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Composer/Musician. Danny Elfman. Birthday:. May 29, 1953. Birthplace:. Los Angeles, CA. Family. Parents & Siblings:. Children:. Milton (dad) Blossom (mom) Richard (brother). Lola Mali Oliver. Wife:. Bridget Fonda. His Inspiration…. The Day the Earth Stood Still

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Danny Elfman

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Composer musician


Danny Elfman



May 29, 1953


Los Angeles, CA

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Parents & Siblings:


  • Milton(dad)

  • Blossom(mom)

  • Richard(brother)

  • Lola

  • Mali

  • Oliver


  • Bridget Fonda

His inspiration

His Inspiration…

The Day the Earth Stood Still

by Bernard Hermann

(click link above)

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1985 The Transition to Film

Danny’s first “big hit” movie score…

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Loud Music = Hearing Loss = The End to Danny’s Concert Performances

OingoBoingo’s Final Concert Performance

October 31,1995 at The Universal Amphitheatre

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2013…He Continues to Compose Film Scores

The latest films for which he composed the film score that have been released this year to date are:

  • “Epic”

  • AND

  • “Oz The Great and Powerful”

Composition history


1989 batman movie song up the cathedral

1989 Batman moviesong…“Up The Cathedral”

This song reached to #30 on the billboard charts.

2010 alice in wonderland movie song alice s theme

2010 Alice In Wonderland moviesong…“Alice’s Theme”

This particular piece inspired other songs to be written by other artists.

1997 men in black movie song m i b main theme

1997 Men In Black moviesong…“M.I.B. Main Theme”

It is possible that Elfman composed as well as performed this piece.

Listening guide


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“Up The Cathedral” (5:06)


  • 0:00 Introduction: Deep drum tone to begin, Fast rhythm, Stoccato, Increasing timbre with more instruments, Pitch goes higher.

  • 2:23 Transition: High pitch, Quick twinkling sounds

  • 4:33 Coda Begins: Very quick rhythm, Hustle and bustle of many instruments, Slows and softens to a fade.

  • 5:06 Ends

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“Alice’s Theme” (5:07)


  • 0:00 Introduction: High energy rhythm, Begins with one instrument, then adds another with a lower tone.

  • 0:12 Choral voices add a new instrument, singing “oooo’s” and “aaahhh’s” in harmony and melody.

  • 2:24 Transition: Instruments only, Higher pitch, Main instruments at half time of the lower background instruments.

  • 4:36 Coda: Slow repetitive words, High pitch, One singer, Instruments continue the melody.

  • 5:07 Ends

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“M.I.B. Main Theme” (2:58)


  • 0:00 Introduction: Very slow beginning with one instrument being played at a low pitch with a pause between each note, additional instruments added with a quicker rhythm and higher pitch, quirky instruments that are low pitch and medium rhythm, other instruments in harmony and double-time rhythm

  • 1:44 Transition: Private Investigator mood, Mysterious low tones, Unique instrument with a clanking glass high-pitched background occasionally played.

  • 2:36 Coda: Repeat of the ending of the introduction with many different instruments being played in harmony, Very smooth sounds and melodies, Increasing intensity and speed, Abrupt stop with a glissando to finish.

  • 2:58 Ends



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  • "Alice in Wonderland (2010 Film)." Wikia. N.p., 25 June 2013. Web. 29 June 2013. <http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Alice_in_Wonderland_(2010_film)>.

  • "Alice in Wonderland (2010 Film)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 07 Jan. 2013. Web. 28June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_in_Wonderland_%282010_film%29>.

  • "Batman (1989 Film)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 June 2013. Web. 29 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_(1989_film)>.

  • "Batman (score)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 June 2013. Web. 29 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_(score)>.

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  • "Biography for Danny Elfman." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 15 June 2013.

  • <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000384/bio>.

  • "Danny Elfman." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 June 2013. Web. 29 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Elfman>.

  • "Danny Elfman 's Music For A Darkened People @ Elfman.filmmusic.com." Danny Elfman ‘s Music For A Darkened People @ Elfman.filmmusic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013. <http://elfman.cinemusic.net/about_elfman.html>.

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  • Empire's Sountracks Celebration. "Danny Elfman on Bernard Herrmann's The Day The Earth Stood Still | The Soundtrack That Inspired Me | Features | Empire." Empireonline.com. Bauer Consumer Media, n.d. Web. 01 July 2013. <http://www.empireonline.com/features/the-soundtrack-that-inspired-me/p6>.

  • "Men in Black: The Album." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 30 June 2013. Web. 01 July 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_in_Black:_The_Album>.

  • "MOVIE MUSIC UK." MOVIE MUSIC UK. N.p., n.d.Web. 01 July 2013.

  • <http://moviemusicuk.us/2013/06/12/epic-danny-elfman/>.

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  • "OingoBoingo on AllMusic." AllMusic. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013. <http://www.allmusic.com/artist/oingo-boingo-mn0000390532>.

  • Rhapsody. Rhapsody International, n.d. Web. 14 June 2013. <http://www.rhapsody.com/>.

The end


I hope you enjoyed learning about Danny Elfman. He is a great example of perseverance. Danny also demonstrates that going outside the box and attempting to make ALL one’s dreams come true, even when they appear to be very different, is possible.

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