Woodstock Then and Now: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

In August of 1969, a dairy farm in the state of New York hosted a pivotal moment in the history of pop music. Taking place only two years after the “Summer of Love” and one year after the tumultuous events of 1968, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair put an exclamation point on the transformational decade of the 1960s. Joni Mitchell did not attend Woodstock, but her song of the same name captures an opposition inherent to the turbulent and divisive era. “We are stardust . . . caught in the devil’s bargain,” Mitchell sings, “and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” In order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, Berklee College of Music hosted a week-long celebration that included conversations with luminaries from the era. Participants included Woodstock co-founder, Michael Lang; emcee, stage and lighting designer, Chip Monck; audio engineer, Bill Hanley; photographers Henry Diltz and Elliott Landy; public relations officer, Rona Elliot; and Gerardo Velez, drummer for Jimi Hendrix. Woodstock Then and Now commemorates the discussion between these Woodstock luminaries, making available the transcripts of this historic event.

“If you ever wanted to get the ‘inside’ scoop on what happened at Woodstock then you have to read this book. It will transport you to the actual days of the formation of the concerts and give you a great idea of the complexity of the festival.”
Graham Nash

“1969—I was 11 and although I fashioned myself quite mature I was still too young to attend Woodstock. I feel like I did attend it though from the music and movies and footage and now, most importantly, this definitive text. A summer of love and learning and a miracle of the changing times presented by the people that made it.”
Jamie Lee Curtis

“The Woodstock Festival was the story of a generation, and the best stories are told here by the people who made the festival!”
Bob Gruen

Publishing in December 2021!

Pre-sale now until November 1st!


Alex Ludwig is an Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts at Berklee College of Music. I teach music history courses on topics 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).

For more, see all of my supercuts:


See also a few other media appearances:

  1. the film on which I consulted and appeared as a talking head, Why This Creepy Melody Is In So Many Movies.
  1. the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz
  1. and the “National Public Radio” program Here and Now.

