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Topic: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

Bear with me if this seems wacky. I believe that when John Barry was, er, arranging the James Bond Theme he used this particular piece of music as a model. The melody lines are different, although I'd argue that there are similarities, but the structure is remarkably similar: a fanfare to open, then a vamp, then the riff, then the brass section take over. Now, please listen with an open mind and think of the James Bond Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx6PoHClzSA

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

I don't think so. Sorry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bond_Theme

Norman describes the distinctive rhythm of the guitar in the first few bars of the "James Bond Theme" as "Dum di-di dum dum". He claims that it was inspired by the song "Good Sign Bad Sign" sung by Indian characters in A House for Mr Biswas, a musical he composed based on a novel by V.S. Naipaul set in the Indian community in Trinidad. Norman showed his manuscript music from A House for Mr Biswas in a filmed interview and sang its lyrics. In 2005, Norman released an album called Completing the Circle that features "Good Sign Bad Sign", the "James Bond Theme," and a similar sounding song titled "Dum Di-Di Dum Dum." For these songs Norman added lyrics that explain the origin and history of the "James Bond Theme".

Last edited by Enjoying Death (13th Jan 2016 22:21)

Pussy Galore: “My name is Pussy Galore.”
Bond: “I must be dreaming.”

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

Oh, I know that article: I wrote part of it.

With which part of the post do you disagree?

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

I definitely hear what you're saying, Barbel. I never realised how similar the James Bond theme is to parts of this piece. I can even hear similarities beyond structure.

Enjoying Death, what are you trying to say by linking to the Wikipedia page? Nothing on that page goes against Barbel's theory.

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

I hear where your coming from, as you say it is a left field theory but it spookily works.

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

Enjoying Death wrote:

Norman describes the distinctive rhythm of the guitar in the first few bars of the "James Bond Theme" as "Dum di-di dum dum". He claims that it was inspired by the song "Good Sign Bad Sign" sung by Indian characters in A House for Mr Biswas, a musical he composed based on a novel by V.S. Naipaul set in the Indian community in Trinidad. Norman showed his manuscript music from A House for Mr Biswas in a filmed interview and sang its lyrics. In 2005, Norman released an album called Completing the Circle that features "Good Sign Bad Sign", the "James Bond Theme," and a similar sounding song titled "Dum Di-Di Dum Dum." For these songs Norman added lyrics that explain the origin and history of the "James Bond Theme".

Yes, but this doesn't affect the musical structure of the piece, or the arrangement if you prefer.

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

Barbel wrote:
Enjoying Death wrote:

Norman describes the distinctive rhythm of the guitar in the first few bars of the "James Bond Theme" as "Dum di-di dum dum". He claims that it was inspired by the song "Good Sign Bad Sign" sung by Indian characters in A House for Mr Biswas, a musical he composed based on a novel by V.S. Naipaul set in the Indian community in Trinidad. Norman showed his manuscript music from A House for Mr Biswas in a filmed interview and sang its lyrics. In 2005, Norman released an album called Completing the Circle that features "Good Sign Bad Sign", the "James Bond Theme," and a similar sounding song titled "Dum Di-Di Dum Dum." For these songs Norman added lyrics that explain the origin and history of the "James Bond Theme".

Yes, but this doesn't affect the musical structure of the piece, or the arrangement if you prefer.

Many songs use that or a very similar structure.

http://ask.metafilter.com/257325/Instru … l-Overture

Last edited by Enjoying Death (13th Jan 2016 22:35)

Pussy Galore: “My name is Pussy Galore.”
Bond: “I must be dreaming.”

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

...which doesn't affect my original position.

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

Enjoying Death wrote:
Barbel wrote:
Enjoying Death wrote:

Norman describes the distinctive rhythm of the guitar in the first few bars of the "James Bond Theme" as "Dum di-di dum dum". He claims that it was inspired by the song "Good Sign Bad Sign" sung by Indian characters in A House for Mr Biswas, a musical he composed based on a novel by V.S. Naipaul set in the Indian community in Trinidad. Norman showed his manuscript music from A House for Mr Biswas in a filmed interview and sang its lyrics. In 2005, Norman released an album called Completing the Circle that features "Good Sign Bad Sign", the "James Bond Theme," and a similar sounding song titled "Dum Di-Di Dum Dum." For these songs Norman added lyrics that explain the origin and history of the "James Bond Theme".

Yes, but this doesn't affect the musical structure of the piece, or the arrangement if you prefer.

Many songs use that or a very similar structure.

http://ask.metafilter.com/257325/Instru … l-Overture

That has nothing to do with Barbel's points. That part is about the finale to the piece, which the Bond theme does not take anything from. Barbel was comparing the specific structure of the William Tell Overture and the Bond theme. The discussion at that link is about a different aspect to the piece.

And Norman just copied his own piece Good Sign Bad Sign for part of the James Bond Theme. It doesn't mean that Norman wasn't influenced by other things when he came up with Good Sign Bad Sign. And it doesn't mean that Barry wasn't influenced by the William Tell Overture when putting together the Bond theme as we know it.

Barbel makes very good points. You can't cite others' opinions to disprove it. You need to come up with something of your own to argue against it.

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

My point is that there are numerous other songs that have a similar structure and could have influenced Barry. Why are you so sure that he was influenced by William Tell Overture and not some other song?

EDIT: Was mistaking Norman for Barry but this point still stands.

Last edited by Enjoying Death (14th Jan 2016 04:08)

Pussy Galore: “My name is Pussy Galore.”
Bond: “I must be dreaming.”

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

Enjoying Death wrote:

My point is that there are numerous other songs that have a similar structure and could have influenced Norman. Why are you so sure that he was influenced by William Tell Overture and not some other song?

This is more about Barry's contributions than Norman's. But they were both certainly influenced by many things. I think Barbel makes some great points and I can certainly hear what he's hearing.

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Re: John Barry's model for the James Bond Theme

Thanks, Matt.