Episode 2: Raiders of the Lost Ark - Part 2

In the second episode of Art of the Score, we’re going even deeper into John Williams’ 1981 score for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

In the previous episode, we looked at the main themes for the score – in this episode, we’ll uncover the hidden moments and orchestrational genius that makes Raiders a film score for the ages.


Episode Notes:

2:50 – The opening cue of the film – ‘In the Jungle’
9:40 – Indiana Jones’ introduction in the film, both musical and visual
11:45 – ‘The Idol Temple’ and the spider pizzicato
16:40 – Comparison with the restless strings in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho
20:45 – The stealing of the Idol
23:40 – The rolling boulder, killer trumpet triplets, and Williams’ respect for sound effects
28:40 – The development of Marion’s theme across the score, from wistful, to tragic, to overblown romance
36:50 – The development of the Indiana Jones theme across the score, starting with its introduction
41:20 – Indiana Jones the sad and lonely professor, played on clarinet
44:00 – Indiana Jones the action star
47:15 – Our favourite performance of the Indiana Jones theme: the swim to the submarine
49:00 – Comparison with The Sea Hawk (Korngold)
52:00 – The travelling and map sequences of the film, ‘To Nepal’ and ‘Flight to Cairo’
1:00:00 – The action cues of Raiders
1:01:55 – ‘The Basket Game’ and melodies in action sequences
1:06:15 – ‘The Fist Fight / The Flying Wing’
1:09:00 – ‘Desert Chase’ and the trials of the orchestra
1:12:40 – John Williams does the Macarena
1:14:00 – The unscored bar fight
1:15:50 – The religious moments in the score
1:16:30 – ‘The Map Room: Dawn’ and turning religious awe into musical certainty
1:22:50 – Comparison with ‘The Lighting of the Beacons’ from Howard Shore’s Return of the King
1:25:50 – ‘The Medallion’ theme (or is it the Ark’s B theme?)
1:29:10 – ‘The Miracle of the Ark’ and the power of the Ark
1:31:40 – Williams’ use of horror music and slapsticks for the terror of the Ark
1:35:14 – The final cue of the film, and ending on the Ark theme

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