Why this creepy melody is in so many movies

16 sept. 2019
1 643 427 Vues

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: frkeys.net/watch/GLGa6vfDTIM-vid%C3%A9o.html
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 (frkeys.net/watch/dbbtmskCRUY-vid%C3%A9o.html). 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 (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: www.musical-u.com/learn/get-familiar-with-the-dorian-mode/#
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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.

    VoxVoxIl y a mois
    • Duh

      DeltronDeltronIl y a 6 jours
    • @JTagStudios Yeah lol that one wasn't even the Dies Irae

      Sebastian-Benedict FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
    • @Simon du Toit Did you know that using a semitone interval in a melody makes the listener feel uncomfortable? Thanks Vox

      Sebastian-Benedict FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
    • You should probably delete the whole video because it's got a lot that is just not quite right m8

      Sebastian-Benedict FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
  • now explain how Sheneneh Jenkins got her name

    Blueflower LBlueflower LIl y a 9 heures
  • I've heard that in Harry Potter also and in dead by daylight game.

    Rohith KumarRohith KumarIl y a jour
  • It's not scary tho

    Flat IronFlat IronIl y a 2 jours
  • It‘s also in riverdale in every episode !!

    July QnJuly QnIl y a 6 jours
  • Did you really said LINST ? 2:47

    joachim lewyyjoachim lewyyIl y a 6 jours
  • I'm singing that song in choir rn lol

    Jordan ElizabethJordan ElizabethIl y a 7 jours
  • Di-es irae di-es irae!!!

    God HimselfGod HimselfIl y a 7 jours
  • I think this was in jarassic park

    Victoria the green cheek conureVictoria the green cheek conureIl y a 7 jours
  • Most iconic use is in The Shining? Who Wants to be a Millionaire begs to differ

    BloodGuzzlerBloodGuzzlerIl y a 7 jours
  • 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.

    xenontesla122xenontesla122Il y a 8 jours
  • i love it so much in the shining, it's so stark!!

    josiahjosiahIl y a 8 jours
  • 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.

    asteadydeclineasteadydeclineIl y a 9 jours
  • 2:06 so that's where they got the shining theme.🤔

    Mr. GiganMr. GiganIl y a 9 jours
  • Awesome

    Gayle CheungGayle CheungIl y a 10 jours
  • 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

    TheVoiceOfTruthTheVoiceOfTruthIl y a 10 jours
  • I do not feel uncomfortable listening to the Dies Irae melody. It can be very calming and soothing.

    Sebastian-Benedict FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
  • Dramaalert is more accurate than Vox

    Sebastian-Benedict FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
  • 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 FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
  • So, basically, this I'd the proto-lick?

    Sebastian-Benedict FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
  • 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 FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
    • 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

      Sebastian-Benedict FloreSebastian-Benedict FloreIl y a 10 jours
  • This sounds like (I'm not sure if this is true) the Disney channel theme song but in a minor key

    Phoebe WolfPhoebe WolfIl y a 10 jours
  • So it’s like the lick but less funny

    Niklas SoderstromNiklas SoderstromIl y a 10 jours
  • "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.

    Zander Seventy TwoZander Seventy TwoIl y a 10 jours

    QuantumBracedQuantumBracedIl y a 11 jours
  • I believe these notes are in the new Joker movie as well.

    brivniibrivniiIl y a 12 jours
  • The theme from "10 Cloverfield Lane" uses it heavily.

    David LaytonDavid LaytonIl y a 12 jours
  • 6.6m subs but still records audio on an iphone?

    Ryan DouglasRyan DouglasIl y a 15 jours
  • OMG my choir teacher just taught us about this! We even played a song called "dies irae" that had those 4 notes a lot!

    The Gayest DryerThe Gayest DryerIl y a 15 jours
  • Lord of the rings extended it

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

    Xser GodsXser GodsIl y a 16 jours
  • 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.

    Raphael CavalcantiRaphael CavalcantiIl y a 16 jours
  • Who gets inspiration from a Painting depicting suffering and death?