My List: Film (year), composer {Time Stamp} Type

  1. Metropolis (1927), score by Gottfried Huppertz {00:32:34} T1
  2. Day of Wrath (1943), score by Poul Schierbeck {0:00:00} T1
  3. Know Your Enemy: Japan (1945), score by Dmitri Tiomkin {0:24:57} T1
  4. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), score by Dmitri Tiomkin T1-3
  5. Angel on My Shoulder (1946), score by Dmitri Tiomkin {0:13:00} T1
  6. Young Bess (1953), score by Miklós Rózsa {0:27:48} T1
  7. I Confess (1953), score by Dmitri Tiomkin {0:01:55} T1
  8. The Sheep Has Five Legs (1954), score by Georges Van Parys T2
  9. Garden of Evil (1954), score by Bernard Herrmann {0:28:00} T1
  10. On the Waterfront (1954), score by Leonard Bernstein {1:33:20} T2
  11. Sleeping Beauty (1957), score by Jack Lawrence & Sammy Fain {0:30:00}
  12. The Seventh Seal (1957), score by Erik Nodren {00:08:00} T2
  13. The Screaming Skull (1958), score by Ernst Gold {0:02:02} T1
  14. The Return of Dracula (1958), score by Gerald Fried {0:00:14} T1
  15. Compulsion (1959), score by Lionel Newman {1:03:20} T1
  16. Fall of the House of Usher (1960), score by Les Baxter {1:08:11} T1
  17. The Unforgiven (1960), score by Dmitri Tiomkin {1:16:42} T2
  18. Psycho (1960), score by Bernard Herrmann {0:11:50} T3
  19. El Cid (1961), score by Miklós Rózsa {1:34:23} T1
  20. The Great Escape (1963), score by Elmer Bernstein {02:11:15} T2
  21. Jason and the Argonauts (1963), score by Bernard Herrmann {1:37:00} T1
  22. The Jar (1964), score by Bernard Herrmann {0:09:59} T1
  23. Becket (1964), score by Laurence Rosenthal {0:03:40} T1
  24. I Malamando (1964), score by Ennio Morricone {1:15:50} T1
  25. Fists in the Pocket (1965), score by Ennio Morricone {0:00:01} T2
  26. Nightmare Castle (1965), score by Ennio Morricone {0:25:30} T1
  27. The Bible: In the Beginning (1966), score by Toshiro Mayuzumi {0:27:50} T1
  28. War and Peace (1966), score by Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov {1:44:39} T1
  29. Escalation (1968), score by Ennio Morricone {0:00:00} T1
  30. Dracula has Risen from the Grave (1968), score by James Bernard {0:13:25} T1B
  31. The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971), score by Nora Orlandi {0:28:46} T1B
  32. Lust for a Vampire (1971), score by Harry Robinson {0:50:15} T1
  33. A Clockwork Orange (1971), score by Wendy Carlos {00:01:00} T1
  34. Mephisto Waltz (1971), score by Jerry Goldsmith {00:00:31} T1
  35. Vampire Circus (1972), score by David Whitaker {0:49:12} T1
  36. The Vault of Horror (1973), score by Douglas Gamley {0:00:06} T1
  37. Le Trio Infernal (1974), score by Ennio Morricone {1:06:20} T1B
  38. From Beyond the Grave (1974), score by Douglas Gamley {00:00:38} T1
  39. The Omen (1976), score by Jerry Goldsmith T1
  40. The Car (1977), score by Leonard Rosenman {00:00:17} T1
  41. A New Hope (1977), score by John Williams {00:40:15} T1
  42. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), score by John Williams {00:44:12} T1
  43. Cruise Into Terror (1978), score by Gerald Fried {0:01:00} T1
  44. The Medusa Touch (1978), score by Michael J. Lewis {1:41:06} T2
  45. Alien (1979), score by Jerry Goldsmith {01:53:30} T2
  46. The Killer Nun (1979), score by Alessandro Alessandroni {0:00:01} T1
  47. The Shining (1980), score by Wendy Carlos {00:00:00} T1
  48. Heavy Metal (1981), score by Elmer Bernstein {1:10:48} T2
  49. Conan the Barbarian (1982), score by Basil Poledouris {01:51:13} T1
  50. Superstition (1982), score by David Gibney {0:04:05} T1
  51. Poltergeist (1982), score by Jerry Goldsmith {01:44:01} T2
  52. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), score by Philip Glass T3
  53. Legend (1985), score by Tangerine Dream {0:21:14} T2
  54. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), score by Henry Manfredini {00:01:59} T2
  55. Friday the 13th: Part VI, Jason Lives (1986), score by Henry Manfredini {00:04:15) T2
  56. Big Trouble in Little China (1986), score by John Carpenter/Alan Howarth {00:11:11} T1
  57. The Mission (1986), score by Ennio Morricone {00:32:56} T1
  58. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), score by Ira Newborn {00:00:08} T2
  59. Friday the 13th: Part VII, The New Blood (1988), score by Henry Manfredini {00:15:03} T1-2
