Jaws / Main Theme / J. Williams

John Williams composed the film’s score, which earned him an Academy Award, his second win and first for Original Score, was and was later ranked the sixth greatest score by the American Film Institute. The main “shark” theme, a simple alternating pattern of two notes—variously identified as “E and F” or “F and F sharp” —became a classic piece of suspense music, synonymous with approaching danger (see leading-tone). Williams described the theme as “grinding away at you, just as a shark would do, instinctual, relentless, unstoppable.

Duration: 3’
Instrumentation: 2 Fl + 1 Picc, 1 Ob + 1 Eh, 2 Cl + 1 BCl, 2 Bsn + 1 CBsn // 4 Hrn, 3 Tpt, 4 Tbn (opt. 3), 1 Tba // Timp + 5 Perc // Hp, Pno // Strings