Dramatic Vocalise Database

“non-original music by various composers”

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The use of dramatic vocalization in religious-themed movies and Biblical epics lends itself well to parody, as seen in the movies M.A.S.H. (1970), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), and Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979).

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail dramatic vocalization accompanies the voice of God (Graham Chapman) as he calls to King Arthur (also Graham Chapman). Yet, the comic dialogue underscores the parody. Dramatic vocalization is also used to accompany images of the Holy Grail and the use of the Holy Hand Grenade. In these scenes it is specifically used to signify the numinous, much like the music that accompanies appearances of Jesus’s robe in The Robe. Despite an intensive search, no composer can be identified for the film score to Holy Grail; the opening credits merely state “non-original music by various composers.”

(Nauman 2009, 250–51)

The use of dramatic vocalization within this film as parody may have been suggested by its serious application in the earlier Knights of the Round Table (1953).



God Speaks to Arthur

Grail-Shaped Beacon

Holy Hand Grenade I

Holy Hand Grenade II

Finally the Grail?