Woodstock Then and Now – A 50th Anniversary Celebration

Woodstock Then and Now is a first-hand transcription of a series of roundtable discussions and interviews with “Woodstock luminaries” held at the Berklee College of Music in April 2019. Here, the words of Michael Lang (Woodstock co-founder), Chip Monck (emcee, lighting and stage designer), Bill Hanley (audio engineer), Henry Diltz and Elliott Landy (photographers), Rona Elliot (public relations), and Gerardo Velez (percussionist for Jimi Hendrix) are presented for scholars and fans alike. Meeting all together for the first time since 1969, these luminaries shared Woodstock stories, talking about the impact of the festival on their careers and society as a whole.

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Alex Ludwig is an Associate Professor of Liberal Arts at Berklee College of Music. I teach music history courses ranging from The Beatles to Viennese Modernism and Film Music. My research interests include Sonata Theory and the role of editing in film musicals. In addition, I have been cataloguing film scores that use the chant melody “Dies Irae.” Check my list and let me know if you’ve found a new one for me.

When I’m not teaching, I’m playing and coaching soccer, or watching hockey, or running after my son, Lucas, or our new dog, Sofi.


  • Sonata Theory
  • Dies Irae
  • Film Musicals


  • PhD in Musicology, 2010

    Brandeis University

  • MFA in Musicology, 2003

    Brandeis University

  • BM in String Performance, Cello, 2001

    Boston University

Recent Posts

My Pedagogy Video

Given the current pandemic, all academic conferences have shifted online; some more successfully than others! This year, I was lucky …

Recent Radio Appearances

It’s spooky season and that means my work on the Dies irae in film music has bubbled up on the internet again. I was interviewed …

Shazam and the Online Listening Quiz

Here in New England, we get a fair amount of snow. Because of this, I usually build in a few classes that can be taught online. Given …

Let Flubaroo Grade It!

Most of my classes meet once a week, so I tend to start each class with a small, low-stakes warmup quiz. These quizzes serve a few …

What I'll Be Blogging About

Dies Irae

The use of the “Dies irae” plainchant has a long history in film music and other assorted media.1 Its liturgical text comprises vivid imagery of burning ash, illustrating the final day of judgement, and its modal music fits comfortably within a tonal context, highlighting the lowered third and seventh scale degrees. It is no surprise then that quoting the “Dies irae” chant remains a popular option for composers of film music; in fact, using the “Dies irae” in your film score today usually ellicits the same response of recognition in listeners as does the stock sound effect known as the “Wilhelm Scream.” Prominent examples of this chant appear in nearly every decade of the history of film music, ranging from It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) to Frozen 2 (2019) and The Mandalorian (2020).

Table of Contents

  1. Playlist of YouTube Supercuts
  2. Collection of Podcast Appearances
  3. My List of Dies Irae Quotations

Playlist of YouTube Supercuts

Here are my YouTube supercuts, including nearly 300 examples of the Dies Irae in film, television, and video games:


Collection of Podcast Appearances

Here are the various podcast episodes on which I have appeared to talk about the Dies Irae:

