Why this creepy melody is in so many movies

  • Publicado el 16 sep 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: esclips.com/video/GLGa6vfDTIM/vídeo.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 (esclips.com/video/dbbtmskCRUY/vídeo.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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Comentarios • 2 100

  • Vox
    Vox  Hace un mes +3956

    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 Hace 9 días


    • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
      Sebastian-Benedict Flore Hace 12 días

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

    • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
      Sebastian-Benedict Flore Hace 12 días

      @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 Hace 12 días

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

  • June Jang
    June Jang Hace un día

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

  • panda_coffee animation
    panda_coffee animation Hace un día

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

  • GoodRebelMusic
    GoodRebelMusic Hace un día

    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 Hace un día

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

  • Blueflower L
    Blueflower L Hace 2 días

    now explain how Sheneneh Jenkins got her name

  • Rohith Kumar
    Rohith Kumar Hace 3 días

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

  • Flat Iron
    Flat Iron Hace 5 días

    It's not scary tho

  • July Qn
    July Qn Hace 8 días

    It‘s also in riverdale in every episode !!

  • joachim lewyy
    joachim lewyy Hace 8 días

    Did you really said LINST ?


  • Jordan Elizabeth
    Jordan Elizabeth Hace 9 días

    I'm singing that song in choir rn lol

  • God Himself
    God Himself Hace 10 días

    Di-es irae di-es irae!!!

  • Victoria the green cheek conure

    I think this was in jarassic park

  • BloodGuzzler
    BloodGuzzler Hace 10 días

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

  • xenontesla122
    xenontesla122 Hace 11 días

    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 Hace 11 días

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

  • asteadydecline
    asteadydecline Hace 12 días

    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 Hace 12 días

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

  • Gayle Cheung
    Gayle Cheung Hace 12 días


  • TheVoiceOfTruth
    TheVoiceOfTruth Hace 12 días

    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
    Sebastian-Benedict Flore Hace 12 días

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

  • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
    Sebastian-Benedict Flore Hace 12 días

    Dramaalert is more accurate than Vox

  • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
    Sebastian-Benedict Flore Hace 12 días

    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
    Sebastian-Benedict Flore Hace 12 días

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

  • Sebastian-Benedict Flore
    Sebastian-Benedict Flore Hace 12 días

    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 Hace 12 días

      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 Hace 12 días

    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 Hace 13 días

    So it’s like the lick but less funny

  • Zander Seventy Two
    Zander Seventy Two Hace 13 días +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 Hace 14 días


  • brivnii
    brivnii Hace 14 días +2

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

  • David Layton
    David Layton Hace 14 días

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

  • Ryan Douglas
    Ryan Douglas Hace 18 días

    6.6m subs but still records audio on an iphone?

  • The Gayest Dryer
    The Gayest Dryer Hace 18 días +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 Hace 18 días

    Lord of the rings extended it

  • Xser Gods
    Xser Gods Hace 18 días

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

  • Raphael Cavalcanti
    Raphael Cavalcanti Hace 19 días +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 Hace 19 días

    Who gets inspiration from a Painting depicting suffering and death?

  • Matthew Forte
    Matthew Forte Hace 19 días

    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 Hace 20 días

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

  • Bo Inman
    Bo Inman Hace 20 días +8

    We are singing “Dies Irae” in choir

  • matteste
    matteste Hace 20 días

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

  • Michael Keenan
    Michael Keenan Hace 21 un día

    Link to the chant at 1:00 please?

  • ShoogaMoogaMan
    ShoogaMoogaMan Hace 21 un día

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

  • Lesly Rodriguez
    Lesly Rodriguez Hace 21 un día

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

  • BinStolz - AufDich
    BinStolz - AufDich Hace 21 un día

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

  • Alessandro Di Piazza
    Alessandro Di Piazza Hace 21 un día

    I recognised it gg

  • John Barreiros
    John Barreiros Hace 21 un día

    This video for some reason totally fascinated me..

  • cinetic_ clips
    cinetic_ clips Hace 22 días

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

  • IGitzDiz Music
    IGitzDiz Music Hace 22 días

    It's used in Home Alone.

  • Communist Propagandist
    Communist Propagandist Hace 22 días

    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 Hace 23 días

    You have made me rethink music.

  • シFloofie_Pan
    シFloofie_Pan Hace 23 días


  • jupiter is a bean
    jupiter is a bean Hace 23 días

    this is actually so cool

  • Silver Addie Fun Pack
    Silver Addie Fun Pack Hace 23 días

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

  • NJMProductions
    NJMProductions Hace 24 días

    frick u vox pewdipe is best

  • Johnny St.Louis
    Johnny St.Louis Hace 24 días

    MGS 1-The best is yet to come

  • Jack Tracy
    Jack Tracy Hace 24 días

    Dead by Daylight

  • Fortnite Default.Streamer YT

    Ghidorah has this but like its faster

  • Oli Os
    Oli Os Hace 24 días

    What is the piece of artwork at 4:07 called please?

    • Oli Os
      Oli Os Hace 19 días

      Jude Al-Safadi beautiful, thank you.

    • Jude Al-Safadi
      Jude Al-Safadi Hace 20 días +1

      Oli Os Hans Memling's triptych Last Judgment

  • Max Simon
    Max Simon Hace 24 días +2

    2:06 Is it just me or does that sound like the shining