Was the James Bond theme actually written by Sibelius?
26 February 2018, 11:57
Answer: of course not. But have you ever been listening to Sibelius' lesser-known orchestral works and found yourself clutching for your Walther PPK like James Bond?
The cool, splashy-cymbal and guitar-twang sound of the James Bond theme is not the most obvious place to look for classical quotations, but amid the glamour, guns and girls of 007 lurks a similarity to an obscure work by Finland's finest, Jean Sibelius.
Don't believe us?
Listen to the opening of Sibelius' Cassazione, an orchestral work from 1904:
And then listen to the opening of Monty Norman's original theme from Dr. No, from 1962:
The spooky opening to Sibelius' Cassazione is offset by triumphant brass rather than a trebly electric guitar, but the similarity of the two openings is uncanny - the chromatic slides up and down are unmistakably 'Bond', thanks to the popularity of the movies over the years.
While it's probably a dead-cert that Monty Norman wasn't directly influenced by a lesser-known Sibelius piece from nearly 60 years before, it's interesting to note that Sibelius is often described as being a forerunner to film music composers.
Also, look how much Sibelius looks like the original Blofeld. WEIRD HUH.