Why This Creepy Melody Is In So Many Movies

*the VOX video on which I consulted and appeared as a talking head

Twenty Thousand Hertz

Here and Now

*a podcast version of the “National Public Radio” show

Star Wars Music Minute

*a podcast where we nerd out about 5 minutes from A New Hope

Star Wars Music Minute

*a podcast where we nerd out about 5 minutes from SOLO

Star Wars Music Minute

*a podcast where we nerd out about 5 minutes from The Empire Strikes Back

My List of Dies Irae Quotations

FilmYearComposerTime StampType
Metropolis1927Gottfried Huppertz0:32:341
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans1927Hugo Riesenfeld1:19:203
Tale of Two Cities1935Herbert Strothart1:57:271
Foreign Correspondent1940Alfred Newman1:07:001
Day of Wrath1943Poul Schierbeck0:00:011
The Battle of China1944Dimitri Tiomkin0:24:051
Know Your Enemy: Japan1945Dmitri Tiomkin0:24:571
It’s a Wonderful Life1946Dmitri Tiomkin0:25:151-3
Angel on My Shoulder1946Dmitri Tiomkin0:13:001
Red Light1949Dimitri Tiomkin0:00:001
Young Bess1953Miklós Rózsa0:27:481
I Confess1953Dmitri Tiomkin0:01:551
The Sheep Has Five Legs1954Georges Van Parys0:15:252
Garden of Evil1954Bernard Herrmann0:28:001
On the Waterfront1954Leonard Bernstein1:33:202
Between Heaven and Hell1956Hugo Friedhofer0:00:301
Search for Paradise1957Dimitri Tiomkin0:11:131
Sleeping Beauty1957Jack Lawrence & Sammy Fain0:30:003
The Seventh Seal1957Erik Nodren00:08:002
The Screaming Skull1958Ernst Gold0:02:021
The Return of Dracula1958Gerald Fried0:00:141
Compulsion1959Lionel Newman1:03:201
Some Like It Hot1959Adolph Deutsch1:58:012
The City of the Dead1960Douglas Gamley1:17:171
Fall of the House of Usher1960Les Baxter1:08:111
The Unforgiven1960Dmitri Tiomkin1:16:422
Psycho1960Bernard Herrmann0:11:503
El Cid1961Miklós Rózsa1:34:231
The Great Escape1963Elmer Bernstein02:11:152
Jason and the Argonauts1963Bernard Herrmann1:37:001
The Jar1964Bernard Herrmann0:09:591
Becket1964Laurence Rosenthal0:03:401
I Malamando1964Ennio Morricone1:15:501
The Collector1965Maurice Jarre0:18:071
Fists in the Pocket1965Ennio Morricone0:00:012
Nightmare Castle1965Ennio Morricone0:25:301
The Bible: In the Beginning1966Toshiro Mayuzumi0:27:501
War and Peace1966Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov1:44:391
Escalation1968Ennio Morricone0:00:001
Dracula has Risen from the Grave1968James Bernard0:13:251B
The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh1971Nora Orlandi0:28:461B
Lust for a Vampire1971Harry Robinson0:50:151
A Clockwork Orange1971Wendy Carlos00:01:001
Mephisto Waltz1971Jerry Goldsmith00:00:311
The Devils1971Peter Maxwell Davies0:06:211
Vampire Circus1972David Whitaker0:49:121
The Vault of Horror1973Douglas Gamley0:00:061
Le Trio Infernal1974Ennio Morricone1:06:201B
From Beyond the Grave1974Douglas Gamley00:00:381
The Devil is a Woman1974Ennio Morricone0:00:541
The Omen1976Jerry Goldsmith0:00:081
Obsession1976Bernard Herrmann0:52:061
The Car1977Leonard Rosenman00:00:171
A New Hope1977John Williams00:40:151
Close Encounters of the Third Kind1977John Williams00:44:121
Superman1978John Williams0:12:363
Cruise Into Terror1978Gerald Fried0:01:001
The Medusa Touch1978Michael J. Lewis1:41:062
Salem’s Lot1979Henry Sukman0:01:591
Alien1979Jerry Goldsmith01:53:302
The Killer Nun1979Alessandro Alessandroni0:00:011
Moonraker1979John Barry0:32:303
Christmas Evil1980Christensen, Harris & Heyward0:42:003
The Shining1980Wendy Carlos00:00:001
Heavy Metal1981Elmer Bernstein1:10:482
Conan the Barbarian1982Basil Poledouris01:51:131
Superstition1982David Gibney0:04:051
Top Secret!1984Maurice Jarre0:32:171
Poltergeist1982Jerry Goldsmith01:44:012
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters1985Philip Glass00:35:153
Legend1985Tangerine Dream0:21:142
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning1985Henry Manfredini00:01:592
Back to the Future1985Alan Silvestri1:07:252
Friday the 13th: Part VI, Jason Lives1986Henry Manfredini00:04:152
Big Trouble in Little China1986John Carpenter/Alan Howarth00:11:111
The Mission1986Ennio Morricone00:32:561
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off1986Ira Newborn00:00:082
Empire of the Sun1987John Williams0:30:003
Friday the 13th: Part VII, The New Blood1988Henry Manfredini00:15:031-2
Predator1987Alan Silvestri1:15:002b
_Inspector Morse S2E21988Barrington Pheloung1:27:081
