sub specie aeternitatis

Answer: It’s Actually From an Early 20th Century Ballet

November 16, 2006

Okay, sorry for the trick question. Yesterday’s excerpt actually came from a piece by Igor Stravinsky called The Right of Spring. And to be more specific, it comes from the introduction to Part II of this ballet. But why does it sound just like the music from Tatooine in Star Wars IV? Wikipedia has an answer:

Many subsequent film composers have been influenced by The Rite of Spring and sometimes make indirect references to it. For example, John Williams‘s theme for the Dune Sea of Tatooine in the original Star Wars soundtrack begins with a permutation of the introduction to Part II of the Rite of Spring. In fact, much of the original Star Wars score (as well throughout the two trilogies) borrows heavily (albeit in a modified fashion) from the Rite, Stravinsky’s other ballets, and myriad other composers. The similarities to the Rite are the most obvious in Williams’ scores for Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, and the Indiana Jones trilogy.

Here is the music from Star Wars so you can compare it to Stravinsky’s creation.