Music Appreciation: Dies Irae in movies

Have you heard the “Dies Irae”? My bet is that you have, even if you don’t realize it. The chant describes the “Day of Wrath,” and has consequently permeated Western music as a song of the dead. Even John Williams, in his score for Star Wars, uses it, as does Howard Shore in The Lord of the Rings. Tom Allen and the CBC present a video to demonstrate just how pervasive this particular chant is.

Dies Irae in movies: Tom Allen and the CBC trace the history of the Latin hymn

This video tracks one song across 800 years and multiple films (A.V. Club)

Stay tuned as I continue with my series on de Meij’s “Lord of the Rings” symphony (see, this post did have something to do with it, albeit indirectly!)

Lori Archer Sutherland

Librarian & musician. Collects model horses of all sorts. Bass clarinet nerd, doing more composing & arranging.

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