Help! I need some badass classical music!

Hey all- I’m looking for a piece of music, and I figure here’s the best place to ask.

I need a theme song. Yes, you heard me.

I know that this is silly, but try to keep an open mind. As I’m sure everyone knows by now, my wife and I do some medieval re-enactment. Part of our hobby is combat tournaments, in which I participate.

This year, the big local event is doing something a little different, in the spirit of fun. In an effort to do something a bit more exciting, we’re loosening some of the ‘period’ strictures and holding a more ‘modern’ contest.

The site has an outdoor boxing arena, and we’re going to use it at night for ‘Friday Night Fights.’ It will be a mixture of gladitorial contests, the WWF, and a Knight’s Tale. It will be held by torchlight. The overall atmosphere is going to be like Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Between bouts, we’ll have women belly dancing, sword juggling, etc.

I’m wiring the place for sound. Each fighter is allowed to pick theme music for their entrance. The only restriction is that it not be totally modern (‘Iron Man’ in a no-no, as is ‘Seven Nation Army’…I’ve asked).

So I’m looking for something done by a symphony, or on classical instruments. It doesn’t have to be totally instrumental - an opera would work as well. But it needs to have percussion, and I need a good 20 second piece that will work for buildup and entrance.

So, what do you think?

Also Spracht Zarathustra (the 2001 theme).

The William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger).

Darth Vader’s theme. Helps if you paint your helmet black.

I don’t think it has percussion, but Prokofiev’s Dance of the Capulets from Romeo and Juliet sounds perfect. It’s the Stairway to Heaven of the classical world.

It’s trite and cliche, but “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (aka theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) sounds like what you’re looking for. About 500 years too late to be medieval, though.

Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries, from Die Walküre

I think that was the one blaring from the helicopter while bombing the crap out of that village…should be a good entrance theme


Well the obvious ones besides the ones that have been mentioned are “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana and tracks 1 and (I think) 8 (the “Horse-riding” track) from Conan the Barbarian soundtrack.

Or, and I haven’t heard this in awhile, what say everyone to certain parts of Mozart’s Requiem? It certainly has a more medieval feel than a lot of classical music, and has buildup, just not sure if it has enough rhythm or not.

There’s some great percussive and majestic passages in Rite of Spring.
Also, some excellent martial passages in the Nutcracker Suite.

Mars from Holst’s Planet Suite.

But you’d better look pretty damn bad if you use that!

The Dies Irae from Verdi’s Requiem.

The bad-assiest classical music ever written.

Thanks for all of the suggestions…keep 'em coming!

And also, thanks for refraining from pissing on my parade with this. It looks like it’s going to be a very cool event, and I’m just happy to be part of it. A few ‘purists’ object, but everyone has a great time at these things. This is the first year we’re doing a really elaborate production, though.

I also tend to think that, technology aside, it captures the spirit of the tourney (from a commoner’s POV) better than many of our more formal events.
And I hope to look badass…I’m not very tall, but all of my armor is black and silver, and I might improv a cloak. my weapon of choice is the axe. is so looking forward to this

If this is going to be a mix of WWF/E amongst other things, I’d avoid Also Sprach Zarathustra as it is the theme music for one of the legends of pro wrestling, Ric Flair. It’d be a bit cliche to use his music if there’re fans of his around. Maybe a bit blasphemous too. :slight_smile:

My suggestion would be Bach’s Tocata and Fugue in D Minor. It’s a wonderfully dark and brooding piece and when I was briefly in a backyard fed back in '98, it was a song I considered using for my own music.

Have you learned nothing? Must I remind you that you have a superior weapon in your arsenal? Will no one stop me before I say 18"DHIBJD :eek: :eek: ?

oops too late.

You realize the purists will also object to your using ‘classical’ music, which as invented about 300 years after the Middle Ages. :wink:

For a badass character:
Stravinsky - the very end of Part I from Symphony of Psalms
Verdi - Dies Irae -* Requiem*
Verdi - from Il Trovatore - Anvil Chorus.
**Mozart ** - Dies Irae - Requiem
Beethoven - the very end of Part I (allegro) from the 9th.
Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walkure.
Prokofiev - from Romeo and Juliet - the Montagues and Capulets.

or if your character is the goofy sort try:
Bernstein - Battle Music from Candide.
or some Offenbach.

or if your character is the arrogant, regal type try any baritone aria from any Rossini opera.

Musical theatre? Dark & brooding? Try something from the Sweeney Todd soundtrack.

Are “medieval-sounding” movie soundtracks OK? If you come bursting out to the march from Lord of the Rings, it might sound a tad pretentious, but there are other soundtracks. Dragonheart leaps to mind for some reason, even though I haven’t heard the music in a while.

Well, one piece almost no one ever mentions is the anthem they play in Turandot every time the emperor shows up. It is very majestic and just plain “imperial”. Once I have my own country I’m making it my national anthem. :smiley: It’s called “Gravi, enormi ed imponenti” or “Diecimila anni al nostro imperatore”.

Here it is, though the soundtrack from A New Beginning might be better. “Terragoth Ambush!” and “Dragon Fight!” in particular.

Well, yes, I knew that, silly. They tend to object to the use of any music that’s not live performance. But this is a halfway measure to keep if from going totally WWF.

Hell, the King of a neighboring kingdom hit some guy with a chair last year!

Aye, the purists may criticize you for choosing music that is OOP. However, if you use any setting of the Requiem, at least your text will be properly period. The same with Carmina Burana.