What makes a good theme song?

Music is synonymous with film but if we’re being honest, it’s even more synonymous with TV – and a show’s branding. Here’s some of our favourites to inspire your submissions to A Different Ballgame…

 

Music is synonymous with film but if we’re being honest, it’s even more synonymous with TV. You could be in your kitchen making a brew when the theme tune for Eastenders catches your ear. You know what it is after the first chime and know every nuance because you’ve grown up with listening to it every. single. day.

 

ICYMI, SYNCR is looking for a brilliant original theme tune for our upcoming SYNCR Live TV show A Different Ballgame that is (not as aggravating as some theme songs most definitely are – but just as addictive. We need an earworm, so for inspiration, here’s some of the best examples we can think of to get your creative juices flowing…

 

Eastenders

Ah, the aforementioned post-dinner ditty. If the BBC were to ever change it to anything but, there would be riots in Blighty. No doubt it sounded suitably whimsical and nostalgic of your 50s kitchen sink drama when the soap first launched in 1985, and perhaps that’s what has made it age in kind. The tinkle of piano doesn’t really belie the grey and gloomy misery of Albert Square with its fighting, cheating and murdering (plus the odd wedding or both thrown in) and it’s probably for the best, or we’d be humming a Gothic dirge á la Bauhaus over our chips.

 

Friends

If there were ever a theme song that perfectly surmised the quarter-life turmoil of millions, it’s the only Rembrandts song that you actually remember. Fun and jovial with a memorable refrain, it perfectly represents the ethos of the sitcom.

 

The Simpsons

Of course, not every theme requires memorable lyrics. It’s often the ones that we mistakenly attempt to mimic various instruments that are the most rewarding. I’m sure each and every one of us can sing along its entirety without aid. Does it actively serve a purpose? It doesn’t imply the tone of the show or the characters. Here, the visuals are setting the scene and the music acts as a supportive aid.

 

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Whereas this is the exact opposite! By the time the theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air has finished, viewers have the context for the entire show. This allows the writers to skip a lot of the premise upfront and get straight to the fun stuff. Plus with Will Smith being a rapper and personality in his own right – especially at the time of the show first being aired – it went on to reinforce his status as a pop culture icon. And of course, the rise of Will Smith was synonymous with the establishment and lasting power of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air itself. The theme song was probably the equivalent of a viral track in its day.

 

American Horror Story

It’s one thing to have a fun and memorable theme song, but it’s another completely to capture the whole essence of this show with a single piece of music. Eerie, haunting, creepy – you name it, there’s something a little off about the title music to American Horror Story. Classic orchestral instrumentation establishes a foreboding tone, but it’s the glitches that really make it feel disjointed and unsettling.

 

Game of Thrones

Similar to the way that The Simpsons theme is burned into our memory, so too is Game of Thrones. Capturing the essence of its alternate medieval universe whilst portraying the fantastical map of Westeros and the Houses that inhabit it (because let’s face it, it could all get rather complicated couldn’t it). You know you’ve got a good theme on your hands when – even with a show as binge-worthy as Game of Thrones – you never want to skip it.

 

Match of the Day

What list would this be if it didn’t include Match of the Day? It’s definitely the most applicable to the theme of A Different Ballgame after all! 55 years down the line and the classic theme is still holding strong – it’s a summoning call to fans of UK football all over the world. Perfect for group chanting, it embodies the collective experience of the sport.

 

We need something just as catchy and memorable as the above themes with a contemporary and modern twist! We’re open to submissions from a variety of genres, so get creative. Don’t worry if you don’t fancy penning an original piece of music this time around – we also need your music to soundtrack the entirety of the series. If you’ve got a few energetic numbers in your back catalogue, submit them now to have them featured alongside football talent Emile Heskey, Michael Owen, Paul Gascoigne, Ray Parlour and David Seaman.

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