For album music, see Music of Note
As well as the Theme Tune
, original music is often composed for a show or film. Some of it becomes very well-known indeed among the fans. See also Awesome Music
For more soundtrack info, see Score and Music Tropes
- Some of the very best music composed for advertising - as opposed to adapted or "off-the-shelf" - can still send tingles down the spine many years on. John Barry's The Girl With the Sun In Her Hair was used for a shampoo advert, and ran between 1965-75; it can still send a shiver down the spine of people of a certain age, especially those who listened to late-night Radio Luxembourg in the 1970's.
Since the series' return to television in 2005, house composer Murray Gold has struck "gold" with numerous original songs and themes that have become almost as popular in fandom as the Ron Grainer/Delia Derbyshire theme music:
- "The Doctor's Theme" - also known as "The Bad Wolf Theme".
- "Song for Ten", "Love Don't Roam", "The Stowaway" "Song of Freedom", "Vale Decem" and "Abigail's Song" - Original songs written specifically for the series by Murray Gold. "Love Don't Roam" has now appeared in several trailers.
- "Doomsday" - Featured in the episode of the same name—any fan of the new series will recognize this song instantly.
- "All the Strange, Strange Creatures"- A commonly used background song that all fans will recognize.
- "I Am The Doctor" - fan-dubbed "Every Star, Every Planet", this fist-pumping action theme first appears in full force as the Eleventh Doctor tells the Atraxi to make tracks in "The Eleventh Hour" and has recurred in every action-packed sequence of series five. It, too, will be readily recognizable to fans.
- "I Am The Doctor" even played over the opening credits for the 50th Anniversary. (The Doctor Who theme did play over the 1960s title card and the end credits, however.)
- "This is Gallifrey - Our Childhood, Our Home" - majestic instrumental theme created to underscore a flashback to the Doctor's lost home planet; best known now for underscoring a retrospective of the Doctor's many regenerations in the 2010 BBC Proms Concert.
- Had original theme music for each season by Christopher Franke and the Berlin Philomonic. Seasons 3, 4, & 5 all had iconic themes.
- It dubbed music individually for each 'episode' as well. Including the haunting "Requiem for the Line," the action of "Severed Dreams" and "Shadow Dancing," and the heart-wrenching "Sleeping in Light."
- The "Lux Aeterna" theme from Requiem for a Dream by Clint Mansell is very popular for ads, even for other movies (including The Lord of the Rings).
- The Dragonheart theme by Randy Edelman is also popular for ads (and as general trailer music) due to the music's epic sound and the original film's relative obscurity. The insurance company Pacific Life uses it as their theme music.
- Tangentially related to this is Michael Kamen's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves score and one of its cues being used by both Morgan Creek and Disney due to partial obscurity (for the score at least) much like Dragonheart, also used for great epicness.
- For that matter, Lord of the Rings gave certain cultures and factions their own distinctive, powerful theme that has made the music of the trilogy as much an identifying mark as anything.
- A list of notable original music for films would be incomplete without adding the works of the legend that is Jerry Goldsmith. Patton, Total Recall (1990), Star Trek The Motion Picture, The Omen, Alien & Gremlins. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
- John Williams has conjured up quite a few signature themes: Star Wars, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Superman, Harry Potter, Schindler's List, and Home Alone.
- Ennio Morricone's theme from The Good The Bad And The Ugly (part of the Dollars Trilogy which also included A Fistful of Dollars & For a Few Dollars More, also scored by Morricone). Probably the most recognized song from any Western. He also he made some pretty memorable scores for films such as The Mission, Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables, Days of Heaven, Cinema Paradiso & Malčna.
- Elmer Bernstein made some pretty memorable tunes too like for The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven (another well-recognized Western score), The Great Escape & To Kill a Mockingbird. He had a notable second act creating scores for many classic comedies of the late 70's and 80's, including Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, Stripes, and Airplane.
- Miklós Rózsa and his impressive works that include Spellbound, Quo Vadis, El Cid, Ben Hur, and King of Kings.
- Danny Elfman's score for Batman has become closely associated with the character, while John Williams's has become the signature for Superman.
- Enter the realm of fantasy where the score of Alexander Nevsky, composed by Sergei Prokofiev in 1938, is at the forefront of this article and noted for its influence on many future composers, such as John Williams.
- And to stay on the topic of Prokofiev: Lt. Kijé was a Soviet comedy for which he wrote the music. Nobody remembers the movie now, but the rearrangement of the music into the Lt. Kijé Suite is one of Prokofiev's greatest hits.
- Nick Cave's soundtrack to The Proposition.
