The Return (and Random Epic Music)

Wow, I’ve been pretty terrible about blogging lately. I fell into the trap of telling myself “it’s been a while since my last blog so I’d better make the next one worth the wait…” and I don’t come up with anything so then more time goes by and it quickly spirals into lots and lots of nothing. So, here I am listening to epic music on youtube and it’s motivated me to break free of my slump and at least post SOMETHING something (bleh, I can’t find the right way to accent “something” the way I would vocally… oh well, you can figure it out).

So… what is epic music you may ask? I suppose it could have different definitions, but I’m talking about fate-of-the-world-hangs-on-what-happens-next orchestral music, the type that accompanies big-budget Hollywood movies where there’s some hero/heroine rising up against all odds to meet some impossible challenge. You know the type of movie I’m talking about. Armageddon, Lord of the Rings, Transformers… each of these trailers use epic music combined with fast paced action to pull the audience in, seeking to raise your pulse and leave you with the thought “I have to see that!!!”.

Epic Music is pretty awesome imho. I like it so much I just listen to it sans-trailer. What’s funny is that most times the awesome music from the movie trailers isn’t actually included in the movie. Movie teasers and trailers generally get released before the movie is done, and since the musical score is usually one of the last things to be added, it’s not ready in time for inclusion in trailers. This dilema could potentially cause terrible trailers. In many cases, the music is an integral part of the movie. Take it away and you get something completely different… case in point, The Original Star Wars Trailer. This trailer is what aired in theaters in 1977 before John Williams had scored any of the now iconic soundtrack. They realized the need for music in the trailer so they added SOMETHING something (bleh…), but it’s absolutely NOT epic music.

So… somewhere between 1977 and now, the trailer makers of the world have discovered the need for epic music. In response, a number of music production companies were formed focusing specifically on creating music for theatrical trailers, television spots, and commercials… basically they compose, perform, and record short (usually only a few minutes long) epic music. X-Ray Dog , Immediate Music, Two Steps from Hell, and Future World Music are just some of the production houses that deliver the music for the movie trailers you know and love. While most of these companies don’t sell their albums to the general public (they sell exclusively to movie and television production studios), they do allow us to listen to their tracks on their websites. Additionaly there is also a slew of epic music available on youtube.

For your listening pleasure, here are a few epic music playlists on youtube that I’ve compiled:

  • Epic Motivation (the one I’m listening to right now… it worked! It gave me the motivation to write a blog, woohoo!)
  • Epic Emotion (sometimes sad, sometimes uplifting… for when you want to just feel SOMETH…)
  • and then there’s just good plain ol’ Epic Music (accept no substitutions)

And that’s all she wrote… “she” being “me”… except I’m a guy… …um, yeah.

…and on that note. So what do you think about epic music. Does it matter that music in movie trailers doesn’t actually appear in the movie? Can you think of any examples where the trailer music might have been better than the music from the movie itself? Worse? Any links to other epic music that should be on my lists? Feel free to post these and any other thoughts you may have in the comments below.

S0m3th1ng …bleh

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About jackmoreland

My name is John, but I go by Jack. I'm a Senior Research Scientist at Purdue University Calumet. I work in the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation. I'm also working on a PhD in Technology focusing on Augmented Reality as an educational tool. My wife is a high school science teacher and we have a son. Life is busy but good. I'm currently taking a class called "Social Internet" which is giving me the kick-in-the-pants I need to get into social media. Result? This blog and I'm also now on twitter (@jack_moreland). This could be fun... =)
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5 Responses to The Return (and Random Epic Music)

  1. Mihaela says:

    Will writing about epic music make this an epic return? 🙂
    How about you embed some videos in your post for us, save the click-through effort?

  2. I like epic music in movie trailers. Often the audio has more of an impact on me than what I actually see. Similar to how other music makes you feel happy or hyper, some music that I’m thinking of conveys an emotion of Amazing, Epic, Urgency. The trailer I first thought of with epic music is Inception.
    If you haven’t seen this before, it is awesome. http://inception.davepedu.com/ BRRRRRRRAAAAAWWWWRWRRRMRMRMMRMRMMMMM!!!

    And here’s the trailer for anyone who hasn’t heard it before.

  3. scott abney says:

    I’m a pretty big fan of music being tied in to the movie, however a movie can overdo it with the use of a certain song. Best example I can think of is Revenge of the Fallen. It seemed like every 5 minutes they were playing the Linkin Park theme song for the movie either with or without words and it got tiresome.

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  5. Adam Black says:

    I agree with all of this. I spent 10 years searching for http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3R2MpeCJDU which I had heard around the time this movie came out but could not find and didn’t know what it was from. Also, this entire soundtrack is amazing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sY0bvZuhiQ

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