The Accidental Tourist1988John Williams1:54:332
Willow1988James Horner1:24:202
Murder She Wrote S5E131989David Bell0:13:001
Quantam Leap S2E111989Mike Post0:42:012
Batman1989Danny Elfman1:13:333
Dead Poets Society1989Maurice Jarre0:35:003
Home Alone1990John Williams00:06:581
Gremlins 21990Jerry Goldsmith01:34:482
The Witches1990Stanley Myers0:28:001
Maniac Cop 21990Jay Chattaway1:17:512
Presumed Innocent1990John Williams0:45:192
Beauty and the Beast1991Alan Mencken0:10:252b
Sleeping with the Enemy1991Jerry Goldsmith1:25:201
Bram Stoker’s Dracula1992Wojciech Kilar0:40:001B
Batman Returns1992Danny Elfman00:12:151
Jurassic Park1993John Williams01:18:301
The Nightmare Before Christmas1993Danny Elfman0:15:351
Demolition Man1993Eliot Goldenthal00:00:272
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm1993Shirley Walker0:02:002
Needful Things1993Patrick Doyle1:40:201
The Lion King1994Hans Zimmer0:37:251
Highlander III: The Sorcerer1994J. Peter Robinson0:32:102
Tales from the Dark Side1994Bill Frisell0:00:013b
Crimson Tide1995Hans Zimmer01:30:001
Nixon1995John Williams0:05:392
The Quick and the Dead1995Alan Silvestri1:03:142
Barb Wire1996Michael Colombier1:04:461
Independence Day1996David Arnold1:06:422
The Rock1996Smith/Zimmer0:20:261
The Hunchback of Notre Dame1996Alan Mencken0:03:381
Mars Attacks1996Danny Elfman00:02:412
A Time to Kill1996Elliot Goldenthal0:49:201
Sleepers1996John Williams2:22:003
Faceoff1997John Powell0:07:002b
Scream 21997Marco Beltrami0:40:072
Buffy the Vampire Slayer S1E21997Walter Murphyopening titles1
I Know What You Did Last Summer1997John Debney0:25:253
Amistad1997John Williams0:17:012
Deep Space 9 S5E191997Jay Chattaway0:25:253
Mulan1998Jerry Goldsmith0:55:542
Urban Legend1998Christopher Young01:18:373
Armageddon1998Trevor Rabin0:24:572
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 S7E101998Jay Chattaway0:09:553
Shakespeare in Love1998Stephen Warbeck0:00:573
The Thirteenth Floor1999Harald Kloser1:14:082
The Bone Collector1999Craig Armstrong01:48:592
The Sixth Sense1999James Newton Howard0:15:402
End of Days1999John Debney00:00:011
The Messenger: The Joan of Arc Story1999Èric Serra2:31:003
The World Is Not Enough1999David Arnold1:53:512
The Road to El Dorado2000Hans Zimmer & John Powell0:08:321
Gladiator2000Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard2:29:001
Shrek2001Harry Gregson-Williams/John Powell00:41:302
South Park S5E62001Scott Nickoley0:19:383
Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone2001John Williams2:08:273
Artifical Intelligence2001John Williams1:55:503
Attack of the Clones2002John Williams01:24:331
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets2002John Williams01:49:151
The Ring2002Hans Zimmer00:21:451
Signs2002James Newton Howard1:06:513
Irreversible2002Thomas Bangalter0:01:001
Gangs of New York2002Elmer Bernstein(rejected)1
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire2002Keith & Michael Strachan0:13:133
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre2003Steve Jablonsky1:10:533
Looney Tunes: Back in Action2003Jerry Goldsmith1:05:561
The Matrix Reloaded2003Don Davis01:12:122
The Matrix Revolutions2003Don Davis1:57:202
Kill Bill Vol. 22004sample of “The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh”0:23:201B
Lost S1E222004Michael Giacchino00:30:062
Team America: World Police2004Harry Gregson-Williams1:06:002
E.R. S10E182004Martin Davich0:20:203
Timesplitters–Future Perfect2005Graeme Norgatemain titles2
War of the Worlds2005John Williams00:49:492
Clerks 22006James L. Venable0:41:351
Death Note S1E192006Yoshihisa Hirano00:18:002
Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End2007Hans Zimmer02:34:003
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer2006Reinhold Heil0:14:233
The Illusionist2006Philip Glass0:24:173
The Bucket List2007Marc Shaiman0:06:232B
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull2008John Williams00:04:181
Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street2007Stephen Sondheim1:13:393-2
Bones S3E132008Peter Himmelman0:24:381
Angels and Demons2009Hans Zimmer01:57:312
Bolt2008John Powell1:22:383
Terminator Salvation2009Danny Elfman0:59:423
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen2009Steve Jablonsky1:43:523B
Drag Me to Hell2009Christopher Young1:29:333
Fantastic Mr. Fox2009Alexandre Desplat0:58:293
