Jay Paloma's Tech and Music Blog

Sometimes, this writer can no longer distinguish between the two.

Similar Music Passages in Movies

with 2 comments

Sometimes when I’m watching movies, I can’t help but notice some similar music passages across different films, and interestingly used in the same situations. Here are a couple that I came across.

This horn passage is typical of fast-paced scenes that have to slow down. The interesting thing is that there is a 12-year difference between these two movies, and I only noticed it when, due to the recent demise of Tom Clancy, I watched his submarine thriller.

The Hunt for Red October (Basil Poledouris, 1990)
During the opening credits, the Red October is shown on the surface, the scene pans to the sub’s sail then blacks out, revealing the name “Red October” in red Cyrillic script. It is at this point where we hear the brass section passage I’m referring to.

Star Trek: Nemesis (Jerry Goldsmith, 2002)
Captain Picard and Data escaping the Scimitar inside a 2-man craft in the blasting away in confined hallways. You will hear the brass section passage the moment the small craft breaks through the Scimitar’s window into outer space and, speeding off towards the USS Enterprise.

Usually associated with battle mobilization involving Japanese. Ok, both examples are from Hans Zimmer and he has his signature in these works.

Pearl Harbor (Hans Zimmer, 2001)
Scene where Japanese pilots prepare for the attack on Pearl. The drum passage starts when the scene shifts to the aircraft carrier deck.

The Last Samurai (Hans Zimmer, 2003)
Katsumoto working up his troops, then the shifts to the Samurai cavalry and infantry heading off to battle

And speaking of The Last Samurai and Pearl Harbor, there’s a similar scene in both movies that amuses me: the pre-battle “class picture.”

Class Picture - The Last Samurai

Class Picture - Pearl Harbor

Disclaimer: all pictures, videos and music are not mine


Written by jpaloma

October 6, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Posted in Music

2 Responses

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  1. I notice this quite often… The latest of many that sparked the search that lead to your entry was similarity of a scene in “Black Dog” involving a semi/motorcycle/highway chase that seems like it was an early version of what made it into “The Matrix Reloaded” scene involving a semi/motorcycle/highway chase….. I don’t think it is too crazy to think that producers may consciously or unconsciously borrow on what they have heard or learned…. And as much thought that I would guess goes into branding, there might actually be a purpose to using certain musical themes to match what is happening on screen, either visually or plot-wise…. OR maybe there are ultimately only so many ways that notes can be put together… One I am SURE is intentful is part of the theme in “The Incredibles” is almost an exact match to part of the theme in “On Her Majesties Secret Service.”


    September 23, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    • LOL … I just heard a “phone” sound effect in “Black Dog” that sounds just like one from “The Matrix.” Although that could just be due to the fact that one was made in 1998, and the other in 1999…. but it is to me a very distinct sound effect. I often hear recordings of children laughing, or a guy falling that sound exactly the same as well.


      September 23, 2015 at 2:41 PM

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