Downton Abbey (Soundtrack)

Available from iTunes

If you’ve watched the series then you’ll know that the soundtrack is amazing, and if you’ve not then you should because the series is amazing as well. It’s was one of the most viewed period dramas there is and has been commissioned for a second series later this year, so if you’ve not seen it then check it out.

Now soundtrack releases are a really common thing when it comes to feature films, they practically all have them, but television is another thing. There are a few composers that have done very well in TV when it comes to soundtrack releases with american composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, A Town Called Eureka, Human Target, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) having practically all of his music released via LaLaLand Records, who seem to want to release everything he has written. Which is great because he really is a talented composer and he’s one of my favourites which is why I’ve got all 15 of his releases, and a few additional tracks as well. Didn’t know he’d done so much actually! There are a few others like Michael Giacchino but he’s an established feature film composer as well thanks to J.J. Abrams and Pixar so it’s not quite as impressive.

Daniel Pemberton (Upstairs Downstairs, Desperate Romantics, Heroes And Villains, Prehistoric Park, Monster Moves) is about the only other TV composer who has done so well. Which is more unusual in his case because he is a british composer and british TV shows don’t often get soundtrack releases. It is becoming a bit more common now with the likes of iTunes, as some soundtracks are getting digital releases which is obviously much more cost efficient when we are talking about a genre of music that isn’t quite as popular as perhaps people like me hope it would be, as then there would be even more soundtrack releases. But thankfully they are still getting releases.

So back to Downton Abbey. The music is composed by John Lunn, who’s only other previous soundtrack release was Hotel Babylon which was co-composed by Jim Williams. I’m not sure why this soundtrack has got a release, but I’m so very thankful that it has because it is some of the best and most beautiful music I’ve heard. Every time I watched the show I got goosebumps from listening to the main title and end title music. Now I can listen to the whole score, and it is all just as exciting.

The melody’s are so elegant and beautiful with the slow and fast moving strings swooping around and the fast piano movements underneath. The main theme from the main title is brought back in about four different tracks but all are different versions and I could listen to that theme again and again anyway with just how beautiful it is. But the soundtrack also has it’s darker moments, and yet some how the melody’s remain beautiful although still with that darker feel. You can listen to the short suite I made below.

I now hope that John Lunn’s music to Little Dorrit that was on the BBC in 2008 gets a soundtrack release, because the music from that was just as beautiful and is what made me realise what a talented composer he is. He’s definitely on my dream list of composers I want to write music for my films.

21 thoughts on “Downton Abbey (Soundtrack)

  1. The Theme music from Downton Abbey sounds very like that of an American series called Fringe by J J Abrams! Do you know of a link?
    THANKYOU

  2. I also love the music which certainly enhances the atmosphere of the show. And I also loved the Little Dorrit soundtrack. Is there anything we can do to encourage it’s release?
    Oh yes, and thank-you for placing this lovely lovely music clip on your site. Is it at all possible to download it onto my computer? I love it! I love it! I love !!!!!!!

  3. Hi Aaron-
    Here I am a year plus later finding your post. I just began watching this series. Both the music and the cinematography were like love at first sight/hear. I’m glad to listen to your suite.
    I am a former musician and I no longer hear well. I have Meniere’s disease which causes fluctuations in my ability to hear well. It comes (and stays-last episode nearly 3 yrs), but I’ve had a respite now for about 6 months. I am delighted to hear this delicious music.
    Thanks for your post. Best to you.
    How about Ennio Morricone? He’s a pretty amazing composer as well.
    Susan

      • Very happy to hear someone else mention that. I know The Piano soundtrack forward and backward and although Downton Abbey is also amazing, there is a little bit too much similarity for me. It sort of sounds like The Piano in slower motion. There is even a piece that features the Oboe in a similar way. A bit disappointing but nevertheless daunting and beautiful. It is exactly why I came here too.

        • I haven’t heard the soundtrack to The Piano but I found parts of the Downton Abbey soundtrack were very reminiscent of The Hours soundtrack by Phillip Glass.

  4. Hi, i’m trying to find out the name of the song the musicians played in the concert at D. A. in the first episode of season 2. Can anybody help please?

    thanks

  5. Dear Aaron,
    I have been watching Downton Abbey here in Switzerland through the local Bluewin system which broadcasts UK channels.

    I love the D.A. series and was immediately taken by the musical score by John Lunn. In your description above you’ve captured everything I have felt about the title track for D.A. The musical score is so perfect and poignant in the way it illustrates the fine emotions and important themes both upstairs and downstairs in the house — and also crossing between the floors! Thank you so much for making the short suite available which I will play over and over again!

    I hope someday you get your wish to have John Lunn or someone of his quality and sentiment to compose a score for one of your films! Good luck to you!
    K.H.

  6. I watched the first season of Downton Abbey in three days. It is not at all popular here in Canada. In fact, it was never broadcast here. I had to search a few video stores before I could find a copy of the series.

    The soundtrack is most definitely breathtakingly beautiful though – even the darker moments as you’ve mentioned. The theme itself is so very haunting. Who knew there could be so much expressivity in 30 seconds of music?

    I had the opportunity to listen to John Lunn’s compositions for Little Dorrit. Hence, when I had discovered his affiliation with the series, I was not at all suprised it was him who had been the composer.

    I must say, i am quite astonished by the amount of passion you have in your work (whether you are type-cast as a sound man, designing sets, filming, etc.). I think passion and a determined mindset are definitely the key to being successful in the industry – and it seems to me you have that here!

    I’ve enjoyed visiting!

    • re: “I watched the first season of Downton Abbey in three days” :

      If it makes you feel any better, I watched the first season in one night. Did not expect to like it; merely put it on Netflix with the intention that it should serve as background noise while I did some work. (For whatever reason, I’m on this kick where most of the media I take in – directly or otherwise – must involve British accents.)

      Of course – because its story is so brilliantly conceived and put together – I was soon immobilized (in terms of the work I’d been determined to get done on my computer while the intended ‘background noise’ droned on the TV), until well past the sunrise/Episode 7. Now debating whether to buy Season 2, or wait for it to appear in some more immediately affordable venue.)

      (And, oh God, the soundtrack.)

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