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Lostpedia

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

From Lostpedia

Michael Giacchino's musical score for Lost makes use of numerous recurring leitmotifs and themes, often with associations to specific characters, locations, or actions. As Giacchino hasn't publicly given titles for most of these, this list uses generic, unofficial names that denote the entities they typically represent. Each name is followed by the episode it was first heard in, enclosed in parentheses. In cases where the theme can be heard on soundtrack, a track title is given after the description, along with track times when necessary for clarity. Note that many themes are used in multiple seasons after their introduction.

For recurring musical elements that don't qualify as full-fledged themes, see musical score.

Contents

Themes and leitmotifs

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Season 1

  • Mystery theme: ("Pilot, Part 1") Typically played on high-pitched percussion, this five-note theme is typically used (sometimes with an additional note at the end) repetitively in creepy or suspenseful moments. It can be heard over the percussion in the end credits as well as in the theme song played on the Dharma Initiative orientation films. ("The Eyeland", 1:20)
  • Action beat: ("Pilot, Part 1") Entirely percussive motif used in various permutations, mainly in the first season. A version from after the engine's explosion is heard in the end title music for the show. ("World's Worst Beach Party")
  • Main theme: ("Pilot, Part 1") Usually a closely-spaced arrangement for strings representing the emotional aftermath of the crash. Heard extensively, especially in the first season. It is often used more broadly to represent the survivors in later seasons. ("Credit Where Credit is Due")
  • Traveling theme #1: ("Pilot, Part 1") Repeating five-note motif for various pitched percussion, often accompanied by the chord progression i - V - i - IV above in the strings, synths, and/or brass. Used while the characters explore the island or, in the case of Juliet and Ben, when they arrive there. ("Juliet is Lost", Season 3 soundtrack)
  • Traveling theme #2: ("Pilot, Part 2") Heavy bassline in the low strings with violins playing a melody in counterpoint above. ("Hollywood and Vines")

