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Classical Notes

John Lunn keeps writing music for 'Downton Abbey'

Posted at 4:13 PM on March 13, 2014 by Luke Taylor
Filed under: Composers, Fun finds, In the media

Music is such a powerful tool when it comes to film and television; as Downton Abbey composer John Lunn told me in April 2012, "I'm manipulating what's going on quite a lot underneath the dialogue ... without it, you'd view the scene differently."

That was back when he was working on the third season of the popular period drama. Now with four seasons in the books, Lunn has launched into the fifth batch of episodes for Downton Abbey.

To give further insight into his ongoing work, Lunn recently contributed a guest post to Downton's Tumblr page, and shared it via this Tweet:

Central to Downton Abbey — or any drama for that matter — are the relationships between the characters. As Lunn writes,

"Writing music for such a series does require a certain amount of flexibility. Each thematic strand must stand out and be distinctive, but ideally each one must be able to transform itself into another. There are always a few constants — the House, the Crawleys, although even they change, and the Masters and Servants; but the development of the music is about the relationships between people."

One of the changes that's been a bit difficult for Lunn was the death of Matthew Crawley at the end of series three. See what Lunn has to say about that by viewing his complete post.

And if you're going through some Downton Abbey withdrawal, Steve Staruch's interview with the Oratorio Society of Minnesota casts some light on what that group is doing to keep the show's music alive during the stretches between seasons.