Why this creepy melody is in so many movies

  • čas přidán 16. 09. 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: chclip.net/video/GLGa6vfDTIM/video.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 (chclip.net/video/dbbtmskCRUY/video.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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Komentáře • 2 102

  • Vox
    Vox  Před měsícem +3959

    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 Před 10 dny


    • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
      Sebastian-Benedict Flore Před 14 dny

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

    • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
      Sebastian-Benedict Flore Před 14 dny

      @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 Před 14 dny

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

  • william gordon
    william gordon Před 20 hodinami

    Three words:

  • Brandon Holmes
    Brandon Holmes Před 2 dny

    Hey @Vox , what song is used in the credits of this video? something PD? link?

  • June Jang
    June Jang Před 3 dny

    its also in a piece for the pandora's box myth.

  • panda_coffee animation

    When you already knew this because you’ve watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame 10000000000+ times

  • GoodRebelMusic
    GoodRebelMusic Před 3 dny

    Do a vid on how 4/4 time signature became the most common. Even in classical it is the most common. Was it a fluke? Is there some primordial reason? What's the deal?

  • Topeka Bodega
    Topeka Bodega Před 3 dny

    All I hear is "Making Christmas! Making Christmas!" Lol

  • Blueflower L
    Blueflower L Před 4 dny

    now explain how Sheneneh Jenkins got her name

  • Rohith Kumar
    Rohith Kumar Před 5 dny

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

  • Flat Iron
    Flat Iron Před 6 dny

    It's not scary tho

  • July Qn
    July Qn Před 10 dny

    It‘s also in riverdale in every episode !!

  • joachim lewyy
    joachim lewyy Před 10 dny

    Did you really said LINST ?


  • Jordan Elizabeth
    Jordan Elizabeth Před 10 dny

    I'm singing that song in choir rn lol

  • God Himself
    God Himself Před 11 dny

    Di-es irae di-es irae!!!

  • Victoria the green cheek conure

    I think this was in jarassic park

  • BloodGuzzler
    BloodGuzzler Před 11 dny

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

  • xenontesla122
    xenontesla122 Před 12 dny

    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 Před 12 dny

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

  • asteadydecline
    asteadydecline Před 13 dny

    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 Před 13 dny

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

  • Gayle Cheung
    Gayle Cheung Před 13 dny


  • TheVoiceOfTruth
    TheVoiceOfTruth Před 13 dny

    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

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

  • Sebastian-Benedict Flore

    Dramaalert is more accurate than Vox

  • Sebastian-Benedict Flore

    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

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

  • Sebastian-Benedict Flore

    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 Před 14 dny

      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 Před 14 dny

    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 Před 14 dny

    So it’s like the lick but less funny

  • Zander Seventy Two
    Zander Seventy Two Před 14 dny +1

    "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 Před 15 dny


  • brivnii
    brivnii Před 16 dny +2

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

  • David Layton
    David Layton Před 16 dny

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

  • Ryan Douglas
    Ryan Douglas Před 19 dny

    6.6m subs but still records audio on an iphone?

  • The Gayest Dryer
    The Gayest Dryer Před 19 dny +1

    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 Před 20 dny

    Lord of the rings extended it

  • Xser Gods
    Xser Gods Před 20 dny

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

  • Raphael Cavalcanti
    Raphael Cavalcanti Před 20 dny +2

    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 Před 21 dnem

    Who gets inspiration from a Painting depicting suffering and death?

  • Matthew Forte
    Matthew Forte Před 21 dnem

    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 Před 21 dnem

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

  • Bo Inman
    Bo Inman Před 21 dnem +8

    We are singing “Dies Irae” in choir

  • matteste
    matteste Před 22 dny

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

  • Michael Keenan
    Michael Keenan Před 22 dny

    Link to the chant at 1:00 please?

  • ShoogaMoogaMan
    ShoogaMoogaMan Před 22 dny

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

  • Lesly Rodriguez
    Lesly Rodriguez Před 22 dny

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

  • BinStolz - AufDich
    BinStolz - AufDich Před 22 dny

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

  • Alessandro Di Piazza
    Alessandro Di Piazza Před 23 dny

    I recognised it gg

  • John Barreiros
    John Barreiros Před 23 dny

    This video for some reason totally fascinated me..

  • cinetic_ clips
    cinetic_ clips Před 24 dny

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

  • IGitzDiz Music
    IGitzDiz Music Před 24 dny

    It's used in Home Alone.

  • Communist Propagandist
    Communist Propagandist Před 24 dny

    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 Před 24 dny

    You have made me rethink music.

  • シFloofie_Pan
    シFloofie_Pan Před 25 dny


  • jupiter is a bean
    jupiter is a bean Před 25 dny

    this is actually so cool

  • Silver Addie Fun Pack
    Silver Addie Fun Pack Před 25 dny

    It’s also in Jack’s Lament from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
    He’s already dead anyway.

  • NJMProductions
    NJMProductions Před 25 dny

    frick u vox pewdipe is best

  • Johnny St.Louis
    Johnny St.Louis Před 25 dny

    MGS 1-The best is yet to come

  • Jack Tracy
    Jack Tracy Před 25 dny

    Dead by Daylight

  • Fortnite Default.Streamer YT

    Ghidorah has this but like its faster