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark2010Marco Beltrami0:31:172
LOST S6E12010Michael Giacchino0:22:502
Predators2010John Debney1:17:163
Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol2011Michael Giacchino00:29:591
Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides2011Hans Zimmer01:55:001
Thor2011Patrick Doyle00:57:311
Kung Fu Panda 22011Zimmer/Powell1:02:393
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 22011Alexandre Desplat0:55:003
Wreck It Ralph2012Henry Jackman00:25:571
The Bourne Legacy2012James Newton Howard0:01:003
Psych S6E112012Adam Cohen0:33:191
The Best Offer2013Ennio Morricone0:13:18, 2:01:07, end titles2
Iron Man 32013Brian Tyler00:24:411
The Newsroom S2E72013Johnny Klimek0:48:123
Game of Thrones S5E12014Ramin Djiwadin00:22:151
Crimson Peak2015Fernando Velazquez00:00:001
Glitch S1E32015Cornel Wilczeck00:50:002
Terminator Genisys2015Lorne Balfe1:27:033b
10 Cloverfield Lane2016Bear McCreary00:00:001
Colossal2016Bear McCreary01:38:111
Rogue One2016Michael Giacchino01:12:481
Game of Thrones S6E52016Ramin Djawadi0:13:001
Star Trek Beyond2016Michael Giacchino1:28:083
Dead by Daylight2016Michael Aprilmain menu2
Dr. Strange2016Michael Giacchino1:35:362
Doctor Who: The Return of Mysterio S102016Murray Gold0:36:192
Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales2017Geoff Zanelli00:10:301
The Good Place S1E112017David Schwartz00:23:421
Justice League2017Danny Elfman0:25:253
Survivor S35E92017David Vanacore0:20:503
The Scariest Story Ever Told: A Mickey Mouse Spooktacular2017Christopher Willis0:07:142
Final Space S1E12018Shelby Merryopening titles3
The Spy Gone North2018Yeong-wook Jo01:04:401
Avengers: Infinity War2018Alan Silvestri0:33:521
Ready Player One2018Alan Silvestri00:57:512
Star Wars Rebels S4E112018Kevin Kiner00:02:262
Star Wars Rebels S4E132018Kevin Kiner00:14:282
Solo: A Star Wars Story2018John Powell0:48:392
Stranger Things S3E82019Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon0:41:152
Fruits Basket S2E212019Taku Kishimoto0:13:172
Eli2019Bear McCreary1:19:521
1BR2019Ronen Landa0:27:003
Doctor Sleep2019The Newton Brothers2:18:332
Frozen 22019Christophe Beck0:16:402
Succession S2E102019Nicholas Britell1:09:002
Toy Story2019Randy Newman1:15:202
Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby2019Zack Ryan0:59:383
Fargo S4E72020Jeff Russo0:25:313
Onward2020Jeff & Mychael Danna1:06:002
Westworld S3E52020Ramin Djawadi0:47:142
Cursed S1E42020Jeff Russo0:06:472
Fantasy Island2020Bear McCreary1:18:133
The Flight Attendant S1E82020Blake Neely0:39:123
The Mandalorian Chapter 162020Ludwig Göransson0:34:203
The Empty Man2020Christopher Young & Lustmord1:24:283
Deamon Slayer: Mugen Train2020Kajiura/Shiina1:30:002
Loki S1E52021Natalie Holt0:25:092
Fear Street: 19942021Marco Beltrami & M. Trumpp0:53:472
Fear Street: 16662021Marco Beltrami & M. Trumpp0:53:472
Reminiscence2021Ramin Djawadi0:03:282
Star Wars: Visions S1E42021Kevin Penkin0:14:502
White Lotus S1E12021Cristobal Tapia de Veermain titles3
_Last Night in Soho_2021Dies Irae is Diegetic1:30:002
No Time To Die2021Dies Irae is Diegetic0:20:212
Gunpowder Milkshake2021Frank Ilfman1:31:463
Ragnorak S2E32021Halfdan E0:36:451b
Squid Game S1E32021Jaeil Jung0:01:003
Wheel of Time S1E22021Lorne Balfe0:03:182
Falcon and the Winter Soldier2021Henry Jackman0:02:082/3
Shang-Chi & the Legend of the 10 Rings2021Joel P West0:06:403
Arcane S1E72021Dies Irae is Diegetic0:31:302
Benedetta2021Anne Dudley1:29:001
Nightmare Alley2021Nathan Johnson1:40:403
Ghosts S1E42021Jeff Cardoni0:07:202
Morbius2022Jon Ekstrand0:53:303B
Schmigadoon S2E42022Christopher Willis0:19:542
House of the Dragon S1E82022Ramin Djawadi0:50:002
Cheer S2E52022Joseph Minadeo0:10:181
Flight Attendant S2E22022Blake Neely0:31:183
Inventing Anna S1E32022Bowers/Charles0:19:143
Moon Knight S1E32022Hesham Nazih0:03:542
Obi-Wan Kenobi2022Natalie Holt0:15:152
Stranger Things S4E52022Dixon/Stein0:07:451
The Northman2022Carolan/Gainsborough0:02:433
Disenchanted2022Alan Menken1:23:572
Halloween Ends2022John & Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies1:37:002
Andor S1E102022Nicholas Britell0:31:002
Only Murders in the Building S2E62022Siddhartha Khosla0:21:143
Wednesday S1E12022Danny Elfman0:08:002
Ahsoka S1E82023Kevin Kiner0:36:572
Loki S2E42023Natalie Holt0:40:503

