Did John Williams Steal The Score For ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Jaws’?

Much like the old story that Led Zeppelin stole most of their riffs from TV ad jingles selling detergent and other household items in the ’70’s, this is another one of a different variety; film scores.

John Williams, the modern godfather of film music who scored countless iconic themes from Star Wars to Jaws, may have lifted those particular themes from other composers. Back then, music was written at a time where one could easily snag a few ideas here and there without many people knowing, but in today’s internet world, it’s a little harder to get away with such thievery. And in this case, it seems pretty glaringly obvious, but we’ll let you be the judge.

Someone has already put together a nice comparison between Williams’ Star Wars theme compared to what most people are calling Williams’ obvious source, the theme from King’s Row, a 1942 film with a score by Erich Korngold. Give it a listen.

I could definitely see Williams listening to that score, thinking how he could add on following notes that would later create one of the greatest themes of all time. But that’s not all.

For this next track, you could swear you’re hearing one of the most memorable themes of all time–Jaws. But when you hear Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony, it’s hard to tell the two apart. Did two people really come up with this theme coincidentally? Give the comparison a listen below.

Of course this isn’t the first time these comparison’s have ever been made but it’s certainly the first time we have ever heard of them. And we can’t help but wonder if Williams did actually lift a few cues from these existing tunes. Regardless, it probably won’t make me enjoy his themes any less I have to admit. Why? Because most creative work is inspired by something to some degree. Just ask Quentin Tarantino.

So what do you guys think? Is John Williams a dirty thief? Or are these themes coincidental.

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Source: Howard Stern