Music in Supernatural

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Sam criticizing Dean's tape collection. Promotional image from 1.01 Pilot (episode)

The Greatest Hits of Mullet Rock

Music is integral to Supernatural, whether it is the classic rock or the scary scoring. Eric Kripke had a clear vision from the start about the music he wanted on the show:

That was something that was really important to me, coming into the Pilot. I’m from a small town in Ohio and this is the music I listen to. I was a huge Zeppelin fan. So when it came time to write and produce the Pilot, it was so important to me, with all due respect to my beloved network, not to have music that is usually on that network. I was so rabid about it that in the original draft of the pilot, I even wrote in the script, “Cue music. And you can take your anemic alternative pop and shove it up your ass.” And the reason I wrote the scene in the Pilot, where they’re talking about tapes – AC/DC, Motorhead, Metallica – if we shoot that and it gets in the pilot, then we have to use my music because it’s already in the show. We had a great time in post-production, figuring out these songs and calling in one morning, “Billy Squire, what about Billy Squire?” I think it is a real signature to the show and it is Midwestern, two guys from Kansas and a muscle car and this is the music they listen to. I love it. The other night there was Joe Walsh and I was laughing, “Yay, Rocky Mountain Way on WB.” from the Paley Panel 2006.

In the Official Supernatural Companion, Season 1 Eric adds another reason for using this music on the show:

"There's a real energy in the Midwest to miles and miles of flat farmland and two-lane blacktops that stretches into infinity and you're jamming classic rock as loud as it can go. There's something so mythic, so American about that), and that's the energy I wanted the show to have."S1Com, p. 11

In the Pilot, Sam and Dean have the following exchange:
Sam: ...I swear man; you gotta update your cassette tape collection.
Dean: Why?
Sam: Well for one they are cassette tapes, and two— {Pulls out a few cassette tapes} Black Sabbath? Motorhead? Metallica? It’s the greatest hits of mullet rock.
Dean: {Grabs a cassette from Sam and pops it in the player} House rules, Sammy. Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole.

In 2007, Kripke reiterated his commitment to mullet rock at a post-Comic Con interview.

(Kripke) sees himself as a sort of School of Rock missionary. Sadly, the gospel according to Zeppelin won't be preached since the group won't sell their songs for under a billion dollars. "That's a rough estimate," Kripke adds.
Other dream songs and bands on Kripke's list are Traveling Riverside Blues, Ramble On," and Aerosmith, which he also had to pass on because the songs were too expensive. Still, he has managed to procure an incredible collection of classic rock tunes that have become anthems for the show's fans and there's nothing Kripke likes better than a convert.
"One of the best pleasures I've had with this show is when I'm online checking out the blogs and there's this 14-year-old kid who says, 'What is this band, Foreigner and this song, Hot Blooded? I really liked it and I went out and bought the greatest hits of Foreigner' and I'm like, ah, I'm doing God's work! I'm introducing people to Foreigner, now if I can get people on board with Triumph! Spreading that sick obsession of mine has been very very gratifying."

We know nothing of Sam's music tastes, although Kripke gave some clues at another post Comic Con interview in August 2007.

Interviewer: Okay, and since we’re talking music, what in blazes is Sam’s problem with Dean’s music? And given the chance, what music would Sam play?
Kripke: (laughs out loud) We have interesting debates about that all the time; about what Sam’s music would be, and you know, I hope that Sam listens to whatever cool modern music is. I don’t know any of them because I don’t listen to anything after 1980, so, you know… Green Day, I guess? I don’t know! Who is cool these days? Is Green Day cool? What band is cool these days?
Interviewer:Maybe Red Hot Chili Peppers…
Kripke: Yeah, so he listens to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Fall Out Boy and maybe The Killers? I am so a stranger in a strange land when it comes to those bands that that’s why you never hear Sam’s soundtrack, cos I don’t know that music and I’d choose the wrong songs. All my friends call me “Old Man Kripke” because I don’t listen to any bands after 1980; that’s why Dean’s music always wins out, because I hate so much modern music that I can’t bear to listen to it in the editing room. (laughs)

Season 1 (2005/2006)