  1. See Linda Schubert, “Plainchant in Motion Pictures: The ‘Dies Irae’ in Film Scores, ” Florilegium 15 (1998): 207-229; and Karen Cook, “Beyond the Grave: The “Dies Irae” in Video Game Music". ↩︎


Recent & Upcoming Talks

Youtube Explainer Videos

YouTube’s massive platform offers many benefits to the music scholar working in the public sphere. Engaging in such work is easy on YouTube, where an entire sub-genre of “Explainer” videos proliferates on virtually any topic. Music scholars, and especially film music scholars, are poised to excel on YouTube because they can easily substantiate their assertions in real time. In this presentation, I will discuss the background, creation and publication of two different videos.

The Rhythm of Life is a Powerful Beat: Following Fosse's Musical, Physical, and Visual Rhythms

Rhythm is the single thread connecting the many facets of Bob Fosse’s career. As a dancer and choreographer, Fosse focused on shaping the rhythmic properties of his stage shows; as a director, and de facto film editor, Fosse applied this fascination with rhythm in the editing bays. Despite a wide variety of dramatic content, these films are a unique opportunity to explore the role of rhythm in the editing of film musicals. Fosse directed five films in the span of one decade: Sweet Charity (1969); Cabaret (1972); Liza with a Z (1972); Lenny (1974); and All That Jazz (1979). Based on analyses of key scenes from Sweet Charity and All That Jazz, I have found that Fosse manipulates rhythm in three ways: musically (the performed musical score), physically (the staged choreography), and visually (the edited cuts). In this talk, I will examine two sequences that illustrate Fosse’s corresponding layers of rhythm and consider how this complex nexus helps to frame our understanding of film musical’s visual rhythm.


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