Image:HollywoodAndVines1.gif

  • Michael and Walt: ("Tabula Rasa") Three-note motif representing Michael and Walt's relationship, first used when Locke calls Vincent back to the beach. ("Michael's Right to Remain Wrong", Season 4 soundtrack)
  • Locke's 1st theme: ("Walkabout") Four-note theme representing the mysterious hunter-gatherer side of John Locke's character. ("Crocodile Locke")
  • Locke's 2nd theme: ("Walkabout") Ascending theme based on a ♭VI - i chord progression, representing Locke's journey from the sorrows of his past. ("Locke'd Out Again")
  • Apparition theme: ("White Rabbit") This eerie series of four notes is similar in contour to Sayid's theme, but the effect is greatly different. Heard frequently in "White Rabbit" as Jack sees his late father appearing on the Island.
  • "Life and Death": ("White Rabbit") After its initial use for the introduction of the caves, this quiet piano-based theme is frequently used for the deaths of major characters. ("Win One For The Reaper")
  • Jin's brutality: ("House of the Rising Sun") Asian-flavored theme featured extensively in "House of the Rising Sun", sometimes sounding beautiful but other times becoming dangerous as Sun is disturbed by Jin's violent behavior. ("Departing Sun", 1:32)
  • Charlie's addiction: ("The Moth") Low, ominous six-note melody with another four-note set of tentative string chords. The former is also heard in conjunction with the "life and death" theme for Charlie's death in Season 3. ("Charlie's Temptation", Season 2 soundtrack)
  • Redemption theme: ("The Moth") The chord progression i - ♭II, typically played by a quiet synthesizer and representing the purification of characters such as Charlie and, later, Eko. ("Heirloom Holiday", Season 3 soundtrack, 0:20)
  • Sawyer's theme: ("Confidence Man") This surly motif consists of four notes, moving in parallel fourths in the low register of a harp.
  • Jack's 1st motif: ("Confidence Man") 8-note motif used in tenser scenes involving Jack, similar to the winding passage of the Others' action theme. ("Under the Knife", 1:09)
  • Sayid's theme: ("Solitary") Solemn melody used in Sayid's centric episodes and episodes concerning him, particularly when Nadia is involved. ("A New Trade", Season 2 soundtrack)
  • Rousseau's theme: ("Solitary") Tense, manic string motif heard in numerous scenes involving Rousseau, even for her introduction in "The Little Prince".
  • Friendship theme: ("Raised by Another") Tender theme often used for Claire and Charlie's friendship. ("We're Friends")
  • Explosive theme: ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues") Rising four- or eight-note theme heard first quietly in the cellos, then more loudly in the trombones for action cues. Frequently used for scenes involving the Black Rock, explosives, and/or the Monster. ("Run Away! Run Away!")
  • Sawyer's past: ("Outlaws") Disquieting four-note piano theme, based on three repeated intervals of a major sixth and then another, a major second up. Used in scenes involving the man Sawyer shot in Sydney, and much later when he discovers the real Sawyer in "The Brig".
  • Claire and Aaron: ("Outlaws") Affectionate piano theme used for scenes with Claire, particularly those involving Aaron.("Thinking Clairely")
  • Love theme: ("...In Translation") Used in various scenes, such as one involving Michael and Walt, Kate and Sawyer having sex in the cages, Kate coming home to Aaron after her trial, and Sawyer and Kate's reunion on the Island. ("Romancing the Cage", Season 3 soundtrack, 0:45)
  • Hurley's 1st theme: ("Numbers") Ascending pitched percussion and/or piano beneath a playful, four-note melody, often on the harmonica. The first two chords are sometimes heard alone, typically in the higher strings, with a glissando between them. ("World's Worst Landscaping", Season 2 soundtrack)
  • Kate's theme: ("Born to Run") Winding eight-note passage with a slower counterpoint, rather similar to the Others' action theme. Ostensibly an homage to the music of Bernard Hermann, especially considering its name on the soundtrack. It is also somewhat similar to the 13th century Latin hymn Dies Irae, which was sometimes an inspiration to Hermann. ("Kate's Motel")
  • Leaving the Island: ("Exodus, Part 1") Four ascending melodies that are combined in various ways in scenes involving rescue or departure from the island. ("Parting Words")

Image:Leaving the island.gif

Season 2

  • Hatch theme: ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") Eerie motif representing the hatch, often played by string instruments as tremolos sul ponticello (rapid back-and-forth bowings near the bridge of the instrument). ("The Final Countdown", 0:54)
  • early Others'/Tailies' theme: ("Orientation") Three ascending notes above repeated descending minor seconds, initially used while Sawyer, Jin, and Michael believe the Tailies to be the Others.
  • Hurley's 2nd theme: ("Everybody Hates Hugo") Slow, dolorous theme usually used for the various things that have gone wrong in Hurley's past. ("Mess It All Up")
  • Hurley's 3rd theme: ("Everybody Hates Hugo") Originally a variation of "Leaving the Island," this theme takes it in different melodic directions for a variety of tender scenes, and came to be used as another theme for Hurley. ("Hurley's Handouts")
  • Sun and Jin: ("...And Found") Seven simple piano chords (i - VI - VII - III - VI - v7 - V), sometimes with iv replacing the second chord and/or a melody playing in the strings. ("The Last to Know")
  • Eko's theme: ("The 23rd Psalm") Serene theme that represents Eko's good nature, generally played by the piano or strings. ("All's Forgiven... Except Charlie")
  • Eko's motif: ("The 23rd Psalm") Brooding ascending minor second followed by a falling minor second, used to represent particularly the brutish side of Eko's past. After Eko's death, the motif is still occasionally heard in other contexts. ("Eko of the Past", Season 3 soundtrack, 2:28)
  • Rousseau and Alex: ("Maternity Leave") Four-note motif representing Rousseau and later Alex. Primarily used when Alex helps Claire to escape from The Staff. ("Claire's Escape")
  • Traveling theme #3: ("The Whole Truth") Ascending series of notes played quietly on harp (with occasional swells of the same chord in the string section) for several scenes involving treks across the island. ("Mapquest")