Ginger - Gasoline

Sam and Jess get ready to go to the Halloween party

Classic - What Cha Gonna Do

Jessica, Sam and a friend at the Halloween party

Eagles of Death Metal - Speaking In Tongues

guy stops for the hitchhiking Woman in White

Allman Brothers Band - Ramblin' Man

Dean and Sam at the gas station

AC/DC - Back in Black

after Sam found Dean's "Mullet Rock" Collection

AC/DC - Highway to Hell

Dean and Sam are talking about finding their dad

Kid Gloves Music - My Cheatin' Ways
Mentioned, but not played: Black Sabbath , Motorhead, Metallica

Unaired pilot

Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Jessica gets ready for the Halloween party

50 Cent - Disco Inferno

Jessica, Sam and a friend at the Halloween party

Jay Z – 99 Problems

guy stops for the hitchhiking Woman in White

ZZ Top - La Grange

Dean and Sam at the gas station

Metallica - Enter Sandman

after Sam found Dean's "Mullet Rock" Collection

AC/DC - Highway to Hell

after Constance's spirit's gone and Dean and Sam are talking about finding their dad

AC/DC - Back in Black

closing credits

Mentioned, but not played: Black Sabbath , Motorhead


Dave Matthews Band - Out of My Hands

played during Sam's nightmare in which he visits Jess' grave

Foreigner - Hot Blooded

in the car when Sam wakes from his nightmare

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Down South Jukin'

at the bar where the guys discuss the case and watch the video on the laptop

Rush - Fly By Night

at the end when Sam's driving the Impala and they leave the woods

Dead in the Water

Black Toast Music - What a Way to Go

at the Lynnwood Inn, when the guys look through newspaper articles

Ratt - Round And Round

when they arrive at Lake Manitoc

Billy Squire - Too Daze Gone

in the car with the " We don't have to hug, are we?" -remark

Bad Company - Movin' On

at the end when they leave Andrea and her son

Mentioned, but not played: Led Zeppelin

Phantom Traveler

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

The "Blues Brothers" on the way to the warehouse

Rush – Working Man

in the Impala when they try to get Amanda Walker on the phone

Nichion Sounds Libray - Load RageS1Com, p.34

Mentioned, but not played (well, hummed by Dean): Metallica - Some Kind of Monster

Bloody Mary

Fall Out Boy - Sugar We're Going Down

Jill's encounter with Bloody Mary

Def Leppard - Rock of Ages

in the car, when they're talking about how Mary is connected to all the mirrors

The Rolling Stones - Laugh, I Nearly Died

end of episode when Sam sees Jess at the side of the road


Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

shapeshifter is surrounded by police in the apartment

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Poison Whiskey

at the gas station, where Sam's reading his emails

Filter – Hey Man, Nice Shot

shapeshifter fleeing crime scene and shedding skin in the sewers

Free - All Right Now

end of episode when Dean tells Sam that he wished he could have a normal life

Hook Man

Split Habit - Higher Mathematics (S1Com, p. 49, claims the song is "Merry Go Round" by Split Habit)

beginning of episode, when Lori's getting ready for her date

Quiet Riot - Bang Your Head (Metal Health)

when they're arriving at the fraternity house

Low Five - Noise

when they meet Murf and question him about the death of the fraternity guy

APM - At Rest

at the sermon for Lori's dead friend

APM - Royal Bethlehem

when they do research at the library

Paul Richards - U Do 2 Me

at the college party

Boston - Peace Of Mind

end of episode, when Sam and Dean hit the road


Def Leppard - Rock of Ages

at the beginning in the bar scene, also played in Bloody Mary

Black Toast Music - I Got More Bills Than I Got Pay S1Com

Dean and Sam attend the open house at Oasis Plains

Bernie Marsden - Poke in Tha ButtS1Com

plays at the open house when Larry pulls Matt aside after he sees him talking to Sam

Bob Reynolds - MedusaS1Com, p. 52, claims this song is by MasterSource

plays very briefly as Dean & Sam park at the university where they get the bones identified

The Scorpions - No One Like You

at the end of episode, when the guys hit the road




Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Hey You

at the bar when they question the cop


Colepitz - PuppetS1Com

the song Meg is listening to on her iPod while she's waiting for a ride, when Sam "startles" her

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Lodi

at the bus station, when Sam meets Meg again

Bad Company – Bad Company

at the end, when Meg makes her “call”

