The Beast Wars music is very different from the music of the old show. The music in every show is largely or wholly performed for that individual episode -- I actually heard this from Bob Forward himself. Robert Buckley is the show's sole music composer (he also does Reboot and War Planets, IIRC), working from a bank of synthesizers. Some of it has the "cheesey action music" feel of the third season pieces, with lots of generic electric guitar; other parts of it sound like World Music, with flutes and "tribal" sounding instruments. Overall it is not as strongly melodic, but it sometimes is more mature-sounding than much of the original series' music. Another big difference is that there are significant periods in the show with no music at all. About a dozen or so different themes recur regularly and comprise the bulk of the background music; many of these are frequently repeated or even played over one another, two or three at a time. There are also little snippets (like Silverbolt's horn fanfare) that pop up frequently. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the music is recycled, but I'm not willing to watch the episodes enough times to really find out for sure. :) Anyway, the point of this list is to catalogue all the themes as thoroughly as possible. THEMES: Beast Wars Theme: Obviously, the theme from the show's opening. Variations of it are used to soundtrack much of the show, especially the battle sequences. For reference purposes, I'll break it up into several sequential parts: * Gathering Pace -- the dramatic opening synth chords (as the ships are falling out of the sky) and the progression of ascending guitar notes that follow them, up to the first climax. Heard in one or two of the first season shows that start off with shots of the orbiting stasis pods. * Pursuit -- steady paced action music, with some jaunty percussion followed by the electric guitar playing the same three-chord progression several times. Starts after the ships have crashed in the first-season opening, and contains the first two shoutings of "Beast Wars!" in the second-season version. Heard in "The Agenda" III, when the Maximals attack the Ark. * Battle -- In the second season version of the BW Theme, this part starts after the second shouting of "Beast Wars!" and goes to the end. Trilling guitar, then several punchy synth chords which build in intensity, up to the end of the opening theme. Similar trilling guitar is often used to soundtrack aerial fight scenes. That same trilling guitar is heard in "The Probe" as Optimus flies past Rattrap and Cheetor in the show's beginning. Desperate Measures: Intense battle theme, a jauntier version of the Pursuit section of the Beast Wars theme. Heard in Coming of the Fuzors II as Megatron and Inferno fire on Rattrap and Dinobot from the air; Before the Storm as Tigatron flees the Predacon base; and -- I think -- Code of Hero as Dinobot takes out Inferno and Blackarachnia. Land of Mystery: sounds like an electronic flute, if there is such a thing. Often heard as the camera closes in on one of the bases, especially at the beginning of episodes. Almost a snippet; only four notes define the melody. "Feral Scream" Part 1 as Depth Charge heads out to hunt Rampage; "Feral Scream" Part 2's opening pan across Cheetor's quarters. Commonly segueways into.... Wild Lands: Jaunty little four-note progression that often accompanies the Maximals on their journeys. Heard in "The Web" as Rattrap goes hunting for Cheetor. Haunted Lands: Long, low synth note, that steps up for a moment, then steps back down. Used to set an ominous mood at the beginning of several episodes -- most notably "Go With the Flow"'s opening sequence. Serengeti: A subdued but fast-moving action piece, with tribal-sounding flutes overlying a very percussionistic rhythm: the type of music they'd play over a wildlife documentary about Africa. Heard in part one of the pilot episode, when Cheetor is running alongside the other cheetahs; "Other Victories" when Cheetor is chasing the merged Tigatron/Airazor spark. Similar to the above piece. Aftermath: Tense, high-pitch single synth chord. Opening of "Aftermath" (Rattrap sitting at the computer); "Nemesis" Part 1 as Silverbolt and DC search for the Preds. Celestial Destruction: Grandiose piece driven by a smashing guitar chord followed by two long synth chords underlain by a vocal chorus. Heard whenever something big and disastrous is happening. Accompanies the scenes of planetary ruin in Other Voices II; the spreading time wave at the end of Agenda III; the incoming quantum surge at the beginning of Aftermath; the beginning scene of Before the Storm when Tigatron sees the alien device. Mongo Celestial Destruction: same as above, but all guitar instead of synth/vocals. Heard in "Bad Spark" as Megatron "welcomes" Rampage to the Preds; in "The Agenda" part one's opening, as we watch the transwarp wave expand outwards; "Nemesis" Part 2's opening as Megatron blows up the jungle. Tigatron's Theme: gentle flute music, solemn, almost mournful. One of the show's best mood pieces. Heard several times in "The Trigger" as the camera pans across the flying island's landscape; . Cosmic Significance: choir-driven piece heard in "Chain of Command" whenever something happens involving the alien site. Sort of a fusion of Celestial Destruction and Tigatron's Theme, and rather derivative of the Ark theme from the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Beginning of "Spider's Game" when we see the orbiting pods; beginning of "Nemesis" Part 1 when Tigerhawk is making lots of sparklies and Optimus reads from the Covenant of Primus. Dark Place: another slow flute piece. Not as sad as Tigatron's Theme, not as sharp as Land of Mystery; somewhat dark. Heard in Other Visits as Tigatron and Airazor close in on the alien