  60. Predator (1987), score by Alan Silvestri {1:15:00} T2b
  61. Murder She Wrote S5E13 (1989), score by David Bell {0:13:00}, T1
  62. Quantam Leap S2E11 (1989), score by Mike Post {0:42:01], T2
  63. Home Alone (1990), score by John Williams {00:06:58} T1
  64. Gremlins 2 (1990), score by Jerry Goldsmith {01:34:48} T2
  65. The Witches (1990), score by Stanley Myers {0:28:00} T1
  66. Beauty and the Beast (1991), score by Alan Mencken T2b
  67. Batman Returns (1992), score by Danny Elfman {00:12:15} T1
  68. Jurassic Park (1993), score by John Williams {01:18:30} T1
  69. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), score by Danny Elfman T1
  70. Groundhog Day (1993), score by George Fenton T2
  71. Demolition Man (1993), score by Eliot Goldenthal {00:00:27} T2
  72. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), score by Shirley Walker {0:02:00} T2
  73. The Lion King (1994), score by Hans Zimmer T1
  74. Crimson Tide (1995), score by Hans Zimmer {01:30:00}, T1
  75. Independence Day (1996), score by David Arnold {1:06:42} T2
  76. The Rock (1996), score by Smith/Zimmer {0:20:26}, T1
  77. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), score by Alan Mencken {0:03:38} T1
  78. Mars Attacks (1996), score by Danny Elfman {00:02:41} T2
  79. A Time to Kill (1996), score by Elliot Goldenthal {0:49:20} T1
  80. Faceoff (1997), score by John Powell {0:07:00}, T2b
  81. Scream 2 (1997), score by Marco Beltrami {0:40:07} T2
  82. Buffy the Vampire Slayer S1E2 (1997), score by Walter Murphy {opening titles} T1
  83. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), score by John Debney {0:25:25} T3
  84. Mulan (1998), score by Jerry Goldsmith {0:55:54} T2
  85. Urban Legend (1998), score by Christopher Young {01:18:37} T3
  86. Armageddon (1998), score by Trevor Rabin {0:24:57} T2
  87. The Thirteenth Floor (1999), score by Harald Kloser {1:14:08} T2
  88. The Bone Collector (1999), score by Craig Armstrong {01:48:59} T2
  89. The Sixth Sense (1999), score by James Newton Howard {0:15:40} T2
  90. End of Days (1999), score by John Debney {00:00:01} T1
  91. The Road to El Dorado (2000), score by Hans Zimmer & John Powell {0:08:32} T1
  92. Gladiator (2000), score by Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard {2:29:00} T1
  93. Shrek (2001), score by Harry Gregson-Williams/John Powell {00:41:30} T2
  94. Attack of the Clones (2002), score by John Williams {01:24:33} T1
  95. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), score by John Williams {01:49:15} T1
  96. The Ring (2002), score by Hans Zimmer {00:21:45} T1
  97. Signs (2002), score by James Newton Howard {1:06:51} T3
  98. Irreversible (2002), score by Thomas Bangalter {0:01:00} T1
  99. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), score by Steve Jablonsky {1:10:53} T3
  100. The Matrix Reloaded (2003), score by Don Davis {01:12:12} T2
  101. Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), sample of “The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh” {0:23:20} T1B
  102. Lost S1E22 (2004), score by Michael Giacchino {00:30:06} T2
  103. Team America: World Police (2004), score by Harry Gregson-Williams {1:06:00} T2
  104. Timesplitters–Future Perfect (2005), score by Graeme Norgate {main titles} T2
  105. War of the Worlds (2005), score by John Williams {00:49:49} T2
  106. Clerks 2 (2006), score by James L. Venable {0:41:35} T1
  107. Death Note S1E19 (2006), score by Yoshihisa Hirano {00:18:00} T2
  108. Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End (2007), score by Hans Zimmer {02:34:00} T3
  109. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), score by Reinhold Heil {0:14:23} T3
  110. The Bucket List (2007), score by Marc Shaiman {0:06:23} T2B
  111. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), score by John Williams {00:04:18} T1
  112. Bones S3E13 (2008), score by Peter Himmelman {0:24:38} T1
  113. Angels and Demons (2009), score by Hans Zimmer {01:57:31} T2
  114. Terminator Salvation (2009), score by Danny Elfman {0:59:42} T3
  115. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), score by Steve Jablonsky {1:43:52} T3B
  116. Drag Me to Hell (2009), score by Christopher Young {1:29:33} T3
