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Encyclopedia > Theme tune

The theme music of a radio or television program is a melody closely associated with the show, and usually played during the title sequence and/or end credits. If it is accompanied by lyrics, it is a theme song.


The purpose of the music is to establish a mood for the show. In same cases, as with The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island, the lyrics of the theme song provide some necessary exposition for people unfamilar with the show.


Theme music has been a feature of the majority of television programs since the medium's inception, as it was for the ancestral radio shows that provided their inspiration. Programs have used theme music in a huge variety of styles, sometimes adapted from existing tunes, some composed specifically for the purpose. A few have been released commercially and become popular hits; the theme tune to Friends, "I'll Be There For You", was a hit for The Rembrandts.


Other themes, like the music for The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives, and Coronation Street have become iconic mostly due to the shows' respective longevities. Unlike others, these serials have not strayed from the original theme mix much, if at all, allowing them to be known by multiple generations of television viewers.


Virtually every TV show has specific, melodic theme music, even if it's just a few notes. One famous exception is 60 Minutes, which features only the ticking hand of a Heuer stopwatch.


Some series use major hit songs that were popular before the shows' creation. The most famous example is the CSI franchise which each series having a well known song by The Who for their theme song.


Radio programs with notable theme music include Just a Minute, which uses a high-speed rendition of the Minute Waltz by Frdric Chopin.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Radio Rewind - BBC Radio Theme Tunes (1699 words)
Radio 1 opening and closing theme Theme One by George Martin Theme One was also used as a background during programme introductions.
The tune was previously used by Mike Ahern on Radio Caroline.
Theme from Romeo and Juliet performed by the Henry Salomon Orchestra.
“An invitation to imagine: theme tunes and the construction of identity in contemporary US television series (4115 words)
Tagg's reception test is impressively straightforward: ten theme tunes taken from a range of film, TV and popular music are played to an audience who are asked to write down any verbal-visual associations (VVAs) that occur to them in response.
While Buffy’s theme is made up of four-note motives which often end on a note lower than the starting note, the theme as a whole has an unquestionably rising tendency, so while the melodic shape does not altogether fit the male pattern, it does not have the obviously female qualities that Angel’s has.
There are no obvious elements of “femininity” about Buffy’s theme tune, but the extreme femininity of her name, with its assonant and alliterative allusions to “fluffy” and “bunny”, acts as an effective counterbalance to the masculinity of her music.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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