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A look back at the music of 'Mission: Impossible'

2018/9/14 9:58:39   source:CGTN

Even if you haven't watched any of the episodes of "Mission: Impossible," you've probably heard this heart-pounding music.

Since the first "Mission: Impossible" in 1996, this passionate theme song with famous "light the fuse" scene has spread around the world along with Cruise's films.

The song has been playing in the film world since 1996. Actually, Argentine musician Lalo Schifrin created this classic melody in 1967.

Three things you didn't know about the theme song

Even though this came out in the 1960s, there's something that feels timeless to audiences about this musical piece.

I. It was written in 1967

Lalo Schifrin, best known for the "Mission: Impossible" theme song, is to receive an honorary Oscar along with actress Cicely Tyson and publicist Marvin Levy, the Academy said on September 5.

The theme song by Lalo Schifrin was originally written for the famous TV series "Mission: Impossible" in 1967 – when Tom Cruise was only four-years-old.

After nine seasons on CBS, the main character Ethan Hunt has become a well-known name among western audiences, the only super-agent to equal with James Bond.

II. It took Lalo Schifrin just three minutes to write it

According to the New York Post, this iconic theme song took Schifrin only three minutes to write.

"Orchestration's not the problem for me, it's like writing a letter," Schifrin said to the New York Post.

"When you write a letter, you don't have to think what grammar or what syntaxes you're going to use, you just write a letter. And that's the way it came," Schifrin added.

III. The theme is written in 5/4 time

"Quintuple meter" or "quintuple time" is a musical meter characterized by five beats in a measure, and the simple quintuple meter can be written in 5/4 time.

Lalo Schifrin's original theme song was composed in 5/4 time, which has become a necessary part of the "Mission: Impossible" and even appeared in trailers.

The unusual time signature sounds exciting, but let people a little out of step. Like, there was no dance fit for it, and only the burning fuse could keep pace with it.

"I was in Vienna and at a press conference, and one lady asked me why I wrote 'Mission: Impossible' in 5/4 time signature," Schifrin told the New York Post. "I said, everybody knows that there have been beams from outer space coming because of interplanetary flights. The people in outer space have five legs and couldn't dance to our music, so I wrote this for them."

As Schifrin said, the reporter believed it, and all the magazines in Vienna published that.

It is a distinct joke, but the unusual 5/4 time signature, however, is Schifrin's significant creation for this series.

He also said, it changed his career because the song became so popular, which he did not expect.

The evolution of the theme song

Tom Cruise started his "Mission: Impossible" series in 1996, which is still used to this tune.

The first episode of the series was directed by Hollywood suspense master Brian Russell De Palma. Danny Elfman as the composer, a rock musician who always worked with Tim Burton.

He turned Laro's masterpieces into a melody of a symphony-centered and accompanied by brass and percussion instruments, also, included electric bass, a symbol of rock and roll.

The second sequel "Mission: Impossible II" was helmed by John Woo and scored by Hans Zimmer.

Zimmer's recompose combines with John Woo's Hong Kong film style are appropriate with each other in the second sequel.

2006's sequel "Mission: Impossible III" was directed by JJ Abrams, Michael Giacchino, the composer of the third sequel, who got the "Mission: Impossible" theme return to its original in the third one. He let the electronic and rock style theme music of the previous episode return to the original symphonic style.

Giacchino's adaptation also continues the music style of the third episode into the fourth sequel.

For "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," Giacchino returns, this time, he jumped out from Schifrin's original, combining some electric guitar with a slightly slower version than the original theme and then joined some elegant jazz tunes.

Joe Kraemer and Lorne Balfe performed the composition of the fifth sequel "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" and the sixth sequel "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" respectively, continuing Schifrin's classic melody and incorporating their creativity as well.

"There are very few television shows that extended their life to motion pictures," said Schifrin.

But the "Mission: Impossible" series did it. When audiences heard the song; they knew the familiar Ethan Hunt is back. And the sixth episode of this series, "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" has no reason to change that tradition.

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