  117. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), score by Alexandre Desplat {0:58:29} T3
  118. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010), score by Marco Beltrami {0:31:17} T2
  119. LOST S6E1 (2010), score by Michael Giacchino {0:22:50} T2
  120. Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol (2011), score by Michael Giacchino {00:29:59} T1
  121. Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides (2011), score by Hans Zimmer {01:55:00} T1
  122. Thor (2011), score by Patrick Doyle {00:57:31} T1
  123. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 (2011), score by Alexandre Desplat {0:55:00} T3
  124. Wreck It Ralph (2012), score by Henry Jackman {00:25:57} T1
  125. The Bourne Legacy (2012), score by James Newton Howard {0:01:00} Type 3
  126. The Best Offer (2013), score by Ennio Morricone {0:13:18, 2:01:07, end titles} T2, T3
  127. Iron Man 3 (2013), score by Brian Tyler {00:24:41} T1
  128. The Newsroom S2E7 (2013), score by Johnny Klimek {0:48:12} T3
  129. Game of Thrones S5E1 (2014), score by Ramin Djiwadin {00:22:15} T1
  130. Crimson Peak (2015), score by Fernando Velazquez {00:00:00} T1
  131. Glitch S1E3 (2015), score by Cornel Wilczeck {00:50:00} T2
  132. Terminator Genisys (2015), score by Lorne Balfe {1:27:03} T3b
  133. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), score by Bear McCreary {00:00:00} T1
  134. Colossal (2016), score by Bear McCreary {01:38:11} T1
  135. Rogue One (2016), score by Michael Giacchino {01:12:48} T1
  136. Game of Thrones S6E5 (2016), score by Ramin Djawadi {0:13:00} T1
  137. Star Trek Beyond (2016), score by Michael Giacchino {1:28:08} T3
  138. Dead by Daylight (2016), score by Michael April {main menu} T2
  139. Dr. Strange (2016), score by Michael Giacchino {1:35:36} T2
  140. Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), score by Geoff Zanelli {00:10:30} T1
  141. The Good Place S1E11 (2017), score by David Schwartz {00:23:42} T1
  142. Justice League (2017), score by Danny Elfman {0:25:25} T3
  143. Survivor S35E9 (2017), score by David Vanacore {0:20:50} T3
  144. Final Space S1E1 (2018), score by Shelby Merry {opening titles} T3
  145. The Spy Gone North (2018), score by Yeong-wook Jo {01:04:40} T1
  146. Avengers: Infinity War (2018), score by Alan Silvestri {00:33:52} T1
  147. Ready Player One (2018), score by Alan Silvestri {00:57:51} T2
  148. Star Wars Rebels S4E11 (2018), score by Kevin Kiner {00:02:26} T2
  149. Star Wars Rebels S4E13 (2018), score by Kevin Kiner {00:14:28} T2
  150. Stranger Things S3E8 (2019), score by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon {0:41:15} T2
  151. Fruits Basket S2E21 (2019), score by Taku Kishimoto {0:13:17} T2
  152. Eli (2019), score by Bear McCreary {001:19:52} T1
  153. 1BR (2019), score by Ronen Landa {00:27:00} T3
  154. Doctor Sleep (2019), score by The Newton Brothers {02:18:33} T2
  155. Frozen 2 (2019), score by Christophe Beck {00:16:40} T2
  156. Succession S2E10 (2019), score by Nicholas Britell {01:09:00} T2
  157. Toy Story (2019), score by Randy Newman {01:15:20} T2
  158. Fargo S4E7 (2020), score by Jeff Russo {0:25:31} T3
  159. Onward (2020), score by Jeff & Mychael Danna {01:06:00} T2
  160. Westworld S3E5 (2020), score by Ramin Djawadi {00:47:14} T2
  161. Cursed S1E4 (2020), score by Jeff Russo {00:06:47} T2
  162. Fantasy Island (2020), score by Bear McCreary {01:18:13} T3
  163. The Flight Attendant S1E8 (2020), score by Blake Neely {0:39:12} T3
  164. The Mandalorian Chapter 16 (2020), score by Ludwig Göransson {0:34:20} T3
  165. The Empty Man (2020), score by Christopher Young & Lustmord {1:24:28} T3
  166. Loki S1E5 (2021), score by Natalie Holt {0:25:09} T2
  167. Fear Street: 1994 (2021), score by Marco Beltrami & M. Trumpp {0:53:47} T2
  168. Fear Street: 1666 (2021), score by Marco Beltrami & M. Trumpp {0:53:47} T2
  169. Reminiscence (2021), score by Ramin Djawadi {0:03:28} T2
  170. Star Wars: Visions S1E4 (2021), score by Kevin Penkin {0:14:50} T2
  171. White Lotus S1E1 (2021), score by Cristobal Tapia de Veer {main titles} T3

  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.


  • 7 Haviland, Boston, MA 02115
  • Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 12:00
  • DM Me