Perhaps no composer in the canon of cinematic music has had a more prolific career than John Williams. Indeed, over the past seven decades, this remarkable artist–known for his frequent collaborations with director Steven Spielberg–has scored films spanning a veritable cornucopia of genres. What, can we surmise, is the secret to his success? Among his many gifts as a composer, John Williams is a master of the musical leitmotif – melodic cells that provide an aural reference to a character, place, object, or idea in a given story. Whether capturing the looming threat of a menacing shark, a bicycle suspended against the backdrop of a moonlit firmament, imagination-defying colossal dinosaurs, or iconic lightsaber-wielding warriors, Williams has demonstrated an uncanny ability to craft infectious musical lines that seem perfectly suited to the material. During this lecture, Professor Gil Harel will provide an analysis of several scores, demonstrating how his music is of paramount importance to the films they frame.