Stories » Downton Abbey composer John Lunn discusses the film, the show, and the music with Classical101

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Downton Abbey composer John Lunn discusses the film, the show, and the music with Classical101

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The main theme of the hit television series Downton Abbey is as recognizable to the ear as Big Ben's iconic tower is to the eye, from its first pulsing eighth notes ticking away like the moments of a moribund way of life. For six years, composer John Lunn's award-winning music for Downton Abbey transported millions of viewers to the fictitious noble estate. Now, Lunn's music weaves itself through the close-knit web of characters and plotlines in the Downton Abbey film, released worldwide this month.

 

If you're familiar with the television series, then the film's soundtrack will take you back to the 1920s Yorkshire you likely feel you already know. In a recent phone interview, the composer told me he hoped that his music for the Downton Abbey would be the familiar guide that will "take you back into Downton."

But also as it did in the series, Lunn's music for the film will give you that sword-of-Damocles feeling, the sense that, even in Downton Abbey's rarified world of leisure and luxury, the other shoe is always about to drop. And if you watched the television series, then you know that sometimes that shoe is a doozey.

Listen to Classical101: Columbus OH - Jennifer Hambrick discuss with John Lunn, his approach to composing the music for the Downton Abbey television series and some of the tricky moments in scoring the Downton Abbey film.