Friday, Dec 09, 2022

Top film scores composed by the legendary John Williams: Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park

Be it the galaxy far, far away (Star Wars), giant prehistoric reptiles rampaging through an island (Jurassic Park), or the hallways of Hogwarts (Harry Potter), John Williams' immortal melodies are legendary as the films they featured in. Here we list 5 of the best.

John Williams, John Williams birthdayJohn Williams turns 90 today. (Photo: AP)

For more than five decades, John Williams has been synonymous with Hollywood film music. The achievements of this bearded nonagenarian (he turns 90 today) will stupefy even the most jaded souls.

He possesses 25 Grammy Awards and 5 Oscars. If those weren’t enough, after Walt Disney, he has the most Oscar nominations: 52. His resume gets more and more staggering when you learn more about him.

But the real achievement of the legend would be the impact on film music his scores have had. Even if you haven’t heard of him and you listen to theme music of movies and/or have seen popular Hollywood movies, chances are, you are already intimately familiar with Williams’ work — you just didn’t know it yet.

Be it the galaxy far, far away (Star Wars), giant prehistoric reptiles rampaging through an island (Jurassic Park), or the hallways of Hogwarts (Harry Potter), Williams’ immortal tunes seem to be prevalent, and in many ways they are.

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Here, we list 10 best scores from the Master.

Superman (1978)

“You’ll believe a man can fly,” insisted the posters and other marketing material of Richard Donner, progenitor of the modern superhero movie, Superman. But it was not until Williams’ grandiose, triumphant theme began to play that the Man of Steel really took flight. The music has been so influential that it was played even in 2017’s Justice League.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Conceived by Star Wars creator George Lucas and realised by Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark introduced to the world Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones, had a compelling hero who was the archetypical adventurer, and lived a life many just dreamt of. The film was the fifth collaboration between Williams and Spielberg, a partnership that had one of the — if not the — greatest artistic synergies in cinematic history.

For the film and its unique hero, Williams crafted music that spoke of adventure and fun and also gave a sense of mystery to the film’s MacGuffin — the titular Ark. You know music is its own language, but it is hard to actually realise how true it is until one listens to Williams’ music.

Star Wars (1977)


With Star Wars: A New Hope, George Lucas created one of the biggest movie franchises ever. But he would not have done so without John Williams. Not for nothing it was voted the best film score of all time by the American Film Institute. The epic, soaring main theme, sonically presenting a galaxy far, far away or the grandiose Imperial March, eliciting the inevitability of the Galactic Empire.

Harry Potter (2001-2012)

Harry Potter books and movies have been part of many who grew up in the 1990s and 2000s, and Hedwig’s Theme, which has now become the theme of the film series and the franchise. The theme, that played with the Warner Bros logo, begins with soft noted of a celesta, then gradually rises and rises to a full orchestra. It is easily one of the most recognisable pieces of film music ever. It is magical in every sense of the word. Hedwig’s Theme sounds like childhood.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is said to have changed the Hollywood blockbuster forever. It also gave a new understanding of these long-dead giant reptiles to a world that was largely ignorant about the enormity of the fact that they once walked the earth. Jurassic Park was made on a grand scale, and John Williams gave it music to match. The main theme evokes a sense of mystery and awe — just what the Spielberg was aiming for the film.

First published on: 09-02-2022 at 10:45:51 am
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