentionally. Williams has done both, with Tree Song being my favorite example of taking a sound that inspired him and made it his own.

 

But there are some tonal qualities in this prelude that sound that same, but ultimately its really not. You have to think, Williams said that theme he wrote was meant to be this majestic "churchy" thing, which means he was probably thinking about the glory days of music written for the church, which would be Bach for the modern composer, as well as Handel. I've personally never heard any music that sounds like the JP theme, but the chord progression and the way it resolves is as old as music. He made it sound really really cool and more modern, but I don't think it was that Prelude that set him off.

 

And in terms of the composer who wrote this prelude, go listen to this:

 

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1 hour ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Why isn't that kid out playing, or working in a sweat-shop, or begging, or selling chipatis on the street, or something?

 

That kid? Are you referring to Lang Lang?

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I bet Williams never heard this obscure piece of music.

 

I believe the inspiration for the JP theme is Beethoven's 6th symphony , in the passage below. It's not a direct copy, but the structure is very similar and you can almost hear the pastoral JP theme in there. Curiously that's the piece Williams recommended in an inteview with Dudamel after he played the JP theme

 

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