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.

blofeld sibelius lookalike