Why this creepy melody is in so many movies

  • Опубликовано: 16 сентября 2019
  • This deathly 13th-century song shows up everywhere.

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    Correction: Mozart’s Requiem isn’t a symphony, it’s a requiem: a type of Catholic mass for the dead. It was initially written for mass but later popularized and performed outside the church, as was Verdi's.

    Think back to some of the most dramatic scenes in film history — from The Lion King, The Shining, It’s a Wonderful Life. Besides being sad or scary, they have something else in common: the dies irae. “Dies irae” translates from Latin to “Day of Wrath” — it’s a 13th-century Gregorian chant describing the day Catholics believe God will judge the living and the dead and send them to heaven or hell. And it was sung during one specific mass: funerals.

    As Catholicism permeated world culture, the melody of the chant was repurposed into classical music, where it was used to convey a deathly, eerie tone. From there it worked its way into films — and if you don’t already know it, you’ve almost certainly heard it before: It’s played over and over in our scariest and most dramatic cinematic moments.

    Here’s Alex Ludwig’s original supercut of movies featuring the dies irae: https://youtu.be/GLGa6vfDTIM

    There are so many references to the dies irae in classical music that we couldn’t include. One is Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 1908 “symphonic poem” Isle of the Dead (https://youtu.be/dbbtmskCRUY?t=1032). He was inspired by this painting from Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin that shows a coffin and white figure on their way to a small island (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_the_Dead_(painting)).

    Alex briefly touched on the differences between the ancient dorian mode and the modern minor mode. There’s a ton written online about them, but here’s a good place to start if you’re curious: https://www.musical-u.com/learn/get-familiar-with-the-dorian-mode/#

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Комментарии • 2 095

  • Vox
    Vox   1 месяцев назад

    Correction: Mozart’s Requiem isn’t a symphony, it’s a requiem: a type of Catholic mass for the dead. It was initially written for mass but later popularized and performed outside the church, as was Verdi's.

    • Deltron
      Deltron  6 дней назад


    • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
      Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

      @JTagStudios Yeah lol that one wasn't even the Dies Irae

    • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
      Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

      @Simon du Toit Did you know that using a semitone interval in a melody makes the listener feel uncomfortable? Thanks Vox

    • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
      Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

      You should probably delete the whole video because it's got a lot that is just not quite right m8

  • Rohith Kumar
    Rohith Kumar  22 часов назад

    I've heard that in Harry Potter also and in dead by daylight game.

    • Flat Iron
      Flat Iron  3 дней назад

      It's not scary tho

      • July Qn
        July Qn  6 дней назад

        It‘s also in riverdale in every episode !!

        • joachim lewyy
          joachim lewyy  6 дней назад

          Did you really said LINST ?


          • Jordan Elizabeth
            Jordan Elizabeth  7 дней назад

            I'm singing that song in choir rn lol

            • God Himself
              God Himself  1 недель назад

              Di-es irae di-es irae!!!

              • Victoria the green cheek conure
                Victoria the green cheek conure  1 недель назад

                I think this was in jarassic park

                • BloodGuzzler
                  BloodGuzzler  1 недель назад

                  Most iconic use is in The Shining? Who Wants to be a Millionaire begs to differ

                  • xenontesla122
                    xenontesla122  1 недель назад

                    5:12 The track from the exorcist (Tubular Bells) wasn't made for the movie and wasn't intended to be creepy, so it probably isn't a modified version of Dies Irae.

                    • josiah
                      josiah  1 недель назад

                      i love it so much in the shining, it's so stark!!

                      • asteadydecline
                        asteadydecline  1 недель назад

                        My friend brought it to my attention that it's also in Clerks II as Elias is explaining "Pillow Pants" to Randal. I checked and it's also uncredited.

                        • Mr. Gigan
                          Mr. Gigan  1 недель назад

                          2:06 so that's where they got the shining theme.🤔

                          • Gayle Cheung
                            Gayle Cheung  1 недель назад


                            • TheVoiceOfTruth
                              TheVoiceOfTruth  1 недель назад

                              So basically it was created to be apart of their nwo rituals to sacrifice to Remphan, Moloch, and Dagon. It has nasty dark undertones because that is exactly what it is

                              • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
                                Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

                                I do not feel uncomfortable listening to the Dies Irae melody. It can be very calming and soothing.

                                • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
                                  Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

                                  Dramaalert is more accurate than Vox

                                  • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
                                    Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

                                    According to this video, using a semitone (half-step) interval, not even together but consecutively, is displeasing to the ear. Ok sure then

                                    • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
                                      Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

                                      So, basically, this I'd the proto-lick?

