The Marvel Symphonic Universe


Here’s a second, supplementary video we made:
And a new Twitter account about temp music we made:
Watch Dan Golding’s great response video here:

Off the top of your head, could you sing the theme from Star Wars? How about James Bond? Or Harry Potter? But here’s the kicker: can you sing any theme from a Marvel film? Despite 13 films and 10 billion dollars at the box office, the Marvel Cinematic Universe lacks a distinctive musical identity or approach. So let’s try to answer the question: what is missing from Marvel music?

This video was made by
Brian Satterwhite:
Taylor Ramos:
Tony Zhou:

For educational purposes only. You can donate to support the channel at

Interviews filmed in Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Special thanks to David Chen for feedback:

The Hollywood Reporter 2012 Composers Roundtable:
The Hollywood Reporter 2014 Composers Roundtable:

Music Cues:

Daniel Pemberton – Orchestra Tuning Up (from The Movies (2005) video game)
Ramin Djawadi – “Test Day Eleven” (Unreleased from Iron Man)
Patrick Doyle – “8m52 Warriors Find Thor ALT” (Unreleased from Thor)
Henry Jackman – “The Smithsonian” (from Winter Soldier)
Danny Elfman – “Heroes” (from Age of Ultron)
Danny Elfman – “Farmhouse” (from Age of Ultron)
Patrick Doyle – “Ride to Observatory” (from Thor)
Henry Jackman – “A New Recruit” (from Civil War)

Temp Music Examples:

300 (2007)
Elliot Goldenthal – “Victorious Titus” from Titus (1999)
Tyler Bates – “Returns a King”
Titus owned by Fox Searchlight Pictures
300 owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

THOR (2011)
Steve Jablonsky – “Einstein’s Wrong” from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Patrick Doyle – “Hammer Found”
Transformers owned by Paramount Pictures
Thor first owned by Paramount Pictures, then transferred to Walt Disney Studios

Henry Jackman – “Captain America” from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Junkie XL – “Brothers in Arms”
Winter Soldier owned by Walt Disney Studios
Mad Max: Fury Road owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Hans Zimmer – “Mombasa” from Inception (2010)
Michael Wandmacher – “Mass vs. Acceleration”
Inception owned by Warner Bros. Pictures
Drive Angry owned by Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment

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  1. Mm the Avengers theme has existed since the first avengers, and it's always been great. I feel like some of the clips used here were cherry picked a little bit to prove the point, whereas other scenes from the movies could have been used as examples of music being used well. Because the use of music isn't perfect in star wars, James bond, or harry Potter either; we could also find scenes in those where the music isn't as effective. There's also some revisionist history there as well, because sometimes in older movies the music can be very over the top and take away from the scene. Overall though, this does make a pretty solid point about how the use of music in film has changed over time, and I agree that the temp music trend is definitely disconcerting. Which is saying a lot, cause I'm rarely on board with anything from Danny Elfman. 😁

  2. if you'd of asked me to hum a marvel track id of straight up started huming avengers theme music…. or failing that ACDC ha.

  3. That's why Hans Zimmer scores stick out more to me, his themes such rich emotions out of you. Wonder Woman's theme is a big example.

  4. Tony, I refer back to your videos all of the time. These video are so inspiring and have propelled me into thinking of making video essays of my own. The editing in these videos is just impeccable, so you have my praise. Thank you for making content like this.

  5. I would like someone to rescore the marvel movies with recurring themes and better music choices like you said.

  6. It’s Crazy now..3 years after this video..I can tell you many of the songs..Spider-Man’s theme was really well used in Homecoming and FFH..Cap’s theme was used in EndGame and now it’s stuck with me..Endgame and Infinity War introduced the avengers theme again..And oh god.The music in Black Panther is..Phenomenal

  7. Come on guys, the Avengers theme at least? The captain America propoganda song? Iron man? Anything from Guardians? The immigrant song?

    OK weirdly most of those are either Early Marvel, or are pre-established musicians, but I suspect that will be part of the video.

    *edit, nevermind, some of those hadnt come out yet.

  8. Hollywood has nothing to do with filmmaking. Its all about creating a product that people will buy. Its not about art anymore, its about the visual and audio tricks that they can use to make you buy a movie ticket, a bluray or merchandise.

  9. SADLY FOR YOU Being a proper MARVEL FAN I Know the music theme that appears especially during any serious battle scene in Avenger's Movies. And The Credits of A2 Age Of Ultron has that theme very properly played with a Statue of Our Avengers: Tee hee

  10. I always hated that about the MCU. It's like they tried to make it unmemorable on purpose. One of the reasons why i hold Winter Soldier above most of the MCU other movies is the score. Thor had a good theme that was just thrown out the window for some reason later on. At least Avengers has an ok theme.

  11. Hey man… I'd like to add portuguese subtitles to all your videos so people from my country can watch it. How can I send you?

  12. i actually really liked the iron man music, but it didnt add much to the scene. in another context, i feel like it could do much more. the captain america and thor&friends edits were so good it makes me miss what could have been :,(

  13. how did you get the Ironman scene without the music? I see that kind of stuff from time to time and I always wonder how to do that

  14. I'm late to the party, I see. But I think not just the unoriginality is key, I think it's also lack of "catchy" melodies. Even the clip of Captain America had music that you wouldn't remember even if narration hadn't covered it, because the melody is not logical or recognizable enough. Listen to harry potter's "Hedwig's Theme", or "Window to the Past", my personal favorite… These are recognizable, memorable melodies. Even without the images, they could stand on their own as beautiful pieces of art. But listen to all the Harry Potter soundtracks and you can also find music that was not meant to tell a story on it's own, and makes no sense individually, without the scene. There's just a balance of iconic music meant to be heard, that immediately calls up the piece of fiction, and background music meant to set a scene with an atmosphere and emotion. They have individual roles, and it is a loss that sometimes one gets neglected.


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