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Hear the Original Demos That Became the “Downton Abbey” Theme Music

Song Exploder and John Lunn pick apart the theme music from the most popular drama in PBS history.
May 6, 2015, 8:00pm

_Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians deconstruct their songs and tell the stories behind how they were made. In the past, it's explored tracks from RJD2 to My Morning Jacket and more. In the newest episode, musician, creator, and host Hrishikesh Hirway and John Lunn deconstruct the theme music from PBS drama Downton Abbey. _

The British television show Downton Abbey is the most popular drama in PBS history, with over 10 million viewers per episode, and more Emmy nominations than any non-US show ever. The theme music is a signature of the show, but it was originally written as a piece of score for the first episode, and then later condensed and turned into the version that appears in the opening credits. The music was recorded by a chamber orchestra, all at once, so in order to isolate different pieces for Song Exploder, we went back to composer John Lunn’s original demo compositions, made with samples in the computer. In this episode, you’ll get to hear how those two compare. Buy "Downton Abbey - The Suite," which is the extended version of the theme and some of its variations used in the show, on iTunes.

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