Music in Star Trek
From Alexander Courage’s “bright galactic beguine” in The Original Series to Jeff Russo’s churning, Game of Thrones-style theme for Discovery, the music of Star Trek has always embodied the spirit of its time, as much as it looks to the future. Rick Berman famously sacked composer Ron Jones from The Next Generation because he felt his scores drew too much attention to themselves. In his mind, the underscore should be a kind of wallpaper, as unobtrusive as the soft pastel carpet stuck to the walls of the Enterprise-D. And yet the music of Star Trek—in particular the film scores by Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, and others—has become an iconic part of the franchise’s cultural legacy, and of popular culture more broadly.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by musicologists Jessica Getman and Evan Ware. Together with Brooke McCorkle Okazaki, they are the editors of the recently published Music in Star Trek: Sound, Utopia, and the Future. Here, they share some key observations from the 15 essays collected in their book, as well as consider the future of the Star Trek franchise—in music and beyond.
Blue Skies Thinking (00:09:15)
Beware the Borg Fugue (00:17:00)
Losing Faith … (00:24:45)
Course Correction (00:37:20)
Scoring the Sausage (00:49:50)
Jessica Getman and Evan Ware
Duncan Barrett (Editor and Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer)
Half a Decade of Primitive Culture
Star Trek’s original five-year mission was brought to a premature end in 1969. But over the ensuing half-century and more, the franchise has continued boldly going to new frontiers. By the 1980s, when a second generation of fans came to seek out fresh...
Cardassian war crimes and The Man in the Glass Booth
For many fans of Deep Space Nine, the penultimate installment of Season 1, “Duet,” is also the show’s first classic episode. A bleak exploration of guilt, responsibility, and forgiveness in the aftermath of war, it’s a story that could...