Image:Traveling theme 3.gif

  • Rose and Bernard: ("S.O.S.") Love theme for the couple, with similarities to "After the raft", heard numerous times in their centric episode. ("Rose and Bernard")
  • Reveal theme: ("?") Two chords (i - III) used for the reveals of surprising sights on the island, such as the Pearl or the helicopter from the freighter.
  • Ben's theme: ("Three Minutes") Sinister seven-note melody for muted trombones or strings, consisting of two similar descending figures, each ending with a half-step glissando. Its initial use for Michael's betrayal and the Others as a whole was gradually replaced with a more specific association with Ben. This theme can also be heard in a substantially different variation, starting in "The Man Behind the Curtain"; in these cases, it is played gently by piano or strings, with chords and a second melodic phrase that give it a distinctly tender character. ("The Hunt", 0:53)

Image:Ben's Theme.gif

  • Others' theme: ("Three Minutes") Bouncy, chromatically-moving intervals of a minor third in the trombones, sometimes with a secondary melody in the strings. Used in scenes involving the Others' seemingly primitive existence in Season 2. ("McGale's Navy")
  • Mystery theme counterpoint: ("Live Together, Die Alone") Disturbing, repetitive dissonances, with the mystery theme often heard in conjunction. First heard as Jack, Sayid, and Sawyer swim to Desmond's sailboat. Used frequently in scenes involving strange or chaotic occurrences, such as Desmond's flashes. ("Naomi Phone Home", Season 3 soundtrack)
  • Desmond's theme: ("Live Together, Die Alone") Two variations of a melancholy tune for Desmond, particularly his past with Penny. A related progression of uneasy chords is also used for the stranger aspects of his experiences after the implosion of the Swan station. ("Bon Voyage, Traitor")
  • Traveling theme #4: ("Live Together, Die Alone") Four ascending notes of a minor key, played by harp. ("The Hunt", 1:17)
  • Season finale action theme: ("Live Together, Die Alone") Two short phrases, descending then ascending. This theme has been used in the finales of seasons 2, 3, 4 and 5. ("The Hunt", 3:19)
  • Suspense theme: ("Live Together, Die Alone") Three punctuated, descending dissonances that repeat, similar in character to the Lost theme counterpoint mentioned above. Sometimes accompanied by a faster bassline beneath. Most often heard in scenes involving the survivors' potential rescue. ("Looking Glass Half Full", Season 3 soundtrack)

Season 3

  • The Others' action theme: ("A Tale of Two Cities") Based on alternating minor seconds ending with a winding passage, this tense theme is first heard when Ben gives his orders to Goodwin and Ethan after Flight 815's crash. It reaches its most recognizably suspenseful form in "The Glass Ballerina" and is used heavily throughout season 3. Melodically similar to Kate's theme. ("In With a KABOOM!", 0:47)
  • Hydra theme: ("A Tale of Two Cities") Confused, disorienting melody played by the horns. Used in such instances as Sawyer and Karl's escape attempt and later when Kate and Sawyer are being chased through the jungle. ("Awed and Shocked")
  • Jack's 2nd motif: Another similar motif for Jack, this one comprising four notes. ("The Fallen Hero", 0:17)
  • Jack's theme: ("A Tale of Two Cities") Gently played by solo cello with quiet harp or piano accompaniment in most instances, though Matthew Fox was taught how to play it on piano for the scene from "The Man from Tallahassee" when Kate finds him in the Barracks. ("Achara, Glad To See Me?")
  • Surgery theme: ("I Do") Rhythmic theme in 9/8 meter, used while Jack performs surgery on Ben and during another operation in season 5. ("Under the Knife")
  • Mystery motif: ("Not in Portland") Three major third intervals, high in the violins, ascending and then descending.
  • Juliet's theme: ("Stranger in a Strange Land") Starts with a i - IV - III - IV chord progression and most often plays in scenes involving Juliet's relationships. ("Ocean's Apart")
  • Mikhail's motif: ("Enter 77") Four-note motif which represents the survivors' distrust of Mikhail, first used when they visit him at The Flame.
  • Nikki and Paulo: ("Exposé") Winding motif similar to the Others' action theme which represents Nikki and Paulo. Although this musical idea was first used in the pilot episode, it was not used again until its use for these characters in the third season. ("Sweet Exposé", 0:36)
  • "Greatest Hits" motif: ("Greatest Hits") Triplet-based five-note motif in a minor key used to underscore various tense scenes in "Greatest Hits". ("Charlie's Fate", 1:10)
  • Jack's 3rd motif: ("Through the Looking Glass") A sad motif often used in scenes involving both Jack and Locke after the latter's death. ("Flying High", 2:32)
  • Flashforward theme #1: ("Through the Looking Glass") Four synthesized intervals in scenes involving the Oceanic 6's deception about the fate of the other survivors. Its first appearance is in the final scene of the third season, and it is especially common in scenes involving Jack and Kate's broken relationship off the Island. ("Flash Forward Flashback", 0:31)

