June 15, 2008
The Music of News
In one of the many Tim Russert reminiscences circulating this weekend, Isaac Chotiner mentioned the grandiose theme music of Meet the Press, which has always been one of my favorite parts of the show. Naturally, this sent me spiraling deep into the Googleverse, where I was delighted to discover a GeoCities (!) site entitled “Network news music,” containing the full themes of network news shows as they evolved over the years.
On the page for NBC, you’ll find two versions of the theme for Meet the Press — movement IV of a symphony entitled “The Mission,” which NBC News commissioned from John Williams; the movement is called “The Pulse of Events.” Movement I of “The Mission” opens the NBC Nightly News, and the third movement opened the Today Show for several years. Having grown up listening to many of these themes, it’s a revelation to hear the motifs that reverberate through all of them when you play them in sequence.
It’s finds like these that remind me how much I love the Web.
See also: this analysis of network news music from Slate.