    Timothy WhiteTimothy WhiteIl y a 17 jours
  • 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.

    Matthew ForteMatthew ForteIl y a 17 jours
  • 4:21 Who made this work of art? Is it a painting by Memling maybe?

    Jude Al-SafadiJude Al-SafadiIl y a 17 jours
  • We are singing “Dies Irae” in choir

    Bo InmanBo InmanIl y a 17 jours
  • It was also used in the visual novel Dies Irae (obviously)

    mattestemattesteIl y a 18 jours
  • Link to the chant at 1:00 please?

    Michael KeenanMichael KeenanIl y a 18 jours
  • Now currently used as the theme for both Final Space and Dead by Daylight

    ShoogaMoogaManShoogaMoogaManIl y a 18 jours
  • I’m sure there is more stuff involved there is not many ways to arrange notes...

    Lesly RodriguezLesly RodriguezIl y a 18 jours
  • The best use of the theme is in the star wars song: Anikans betrayal. 😊

    BinStolz - AufDichBinStolz - AufDichIl y a 19 jours
  • I recognised it gg

    Alessandro Di PiazzaAlessandro Di PiazzaIl y a 19 jours
  • This video for some reason totally fascinated me..

    John BarreirosJohn BarreirosIl y a 19 jours
  • 5:10 Ah, I see the Exorcist theme and Chocolate Rain are very similar! Thanks Vox.

    cinetic_ clipscinetic_ clipsIl y a 20 jours
  • It's used in Home Alone.

    IGitzDiz MusicIGitzDiz MusicIl y a 20 jours
  • If you like these kind of videos check out the channel Sideways, he does practically this video plus a bunch of other great videos.

    Communist PropagandistCommunist PropagandistIl y a 20 jours
  • You have made me rethink music.

    Requiredfields2Requiredfields2Il y a 20 jours

    シFloofie_PanシFloofie_PanIl y a 21 jour
  • this is actually so cool

    jupiter is a beanjupiter is a beanIl y a 21 jour
  • It’s also in Jack’s Lament from The Nightmare Before Christmas. He’s already dead anyway.

    Silver Addie Fun PackSilver Addie Fun PackIl y a 21 jour
  • frick u vox pewdipe is best

    NJMProductionsNJMProductionsIl y a 21 jour
  • MGS 1-The best is yet to come

    Johnny St.LouisJohnny St.LouisIl y a 21 jour
  • Dead by Daylight

    Jack TracyJack TracyIl y a 21 jour
  • Ghidorah has this but like its faster

    Fortnite Default.Streamer YTFortnite Default.Streamer YTIl y a 22 jours
  • What is the piece of artwork at 4:07 called please?

    Oli OsOli OsIl y a 22 jours
    • Jude Al-Safadi beautiful, thank you.

      Oli OsOli OsIl y a 17 jours
    • Oli Os Hans Memling's triptych Last Judgment

      Jude Al-SafadiJude Al-SafadiIl y a 17 jours
  • 2:06 Is it just me or does that sound like the shining

    Max SimonMax SimonIl y a 22 jours
  • These are amazing!!!

    Rodrigo Fagundes TerassovichRodrigo Fagundes TerassovichIl y a 22 jours
  • It's also used in thousands of other songs as this short progression is almost unavoidable in any music written in any key that has these notes. ROOT... HALF STEP LOWER.... ROOT.... FULL STEP LOWER Of course this will appear everywhere. If you were to play the preceding and following 2 or 3 measures all of those songs would be unrecognizable as far as similarity to each other. If you were to shorten the progression down to just 3 notes you would see thousands and thousands MORE songs that use THOSE 3 CREEPY NOTES! Next do a video on just the F note and how it miraculously appears in almost every song ever written - how creepy that would be....

    RepomeisterRepomeisterIl y a 22 jours
  • Random statement but old church music will forever be one of the scariest things to me

    Jehudi PhillipsJehudi PhillipsIl y a 22 jours
  • 3:05 wait- I recognize this

    hatter hannahhatter hannahIl y a 22 jours