Mentioned, but not played: Led Zeppelin


Blue Öyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper

when the Reaper kills the girl in the woods

Route 666

The James Gang - Walk Away

at the service station, when Cassie first calls Dean

Bad Company - She Brings Me Love

during the love scene between Dean and Cassie

Blind Faith - Can't Find My Way Home

at the end of the episode, when Dean puts on his shades


Bob Seger – 2+2=?

at the beginning, when Jim pulls his car in the garage

The Benders

Joe Walsh – Rocky Mountain Way

Kugel's Kec bar, with Dean playing dart and Sam doing research


Little Charlie and the Nightcats - You Got Your Hooks In Me

teaser, the song Meredith is listening to on her iPod

The Vue – Pictures of Me

Firehead Bar, when Dean hits on the bartender and Sam spots Meg again

Hell House

Blue Öyster Cult – Fire of Unknown Origin

the song on the radio Dean is singing

Blue Öyster Cult – Burnin' for You

at the end of the episode, when they are leaving the trailer park

Something Wicked

UFO – Rock Bottom

after the Teaser; Sam and Dean on their way to Fitchburg

Ozzy Osbourne – Road to Nowhere

at the end of the episode, when they hit the road again


Steve Carlson - Night Time

at the Bar, when Dean hits on the girls

Grand Funk Railroad – Bad Time (To Be In Love)

the song on the car radio; Dean "sets the mood" for Sam and Sarah

Dead Man's Blood

Stevie Ray Vaughan - The House Is Rockin'

teaser; Elkins in the Bar studying his journal

Charlie Robison - My Hometown

Sam and Dean are at the diner looking for a job

Tito & Tarantula - Strange Face Of Love

the vampires partying at their place

Brian Keith Nutter - Searching For The Truth


Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son

played during the recap of events before the actual episode

Devil's Trap

Triumph – Fight The Good Fight

"The Road So Far", recap of previous events

Joe Walsh – Turn To Stone

Sam and Dean on the way to Bobby

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

end of episode, when they are hit by the truck

Season 2 (2006/2007)

In My Time of Dying

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising

still playing in the crashed car

Ted Nugent - Stranglehold

played during recap of previous events

Everybody Loves a Clown

The Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today

played during recap of previous events

Three Dog Night - Shambala

One week later as Dean fixes the Impala

Captain & Tennille - Do That To Me One More Time

Played in the van Sam and Dean take to the Roadhouse


Journey - Wheel in the Sky

played during recap of previous events

AC/DC - Back in Black

The Impala is back on the road

Long John Hunter - Time And Time Again

plays at the bar when the boys meet Eli

Lil' Ed & The Imperials - Golden Rule

plays while Dean, Sam, and Gordon hang out at the bar

Lee Rocker - Funny Car Graveyard

played when Sam calls Ellen and asks about Gordon

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

Supergrass - Sad Girl

at the beginning when Neil plays the emo music

Simon Said

Daniel May - Women's Wear

plays while Doc looks at guns, then kills the shop owner, Dennis

Lil' Ed & The Imperials - Tired of Crying

plays when Dean and Sam look for 'Dr. Badass' at the roadhouse

REO Speedwagon - Can't Fight This Feeling

the song Jo puts on at the Roadhouse that Dean scoffs at

Spinal Tap - Stonehenge

heard as Dean and Sam stake out Andy's van

Soundgarden - Fell On Black Days

heard as the episode closes, as Ellen gets whiskey for the boys

No Exit

Cheap Trick - Surrender

As Sam and Dean drive to Philadelphia

Foreigner - Cold As Ice

heard on the radio that Dean turns on during the long drive home and Ellen shuts off

The Usual Suspects


Crossroad Blues

Downhearted Blues - Son House

The song played in George's apartment, when Sam and Dean question him about Lloyd's

Crossroad Blues - Robert Johnson

Flashback scene with Johnson at the Crossroads

Key to the Highway - Big Bill Broonzy

On the radio in the Impala as Sam talks to Dean about John

Nazareth - Hair of a Dog

Played during the SOON preview for upcoming episodes

Brian Tichy - Chaos Surrounds You




Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit

Scott talks to his psychologist about the Yellow-Eyed Man through him walking home