                                      • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
                                        Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

                                        At 20 seconds, I recognise that melody from Liszt Totentanz. It's the main theme of his death dance, used exactly like that in every variation. The melody is unchanging

                                        • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
                                          Sebastian-Benedict Flore  1 недель назад

                                          Oh I just got to the point in the video where they mention Liszt. Yeah obviously it's all dies irae. I like Britten's

                                      • Phoebe Wolf
                                        Phoebe Wolf  1 недель назад

                                        This sounds like (I'm not sure if this is true) the Disney channel theme song but in a minor key

                                        • Niklas Soderstrom
                                          Niklas Soderstrom  1 недель назад

                                          So it’s like the lick but less funny

                                          • Zander Seventy Two
                                            Zander Seventy Two  1 недель назад

                                            "The Exorcist theme" is a stretch, given it wasn't composed for that film. It is, in fact, Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. It is possible that these notes could appear in a piece purely by coincidence (there's only four of them) - but you'd have to ask Mike Oldfield to be sure.

                                            • QuantumBraced
                                              QuantumBraced  2 недель назад

                                              Jeez, SPOILER ALERT!

                                              • brivnii
                                                brivnii  2 недель назад

                                                I believe these notes are in the new Joker movie as well.

                                                • David Layton
                                                  David Layton  2 недель назад

                                                  The theme from "10 Cloverfield Lane" uses it heavily.

                                                  • Ryan Douglas
                                                    Ryan Douglas  2 недель назад

                                                    6.6m subs but still records audio on an iphone?

                                                    • The Gayest Dryer
                                                      The Gayest Dryer  2 недель назад

                                                      OMG my choir teacher just taught us about this! We even played a song called "dies irae" that had those 4 notes a lot!

                                                      • DARTH VADER
                                                        DARTH VADER  2 недель назад

                                                        Lord of the rings extended it

                                                        • Xser Gods
                                                          Xser Gods  2 недель назад

                                                          4:20 to say Dorian mode is Minor mode is like saying oranges are apples, they are completely different

                                                          • Raphael Cavalcanti
                                                            Raphael Cavalcanti  2 недель назад

                                                            I first heard this chanted by two choirmen in a small chapel in the first requiem I've ever attended, reading the lyrics and the translation as they sung. It was chilling, I felt at unease.

                                                            • Timothy White
                                                              Timothy White  2 недель назад

                                                              Who gets inspiration from a Painting depicting suffering and death?

                                                              • Matthew Forte
                                                                Matthew Forte  2 недель назад

                                                                Hey, Vox, can we get someone to read these music ones who can pronounce Mozart's name correctly? Or Liszt's? Is that a possibility? I do not want to be too hoighty toighty, but it is hard to take this 'music expertise' stuff seriously when you cannot even pronounce the names of the figures you are alluding to correctly.

                                                                • Jude Al-Safadi
                                                                  Jude Al-Safadi  2 недель назад

                                                                  4:21 Who made this work of art? Is it a painting by Memling maybe?

                                                                  • Bo Inman
                                                                    Bo Inman  3 недель назад

                                                                    We are singing “Dies Irae” in choir

                                                                    • matteste
                                                                      matteste  3 недель назад

                                                                      It was also used in the visual novel Dies Irae (obviously)

                                                                      • Michael Keenan
                                                                        Michael Keenan  3 недель назад

                                                                        Link to the chant at 1:00 please?

                                                                        • ShoogaMoogaMan
                                                                          ShoogaMoogaMan  3 недель назад

                                                                          Now currently used as the theme for both Final Space and Dead by Daylight

                                                                          • Lesly Rodriguez
                                                                            Lesly Rodriguez  3 недель назад

                                                                            I’m sure there is more stuff involved there is not many ways to arrange notes...

                                                                            • BinStolz - AufDich
                                                                              BinStolz - AufDich  3 недель назад

                                                                              The best use of the theme is in the star wars song: Anikans betrayal. 😊

                                                                              • Alessandro Di Piazza
                                                                                Alessandro Di Piazza  3 недель назад

                                                                                I recognised it gg

                                                                                • John Barreiros
                                                                                  John Barreiros  3 недель назад

                                                                                  This video for some reason totally fascinated me..

                                                                                  • cinetic_ clips
                                                                                    cinetic_ clips  3 недель назад

                                                                                    5:10 Ah, I see the Exorcist theme and Chocolate Rain are very similar! Thanks Vox.

                                                                                    • IGitzDiz Music
                                                                                      IGitzDiz Music  3 недель назад

                                                                                      It's used in Home Alone.

                                                                                      • Communist Propagandist
                                                                                        Communist Propagandist  3 недель назад

                                                                                        If you like these kind of videos check out the channel Sideways, he does practically this video plus a bunch of other great videos.

                                                                                        • Requiredfields2
                                                                                          Requiredfields2  3 недель назад

                                                                                          You have made me rethink music.

                                                                                          • シFloofie_Pan
                                                                                            シFloofie_Pan  3 недель назад

                                                                                            DONT FORGET MONSTER HIGH

                                                                                            • jupiter is a bean
                                                                                              jupiter is a bean  3 недель назад

                                                                                              this is actually so cool