Once Upon a Time is a truly beautiful show, with so many aspects beloved, from the characters and performances, to its timeless themes, to it settings and costumes. We all have our favorites. But I think almost any fan would agree that one of the things that is most assuredly beloved by all pretty universally is the music. And it’s most definitely one of the show’s loveliest attributes that I am most thankful for.
The score for Once Upon a Time, which was written by brilliant composer Mark Isham, and performed for each episode by an orchestra composed of endlessly talented musicians, and arranged and mixed by talented orchestrators and engineers, brought such beauty to the series. While the absolutely delightful and amazing original songs were written by talented Broadway composers Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, and performed by the OUAT orchestra and the ever prodigious cast.
The music for any film or television series is one of the most crucial elements of the medium. The music drives the actions and reflects the nature of the scenes and the emotions of the moment, but also adds depth and layers making an already emotional moment even more resonant. How often do you hear a song or instrumental cue from your favorite film or show and are brought back to that moment? The emotions flooding back to you bringing either tears or smiles or often both. The say a melody can bring back a memory and that certainly rings true for any musical score, but especially for Once Upon a Time. Can you imagine certain scenes without the music? There is nothing that takes away from the written word or the brilliant acting, but you take away the music and a scene can suddenly feel like it’s missing part of its soul. Music can make you feel deeply, and from Snow and Charming’s theme, to the montage at the end of “There’s No Place Like Home,” to the sacrifice of The Snow Queen, to the wedding song “A Happy Beginning,” the music for OUAT is gorgeous perfection.
If you love the music as much as I you know doubt want to listen and enjoy as much as possible. Both Season 1 and Season 2 have soundtracks as well the musical episode, both available on iTunes and Amazon, while music from the others seasons can be found on Mark Isham’s official site as well as YouTube. Though we definitely need some more albums, don’t you think?
Assistant to composer to Mark Isham, among other duties, Allison Cantor is the “Keeper of the themes” and shared many of the themes for the various characters. These videos are so interesting to watch and I find myself captivated by them. It also goes to show how distinct all of the variations can be especially character to character. They all can be found on her Periscope Broadcasts.
One of the most gorgeous mixes of music can be found here on this “Relaxing mix.” It includes some of the most beautiful cues including “Snow and Charming’s Theme,” “Wedding in the Woods,” “Emma and Killian’s Theme,” “Wedding Suite,” Ingrid’s End,” “Unhappy Ending,” Emma and Henry,” “The Price for Regina,” and “True Love.”
Some other lovely music cues were in these two scenes in Season 4.
4×12 Peaceful Storybrooke
and 4×22 Return to Storybrooke
Why not also enjoy, relive and fall in love all over again with my favorites from the Musical Episode!
A Happy Beginning
Revenge is Gonna Be Mine
Wicked Always Wins
The thing about OUAT is that it can also inspire talented artists to share their gifts through their love of the show’s music. Here are three piano covers that are simply divine.
Emma and Hook Piano Cover
Snow and Charming 2016 Piano Cover
Snow and Charming 2017 Piano Cover
I know that I will forever be thankful for the musical of Once Upon a Time. Not only for the way it added to the beauty of the show while watching, and re-watching it, but also to hours upon end of listening enjoyment. So thank you Mark, Alan, Michael, Allison, Tyler Parkinson, and all involved in creating one of the show’s most glorious pieces of a rich and colorful mosaic that is this fairy tale series.