Excerpts from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

From Wind Repertory Project
John Williams

John Williams (trans. Stephen Bulla)

General Info

Year: 1978 / 2009
Duration: c. 7:40
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $275.00   |   Score Only (print) - $40.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III-IV (all doubling Piccolo; IV doubling Alto Flute)
Oboe I-II (II doubling English Horn)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV (each 4 players)
E-flat Alto Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV (all doubling Flugelhorn)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba (2 players)
String Bass I-II
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Wind Chimes
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In a story about friendly extraterrestrial visitors, John Williams' music captures the anticipation and excitement of this blockbuster movie, including the signature five-note motif used to communicate with the alien guests. The fact that this is one of Mr. Williams' favorite Spielberg films clearly comes across in this unique and masterful soundtrack.

- Program Note from publisher

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, Cary Guffey, and François Truffaut. It tells the story of Roy Neary, an everyday blue-collar worker in Indiana, whose life changes after an encounter with an unidentified flying object (UFO).

The score for the film was composed, conducted and produced by John Williams, who had previously worked on Spielberg's Jaws. Williams wrote over 300 examples of the iconic five-tone motif for Close Encounters -- the five tones are used by scientists to communicate with the visiting spaceship as a mathematical language -- before Spielberg chose the one incorporated into the film's signature theme. Spielberg called Williams' work "When You Wish upon a Star meets science fiction".

Williams was nominated for two Academy Awards in 1978, one for his score to Star Wars and one for his score to Close Encounters. He won for Star Wars, though he later won two Grammy Awards in 1979 for his Close Encounters score (one for Best Original Film Score and one for Best Instrumental Composition for "Theme from Close Encounters"). Much like his two-note Jaws theme, the "five-tone" motif for Close Encounters has since become ingrained in popular culture.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Shiree X. Williams, conductor) - 11 October 2022
  • Dallas (Tx.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) - 15 March 2022
  • Lone Star (Dallas, Tx.) Wind Orchestra (Andrew Trachsel, conductor) – 26 January 2020
  • Contra Costa Wind Symphony (Walnut Creek, Calif.) (Brad Hogarth, conductor) – 23 October 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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