Carey Bell - Lonesome Stranger

Sam talks to Ellen at the Roadhouse

Muse - Supermassive Black Hole

Ash gives Sam his search results at the Roadhouse




Styx - Renegade

When the boys get into the car at the end of the episode in their SWAT outfits

Houses Of The Holy

Jamie Dunlap - Down on Love

the song Dean listens to, while he's on the "Magic fingers" bed

Bob Dylan - Knocking On Heavens Door

played at the end of the episode, when Dean tells Sam about "God's will"

Born Under A Bad Sign

Tarbox Ramblers - Ashes to Ashes

played when Demon!Sam enters the bar where Jo works

The Doors - The Crystal Ship

played while Demon!Sam talks to the tied up Jo

REO Speedwagon - Back on the Road Again

at the end of the episode, while they talk about everything that happened

Tall Tales

James Gang - Walk Away

the song on the radio at the beginning; also played in Route 666

Junk Food - Next to You

played during the first bar scene

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

the fratboy is slowdancing with the alien

Barry White - Can't Get Enough of Your Love Babe

played when Dean enters the hall with the two girls on the red bed


The Animals - House of the Rising Sun

played through the episode


Kip Winger - Smoking Gun
The Stooges - Down on the Street

played while Dean is hunting the werewolf

Screaming Trees - Look at You

during the love scene

Queensrÿche - Silent Lucidity

played at the end of the episode, when Sam shoots Madison

Hollywood Babylon

Frank Sinatra - I've Got the World On A String

played when Dean and Sam go to Gerard St. James' apartment

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - Green Peppers

played at the end, when they ride into the sunset

Folsom Prison Blues

Booker T. & The MGs - Green Onions

played at the beginning when Dean and Sam get into prison

Rooster - Alice in Chains

played at the end of the episode

What Is And What Should Never Be

Joey Ramone - What a Wonderful World

played as Dean mows the lawn

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Saturday Night Special

played as Dean drives back to Illinois

All Hell Breaks Loose (Part One)

Boston - Foreplay/Long Time

played during the previously and through the opener

Production music from Carlin Music, composed by Martyn Laight - Wrapped Around Your Finger

as Dean searches the diner for Sam

All Hell Breaks Loose (Part Two)

Kansas - Carry On My Wayward Son

played during the previously

Boston - Don't Look Back

played at the end, on Dean's smile

Season 3 (2007/2008)

The Magnificent Seven

AC/DC - Hell's Bells

played during recap

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

as Sam walks in on Dean and the twins

Howling Diablos - Mean Little Town

played at the bar occupied by demons

J.B. Burnett - I Shall Not Be Moved

played when the radio turns on right before the demons attack

The Kids Are Alright

Steve Carlson - If It Ain't Easy

plays when Dean drops Sam off at the hotel, and continues as he drives to Lisa's house

Goodnight City - 40,000 Miles (The CW called this song "Above the Sun" - no song of that name by this band exists - Source)

plays at Ben's birthday party

Bad Day at Black Rock

Daniel May - Women's Wear

plays in the diner when Bela spills Sam's coffee; also played in Simon Said

Mary Ford and Les Paul - Vaya Con Dios

plays when the boys go to the thieves' house to get info on Bela


Season 1 promos

Dave Matthews Band - Out Of My Hands
Crossfade – No Giving Up
Echo And The Bunnymen - Killing Moon UK-Promo by ITV
Unknown - All I Need Is You

Season 2 promos

Johnny Cash - God Is Gonna Cut You Down

Heard in a promo for new Jan '07 eps

Original Score

Supernatural has two score composers. Christopher Lennertz and Jay Gruska, brought in by executive producers Eric Kripke and Robert Singer respectively, who typically share the composing responsibility by alternating episodes throughout the season. While both have worked hard in creating and retaining a unified sound for the show, they nonetheless have their own distinct style.

Score identification and analysis by zimshan.

Season 1

Lennertz Scoring

Lennertz seems to prefer a style of scoring for SPN similar to the Bernard Herrmann idea, focusing on the irrational by consisting of small dissonant repetitive pieces that rest on "unfulfilled" endings or just pure Jerry Goldsmith-stamped clangor. If you’ve ever found yourself on the edge of your seat in anticipation or just scared absolutely shitless, he’s probably the reason. He typically uses the strings more for the unsettling, scary action and turns to the piano keys for the creepy tension. He works with a lot of extended notes and swells along with a diverse set of percussion. Generally, his approach is very anti-melodic. His pieces are perfect for the visuals that accompany it, and its effect is incredibly embedded in the subconscious but they are very indistinct and therefore harder to recognize. I've done the best I could in identification below.


