Mood music

Music preceded speaking in the movies. Before “talkies” came to theaters, an organist or pianist would set the mood with a score that fit the action on screen and added to the experience for theater-goers.

Today, movies and television shows typically include a soundtrack that sets the mood and works in harmony with dialog and action to drives the story. A well-placed creepy violin sets us up to expect a surprise showing by the evil vampire, robot, arsonist, of slasher.

If you’re a fan of the original Star Trek, you know the rhythmic theme that accompanied every fight as well as the lush orchestral music that set the mood for every Captain Kirk Kiss. If I were more tech savvy I could probably use my Star Trek theme music CD to create some sound clips for you, but I don’t know how that’s done. Instead, I’ll leave you all to pull out your Start Trek CDs and . . .

What. You don’t all have Star Trek CDs? Okay. Here are a couple of YouTube videos to make the point. The Amok Time fight Kirk kissing (and yes he is taking advantage of her–his kisses were seldom about love, but that is a different post).

A great theme song must set the mood for the whole series. Think about some of the most memorable over time. The Dick Van Dyke Show stands out in my mind along with Andy Griffith in the WAY BACK WHEN category.

More recent themes that hit the mark in my opinion include–Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Friends, and Gilmore Girls. And my favorite for its grandeur and musicality befitting the heroic mission of the show’s protagonists–Star Trek Voyager. Don’t those french horns give you chills?

This is why I don’t fast forward through the credits. I don’t even get up to fix a snack. I listen to the music that sets the mood.

What is your favorite or least favorite television theme music?

P.S. Don’t forget to share your opinion about theme music–to skip or not to skip on my poll there on the left side of my blog, or go directly to the poll at PollDaddy. Or on Facebook.


  1. I can’t believe I’ve never tried to get you to watch Clone High before! It’s really great. I shouldn’t have to tell you. The amazing theme song really speaks for itself.

  2. Clone High? Never heard of it. I’ll have to check it out.

  3. Magdalena says:

    Clone High definitely has the best theme song.

  4. Well written.

    In my local film club, they showed a silent movie and there was a pianist playing, like in the old times. It was magic.

    I like the Star Wars intro music. There is this five second silence and then BOOM. And you know from the music when Darth Vader is arriving.

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