“When witches go riding
And black cats are seen,
The moon laughs and whispers
‘Tis near Halloween”

Author Unknown

It’s (finally) getting to the colder weather we usually associate with October and as the month draws to a close, we’re getting in the spooky Halloween mood in the office. Have a listen to our choices (from Backstreet Boys to Saint-Saens) for a spine-tingling, sugar-coma-inducing ‘Hallow’s Eve’…

ALEX: What an absolute banger to start us off. This has a hidden bit of Bach Toccata and Fugue in the opening…

You make me feel like it’s Halloween by Muse starts with an organ and heavy rock beat, team that with a spooky Halloween themed music video and you’ve got a winner!

ANNE: As a teenager in the 90s it has got to be Backstreet Boys’ Everybody for me.  It’s Scooby-doo meets Thriller, and impossible to listen to without wanting to bust out some spooky moves.

In the video, the boy band’s tour bus breaks down near a spooky mansion where they are forced to spend a harrowing night.  Variously transforming the boys into Dracula, The Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Mummy, they chase around the house in Scooby-doo like escapades, finally converging in the ball room for the iconic dance scene.  In the morning, they are relieved to discover it was all just a dream – or was it??!!

DONNA: As Diwali, the festival of light, approaches, Donna has chosen a spooky piece of indian classical music, called The Himalayas.

The eerie sounds of the sitar depict the cold, snowy and mysterious Himalayas.

KIRSTIE: Two notes. That’s all John Williams needed to create one of the most iconic and well-known film scores ever. When director Steven Spielberg was presented with this theme for his film, he thought John Williams was having a laugh.

You don’t have to have watched Jaws to know what’s coming when you hear that low semi-tone ostinato as it repeats and gets faster and faster until… well, let’s leave the suspense hanging there, just makes it more intimidating!

LAURA: Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.

Every year Laura tries to watch a Halloween based film but that’s quite tricky when you find all Horror films far too scary. A regular choice is the original Ghostbusters for its goofy comedy, spooky theme and of course it’s fantastic theme song!

RACHEL: Not a fan of ghosts and ghouls, Rachel has gone for this beautiful piece Allerseelen by Richard Strauss for All Soul’s Day as a commemorative piece for all departed souls.

The lyrics are set from a poem of the same name by Austrian poet Hermann von Gilm.

SU: ‘Danse Macabre‘ This ghoulish piece was originally written for voice and piano, but the composer then re-wrote it for violin and full orchestra, giving us the piece we recognise today.

In this video, you can see the legend behind the poem brought to life in cartoon form of Death appearing at midnight on Halloween and calling forth the skeletons to dance to his fiddle until dawn when they must return to their graves until next year.

EXTRA: How to make a nursery rhyme creepy… include it in a scary film called Nightmare on Elm Street. Based on the rhyme ‘1, 2, Buckle my shoe’, this music is the theme for main character Freddy Krueger, a murderer who invades teenagers dreams in the film. The nightmarish sounds of synthesizers under the chant builds up the intense feeling for the full horror film effect.

If you want to keep awake at night, this is what you should be listening to!

One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you…

We hope you have all had a good half term break. We don’t have much to report this week except to say we’re looking forward to seeing you all at the various groups and rehearsals coming up.

Rehearsals are back again for Daytime Voices, Daytime Orchestras, Open Voices and the youth bands this week – see you there!

With Halloween still fresh in our minds, we take a look at what elements makes a spine-tingling horror film score. Shrieking violins? The ghostly wobble of a theremin? The skeletal sounds of a xylophone? These six fangtastic soundtracks have got it all! So, go and get yourself some popcorn and a cushion to hide behind….

Psycho: Bernard Herrman.

Who can forget those iconic violin stabs – made all the more terrifying by matching the action on screen?

Rosemary’s Baby: Krzysztof Komeda

Komeda set a beautiful but creepy lullaby waltz at the heart of this score.  The message here seemed to be: the nicer something seems, the scarier it will turn out to be…

The Exorcist: Mike Oldfield

Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells,” became one of cinema’s most iconic horror movie soundtracks and a smash hit in its own right. Oldfield later joked: “I’m the godfather of scary movie music.”

The Omen: Jerry Goldsmith

As 1970s horror fests go, The Omen was right up there for chill factor and earned Jerry Goldsmith the only scoring Oscar of his illustrious career. The lead track features the ominous chant, “Sanguis bibimus, corpus edimus, tolle corpus Satani,” or, “We drink the blood, we eat the flesh, raise the body of Satan.”  Yuck.

Jaws: John Williams

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…..  Williams produced a soundtrack that gave a whole generation a fear of sharks and sparks an immediate sense of panic whenever it is played. Williams explained he wanted the song to be “grinding away at you, just as a shark would do, instinctual, relentless, unstoppable”.

Right, you can come out from behind the sofa now!

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.



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#MfEMondays are Music for Everyone’s weekly emails designed to keep you up to date with MfE events & to circulate interesting finds, special features, and motivational moments for your Mondays! We are aiming to send out something new each week.