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    Michael Karp revises legendary NBC election theme

    160115-decision-2016-mn-1000_3c14d6e5b6bf914eb9540e0bf6278236-nbcnews-fp-1200-800For the 2016 election composer Michael Karp revised his legendary election theme for NBC News. The original had been in use since 2004. Karp added a new thematic section, a new vamp section and other minor revisions. It was heard on NBC for the “Commander-In-Chief Forum” in September and is used on MSNBC throughout the day as the primary election theme. It has now been posted to Network News Music.

    (Sidenote: you can browse all the election themes on this website when you follow this link.)

    Two other themes have also been added to the website. You can now listen to the CBS News Nightwatch theme that was used in the last few years of the show’s existence. And the classic CBS News Special Report theme from the early 90s is now also on the site. Both are composed by Edd Kalehoff.


    New CBS Evening News theme added

    CBS Evening News 2016When the new CBS election theme premiered late last year, it was received very well. It is based around three orchestral stabs that are very memorable. Since last night it has become the main theme for the CBS Evening News. You can listen to the full theme right here on this website.

    Along with the new music, the new opening includes footage from CBS journalists in the field and shots from the control room (including director TJ Asprea). The combination of the new music and graphics give the broadcast a more urgent feel. (See Scott Pelley’s report on the new theme.)

    CBS wasn’t alone in commissioning a new election theme. NBC’s Today has used its own election theme since 2010. Their theme by Non-Stop Music has been updated.

    The 2016 election is in full swing and that means we are hearing a lot of election themes on TV these days. Many can already be found on this website. In fact, you can see a list of all the election themes we have right here.

    As a little bonus, here’s the CNN election theme. I have not been able to identify the composer. The music was first used for the 2008 election.

    Unknown composer - CNN Election Theme

    Finally, there is also one non-election theme that has been added to the archive on this website. It’s the current theme for The View by Flavorlab.


    GMA debuts new theme music on eve of 40th anniversary

    abcgma15On the eve of the show’s 40th anniversary, ABC’s Good Morning America relaunched with a new theme music and graphics package. As with previous themes, Matthew Kajcienski of DreamArtists Music composed the music. This marks the first time in just under four years that the long running, top rated morning show switched themes.

    The new music combines elements of contemporary pop and EM rhythms with a symphonic/concert music foundation for which DreamArtists and Kajcienski is known.

    They have been keeping busy at DreamArtists Music. Kajcienski won an Emmy this summer for a branding piece he wrote for Hearst Television stations. Also, in partnership with Springboard Tracks, Kajcienski created the feature branding campaign song for the ABC Television Network. A full length version of the song – featuring vocalist/song writer Taylor Carroll – will be released soon by ABC and will be available for download.

    Update: The theme has been added to the website. You can listen to it here.


    The surprisingly addictive theme music of fake news

    dailyshowlogoComedy Central’s fake news shows are becoming as iconic as the shows they were meant to parody. Due to some remarkable genre choices, their theme music is equally memorable. Whether you compare The Daily Show’s theme to a traditional big band late night theme or an orchestral news theme, it stands out.

    The Daily Show has used the same theme for the past fifteen years and so it was only logical not to change a winning formula when new host Trevor Noah took over. The theme is performed by the band They Might Be Giants and originally written by Bob Mould. The name? “Dog on Fire.”

    Since this theme debuted in the early days of the Jon Stewart era, the show has become less of a parody newscast and more straight forward comedic commentary. But the theme still fits so well. The electric guitar and heavy percussion give it an alternative rock feel and contribute to the rebellious nature of the show.

    They Might Be Giants - The Daily Show full close

    Earlier this year Larry Wilmore took over Stephen Colbert’s old time slot following The Daily Show. The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore uses a theme that prominently features a guitar riff that is emphasized by the host appearing to play it in the opening montage.

    Marc Bonilla - The Nightly Show full theme

    The auxiliary cuts of the package contain different styles of music, mostly genres that are considered to be traditionally black music. The bed that is played during the cold open, for example, is greatly influenced by R&B. The close on the other hand is very jazzy. This unique blend of musical styles sets the show apart from other late night comedy shows.