- Iain Ballamy's MirrorMask soundtrack.
- The Wicker Man. All of it.
- The music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, for such films as Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood (for which he won an Oscar), and The Sea Hawk, has formed a model for cinematic composers up to the present day.
- Joe Hisaishi's score to Princess Mononoke is the perfect compliment to the Studio Ghibli Scenery Porn, and also has the unusual quality of being mostly in minor keys.
- Hans Zimmer has a few of these.
- The opening theme of Chariots of Fire, the theme to use when depicting athleticism, especially track and field.
- Bernard Herrmann is one of the all time greats among film composers, but the most famous is the theme from Psycho. There's a reason there's a trope for it.
- Bill Conti with his famous theme for Rocky.
- Henry Mancini for his jazz-idiom theme to The Pink Panther film series, and for the songs "Moon River" from the Blake Edwards film Breakfast at Tiffany's and "Days of Wine and Roses" from the film Days of Wine and Roses.
- Nino Rota's theme from The Godfather is the quintessential theme of the Mafia.
- Flash! AHHH-AHHH! Savior of the universe!
- Queen worked on the entire soundtrack for the Flash Gordon film.
- You cannot talk about Queen and not mention "Princes of the Universe".
- The 2005 movie of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe of The Chronicles of Narnia is known for its various Leitmotifs, but the score "The Battle" is one of the more notable instrumentations, even drawing comparisons to the score of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
- The Pirates of the Caribbean theme music.
- The theme song of the James Bond film series is simply the "James Bond Theme" by Monty Norman. However nearly every Bond film of the last 50 years has included a distinctive, and often extremely popular, unique theme song (with occasional films also blessed with secondary theme songs), a lot of them composed by John Barry. Even as most Hollywood films moved away from opening credits and theme music, the Bond films have, as of 2012, continued to buck the trend and feature theme songs.
- Saw has Zepp's Theme, which plays through the film's Twist Ending.
- Every Halo game barring Halo Wars.
- Final Fantasy. The battle victory theme and the title theme in particular, but most of the music between the games is easily recognized (the same composer did all of the music for the first nine games, and still contributes to this day).
- A couple that ought to be noted are the two songs made for the Dissidia games, "The Messenger," by Your Favorite Enemies, and "God in Fire," by Kidneythieves. Both come with two versions, on being with an orchestral backing, while the other being straight-up hard rock.
- The flute strains from the beginning of the NiGHTS into Dreams... theme.
- Animal Crossing for the Gamecube had some very memorable music.
- Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda themes. The latter's main series theme is quite epic, and if you call yourself a gamer, you have to have heard the classic Ground Theme at least once; it's practically the Signature Song of Nintendo, or even National Anthem of gaming itself.
- Don't forget the Metroid series, which did some impressive things with its music despite limitations.
- The first three Spyro the Dragon games had music by Stewart Copeland, and sounded quite unique.
- Mass Effect's main theme.
- The two Portal games end with original songs performed by the game's computer villain, GLaDOS and written by Jonathan Coulton: "Still Alive" (which has become one of the most covered original songs ever composed for a video game), and "Want You Gone".
- Civilization IV features a catchy, somewhat haunting setting of the Lord's Prayer translated into Swahili, "Baba Yetu." The song was even published as an independent piece. It finally won a Grammy, the first piece of video game music to do so. Liturgical choirs cover it.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim soundtrack, composed by Jeremy Soule, is as rich and varied as Tamriel itself. It's not just Vikings burning and pillaging.
- The Venture Bros. ends "The Invisible Hand of Fate" with a beautiful guitar number. Seems that was just a local player. It's sad.
- Nathan Furst's score for the first three Direct-to-Video BIONICLE movies elevated what would otherwise have been hour-long toy commercials into full-blown cinematic experiences. He even created a memorable Theme Tune for the franchise. There is still such a demand for an actual soundtrack, even after a decade since the movies' release, that the composer at one time wanted to rerecord the tracks and release them online, but for various reasons, he was unable to do so.
- Inspector Gadget's main theme has been covered and sampled many times, most notably in Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick's "The Show."
- Thanks to the considerable talents of composers William Anderson and Daniel Ingram, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has developed a massive musical community among the fanbase dedicated to covering and remixing the original songs and BGM featured in the show.
- The original scores of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, created by The Track Team. There are really too many to list, but two of the most popular are "The Last Agni Kai", a solemn, haunting piece, and "Lost My Heart In Republic City".
- While there isn't a lot of actual singing in the series, the songs which do feature it are very popular in the fandom. Notably the hilarious "Secret Tunnel" and the much, much more emotional "Little Soldier Boy".