site; in "Code of Hero" as we close in on the early humans' valley in the beginning; in "Bad Spark" as BA and Silverbolt start their journey to the mountain top. Predacon Theme: four note progression heard in a variety of styles: * Forceful version: "Dark Designs" when Rhinox is stomping down the corridors of the Pred base; during Airazor's first few seconds of existance in "The Spark". * Delicate version: in "Double Jeopardy" when Blackarachnia first comes on screen (I think!) * Creepy version: done with off-key or dissonant chords. Often used when the spiders are shown. "Code of Hero" as Tarantulus closes in on the animal caught in his web; at some point or other as the spiders are infiltrating the Axalon in "Other Voices" part 1. Silverbolt's Theme: anyone who's seen "The Agenda" doesn't need this one explained to them. The piece is one of the few light-hearted bits of music in the show and provides some welcome relief from all the grim seriousness. Heard several times in "The Agenda" as we follow Silverbolt flying through the air, for example when he's on his way to meet Blackarachnia in part 1. It's the fully developed version of his fanfare, which is four or five notes of muffled trumpets (or some other horns) that accompany Mr. Nobility any time he gives one of his little speeches in the earlier episodes. Easily the most villified piece of music ever to grace a Transformer cartoon. Sad Endings: Dark, mournful piece done with low synthesizer notes, that shows up whenever the Maximals have lost a fight or some such. Heard at the end of "The Probe"; "Feral Scream" Part 1 when Depth Charge reports Cheetor's "death"; "Nemesis" Part 1 when the Maximals are in Tarantulas's submarine chamber. Similar to... Theme of Hero: Dark, quiet synth notes, almost as if backed by male chorus. Heard in "Bad Spark" at the end of Dinobot's one scene; "Code of Hero" when we see Dinobot alone in his chamber. Flight of the Waspinator: frantic trilling synth piece derived from the classical piece "Flight of the Bumblebee". Heard in "A Better Mousetrap" when Waspinator is buzzing around mumbling to himself; in "Maximal No More" when Waspinator shoots down Silverbolt; a variant play in "Nemesis" Part 1 as Waspy, QS, & Inferno fly off to look for a new colony. A Little Tension: four synth notes that usually rise in pitch with each successive playing. Similar to the second part of the "Gathering Pace" part of the BW Theme. "Feral Scream" Part 2 when Optimus interrogates Depth Charge. Black Death: male chorus backing some kind of synthesizers, but blended so you can't really make out either one clearly. Almost a sound effect, rather than a music piece, but it's purely there for mood -- it adds a sense of horror. Heard in "Dark Voyage" when the snake is crushing Cheetor; in "Bad Spark" as Silverbolt starts to cross the log, and again just before BA and Silverbolt run into Rampage; "Feral Scream" Part 1 right before Dinobot 2 captures Depth Charge; "Nemesis" Part 1 as Megs and DB2 approach the Nemesis. BITS 'N' PIECES: Dawn of Man: No, not Also Sprak Zarathrustra; it's the acending synth/choral blend heard at the end of "Code of Hero" as we zoom away from the protohuman and his newly-discovered tool; "Nemesis" Part 2 as Optimus is on the shuttle remembering those who fell during the Beast Wars. Ultimate Crisis: Repeated series of synth notes. Heard in "Chain of Command" as the alien probe zaps Optimus; "Crossing the Rubicon" when Silverbolt dive-bombs the retreating Tarantulas. Nice Catch: Happy little series of synth notes, sometimes with an angelic chorus, that signifies the good guys pulling off some victory. Based on Silverbolt's Theme, I'm given to understand. "Bad Spark" when Silverbolt catches BA at the very end; "Go With the Flow" when Rattrap catches Oona in the Pred installation; "Changing of the Guard" when Silverbolt catches Rattrap (right before they collide with Depth Charge); "The Agenda" Part 2, when SB catches BA (again!). Maximal Victory: A punchy, upbeat, anthemic series of ascending synth notes, signifying some triumph for the good guys. "The Agenda" Part 1 when Megatron is arrested by Ravage; "Master Blaster" as Megatron is driven out of the volcano by the Maximals; "Nemesis" Part 1 when Optimus mistakes Rampage's detonation for the destruction of Nemesis. Oooo Ahhh: The "awe-inspiring" electric guitar chord heard every time a character arrives or transforms impressively or for the first time. Watch the series premier to hear it about twenty times in various incarnations. Meanwhile Back at Base: quick ascending series of xylophone notes, often used when cutting from an action sequence to a non-action shot in the Maximal base. Bad News: two pairs of ascending horn or synth notes, usually heard at the end of a scene -- in particular the sort of scene that ends with Optimus saying "That's just prime." "Code of Hero", end of the scene where Rhinox announces the transwarp wave will alert Cybertron to their location. Uh Oh: off-key decending synthesizer note, the sort of thing heard in horror movies when the killer is lurking nearby. Heard in "The Trigger" whenever one of the traps is activated; at various points during "Bad Spark"; once or twice as the submersible launches in "Nemesis" Part 1. Draw, Partner!: Strumming of a guitar and a single harmonica wail, heard whenever a Western theme creeps into things (ie the end of "Coming of the Fuzors" Part 1, CotF Part 2, and "Maximal No More" when Quickstrike and Rattrap have it out.) Reapears in "Feral Scream" Part 1 when QS goes after the TM2 Cheetor. DAT's Gotta Hurt: quick descending tuba notes, often heard when someone falls or splats Warner Brothers-style. See "The Low Road" (like when Waspinator bounces away at the very end) and "Before the Storm".
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