Sounds of the Lost World: Musical World Building in the Jurassic Park franchise

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Since 1993 the audiovisual world of Jurassic Park has expanded to include seven films (six features and one short), over 25 videogames, a forthcoming animated Netflix series (and a live action series in development), four theme park rides and a touring live show. The orchestral soundtrack to Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is regarded as one of John Williams’ most iconic scores, but the musical world of the franchise has been expanded and extended by composers including Don Davis, Michael Giacchino, Amie Doherty and numerous others.

Music plays a key role not only in telling the stories of the Jurassic Park films, games and experiences, but most notably in building the world in which these stories take place, and helping to bring us into that world. This chapter draws on theories of paratext and worldbuilding to analyse the film scores and explore the ways in which recognisable sounds and motifs draw us into a fantasy world which is at once familiar and unfamiliar as the film-world itself evolves over the decades. The chapter then follows these musical and sonic signifiers into the worlds of videogames, theme parks and television series, exploring the transmedial power of music to draw us into new worlds and experiences that relate to the original film series either closely or more distantly. As the franchise expands and composers and sound designers continue to adapt William’s infamous melodies, what does the lost world of Jurassic Park sound like, and how do snippets of music or specific sounds take us right back to the island?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Jurassic Park Book
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives on the Classic 1990s Blockbuster
EditorsMatthew Melia
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
ISBN (Electronic)9781501384844, 9781501384851
ISBN (Print)9781501384868
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


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