Orchestral Bombing

"The music [in the game] is right out of the movie! I don't know which movie, because this level sounds like I'm being attacked by Danny Elfman and Tim Burton."
Noah "The Spoony One" Antwiler, on Demolition Man for the 3DO.

Nothing quite beats an orchestra for a battle, especially an aerial one.

It may involve Ominous Latin Chanting or Autobots, Rock Out!.

Compare Music to Invade Poland to, Fanfare. Contrast with Classical Music Is Boring. If the music is too loud, better hope you have Steel Ear Drums.


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    Anime and Manga 


  • This shows up a few times in Honor Harrington:
    • In Honor of the Queen, Honor has Hammerwell's 7th symphony played shipwide during the first battle of Yeltsin.
    • One of the Havenite commanders uses "Ride of the Valkyries" as their general quarters signal.
  • In Small Favor, Hendricks and Gard (who happens to be an honest-to-god Valkyrie) perform a Big Damn Heroes with an attack helicopter to "The Ride of The Valkyries", with Hendricks riding shotgun... with a Mini Gun.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Farscape: The destruction of Scorpius' command carrier featured orchestral music and Ominous Latin Chanting.
  • Whenever there was any kind of fight sequence, whether it was between people or spaceships, on Star Trek: The Original Series, it would be accompanied by the most over-the-top, bombastic music imaginable. In fact, they often did this even when there was no fighting happening, like say when an ambassador boards the ship. This was a critical element of the series' Narm Charm and really complemented the acting style. It was sadly missing from most of the later series - compare the scoring to the very same fight scene in "The Trouble With Tribbles" and DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations" for a perfect example of this.
    • Ron Jones was probably the best among the composers for the sequel series at using this in his scores (see "The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2" in particular the track "Intervention", for a perfect example). Too bad he left TNG during the fourth season.
      • The main reason was because Rick Berman hated this trope, and wanted the music to be strictly part of the background of the show, like wallpaper.
  • Mythbusters recently had some fun with this trope in their Top 25 Special showing off their various explosions to the 1812 Overture. If you download the episode, I can guarantee you'll want to watch the sequence more than once.
  • Babylon 5 used this in every space battle, to cover the (unique for SF shows at the time) absence of sound in space. The opening and closing themes also count.
  • The Pilot Movie of JAG has this in its final aerial battle scene.

  • Richard Wagner's Prelude to Act III of ''Lohengrin'', has become something of a Standard Snippet for air raids.
  • The 1812 Overture itself! To quote Calvin and Hobbes:
    "Gee, and I thought classical music was boring!"
    • Two words: Cannons firing. That's not a glib comment; that's actually part of the musical instruction. Yes, the piece, when properly performed, actually uses cannons as part of the orchestra. Ya know, since the 1812 Overture was originally written to mark Russia valiantly defending Moscow against Napoleon's seemingly unstoppable horde. Which makes it even more Crowning Music of Awesome.
  • Gustav Holst wrote the Mars, Bringer of War segment of The Planets suite before World War I had started, but it depicts the brutality and scale of its mechanized warfare brilliantly. John Williams certainly had it in mind - see the ship chase at the opening of Star Wars Episode IV.
  • Richard Strauss's "Ein Heldenleben" ("A Hero's Life") has an impressive battle sequence, beginning with a hostile fanfare and leading to leitmotifs dueling amid assorted orchestral fireworks.
  • Symphony No. 1 (In Memoriam Dresden, 1945) is a piece written to represent the firebombing of the German city of Dresden by the Allies in 1945. The first three movements are fairly slow and ominous, but the fourth, aptly entitled "Firestorm", brings out all the stops. Trombones are made to imitate the sound of bomber engines, an air-raid sired blares, drums placed all around the stage are slammed to mimic the impact of the bombs, band members scream in German - it gets intense.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven was probably the first one to use the trope. His Eroica symphony opens with two full orchestral chords, to underline this point (Timpani included).

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    Real Life 
  • During the first BLACK BUCK mission during the Falklands War, one of the crew of the Vulcan wondered where the orchestra was. They did play the theme from Chariots of Fire on the way home.