Season 4

  • Flashforward theme #2: ("The Beginning of the End") Another sad theme, often played on synthesizer, for the emotional aftermath of the Oceanic 6's rescue, this one beginning with the chord progression i - IV - V. ("Giving Up the Ghost")
  • Suspense theme #2/Freighter crew theme: ("Confirmed Dead") Two identical intervals of a half-step followed by three, four, or six identical whole-steps, used frequently in "Confirmed Dead" while Daniel searches for the other people from the helicopter.
  • Freighter theme: ("Confirmed Dead") Alternately noble and ominous five-note theme for the people on the freighter, first heard during Charlotte's flashback in Tunisia. ("Time and Time Again", 0:42)
  • Faraday's experiments: ("The Economist") Another chaotic motif, this one making use of an ascending six-note figure beneath repeated semitones over a throbbing two-note bassline. This adds a sense of anxiety to Daniel's experiment with the payload and to Eloise completing the maze in 1996. A variation on this theme is heard when Faraday talks to Desmond over the satellite phone in "The Constant".
  • Oceanic Six theme: ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1") Texturally similar to Locke's second theme, with melodic hints of the main theme. This is first heard as the Oceanic 6 disembark to rejoin their families for the first time after the crash. ("There's No Place Like Home")
  • "There's No Place Like Home" motif: ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1") 3/4 ostinato of a single repeated note (1-and-(rest)-and-3) used as tension escalates at the end of season 4.

Season 5

  • Eloise's theme: ("The Lie") A weird and somewhat repetitive melody for Eloise Hawking, typically played by strings. It consists of a series of ascending figures followed by repeated pairs of descending intervals.
  • Daniel & Charlotte's theme: ("Jughead") A beautiful melody involving Daniel's affection for Charlotte.
  • Sawyer's love theme: ("The Little Prince") A warm melody used for scenes involving Sawyer's feelings for both Kate and Juliet.
  • Miles' theme: ("Some Like It Hoth") A three-note theme that has played in various scenes including Miles. Specifically ones also including his father.
  • Jacob's theme: ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2") Mysterious, haunting theme played by the string section, used during most of Jacob's scenes in the season 5 finale.

Season 6

  • Nemesis theme: ("LA X, Parts 1 & 2") An eight note motief that represents the Nemesis Locke character, derived with melody and harmony originated from the Sarasangi scale of South Indian Classical Music. The melody notes are Eb F F Gb F A A Bb with harmony of triads consisting of Eb Gb Bb resolving to D F A in two different chord inversions.
  • The Temple Dwellers theme: ("LA X, Parts 1 & 2") A march for the Temple and the others who dwell there. First heard when the Temple is revealed, and shortly thereafter when the alarm is sounded and defense preparations are made.

See also


This article uses material from the "Musical themes" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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