On August 25, 2006, a compilation entitled 'Supernatural Official Soundtrack' which consisted of a number of Lennertz's cues used throughout season one, was leaked on the Internet.

This promotional CD showcases the following tracks:

  • And So It Begins - 1.01 - Heard in the opener as Mary gets out of bed to check on baby Sam. The beginning strains are heard again in 114 as Max tells Sam his mother died in his nursery. (Can be considered The Demon's Theme.))
  • Let‘s Go Hunting - 1.01 - Heard as Dean opens up the trunk and tells Sam what John was hunting
  • On the Bridge - 1.01 - Heard as Dean and Sam spot the Woman in White who falls from the bridge
  • Sam Understands - 1.03 - Heard as the father sits on the deck through the son talking to the boys
  • A Father‘s Despair - 1.03 - Heard after the boys first meet Lucas as the Sheriff tells them what he’s been through
  • He Can‘t Speak - 1.03 - Heard as Dean colors with the kid in the park
  • Not The Lake - 1.03 - Heard as the boys find the father in the boat on the lake through the attack
  • A Lonely Picture - 1.03 - Heard as Dean talks to the kid the second time, realizing he’s scared and telling Lucas that his father would want him to be brave
  • The Water Attacks - 1.03 - Heard as Andrea gets attacked in the tub
  • Evil Awaits - 1.03 - Heard as the old lady tells Dean and Sam about her boy’s disappearance through the father sitting on the dock.
  • The Hidden Terror - 1.03 - Heard throughout the climactic scene, starting as Andrea says “Tell me you didn’t kill anybody” and all the way through to Dean saving Lucas
  • The Morgue - 1.05 - Heard as the boys examine the body in the morgue. Theme throughout the episode
  • Dean Comforts Sam - 1.05 - Heard when Dean pulls over the car to tell Sam Jess’s death wasn’t his fault
  • Searching History - 1.07 - Heard as Dean and Sam first get the boxes to go through papers at the library
  • The Library - 1.07 - Heard as Sam and Dean return to the books after the pastor gets attacked
  • No One Believes Me - 1.07 - Heard at the end as Laurie and Sam talks while Dean watches in the mirror
  • Fighting the Beast - 1.09 - Heard as the boys fight the poltergeist in the house through Mary appearing
  • Nightmare - 1.14 - Heard when the brothers are at the wake at the house, starting as Dean asks the mother about the house, through Sam talking to Max
  • Into The Loft - 1.16 - Heard as Sam follows Meg through the streets and into the warehouse
  • Dad Is Alive - 1.16 - Heard throughout the reunion of John and the boys
  • Hell House - 1.17 - Heard as the police are drawn away from the cabin by the "Laughing Fisherman" the boys set off in the woods. (I think, confirmation anyone?)
  • Boys Break In - 1.19 - Heard as the boys break in the auction house to destroy the painting
  • Sam Can Love Again - 1.19 - Heard as Dean confronts Sam about moving on after Jess
  • Sam Opens Up - 1.19 - Heard as Sam tells Sara about Jess
  • Penance/Murder - 1.21 - Heard from the moment the episode begins (the beginning vocals were taken out of the real ep track) through Meg’s arrival and subsequent attack on Pastor Jim

In addition to those appearing on the compilation, there are a few other memorable pieces of Lennertz score featured in Season One, including:

  • Home Sweet Home - 1.09 - The full opening sequence in Lawrence, Kansas
  • Go Back Home - 1.09 - Sam tells Dean where they need to go next
  • What Happened That Night - 1.09 - Sam and Dean discuss what they know
  • Dean Calls Dad - 1.09 - Self-explanatory, don't ya think?
  • Goodbye - 1.09 - Towards the end as Sam and Dean leave
  • Ending - 1.10 - Sam and Dean sees the kids off, and Sam apologizes
  • Let Sam Go His Own Way - 1.16 - Through Dean's confession that he wants them to be a family again
  • Let Dad Go - 1.16 - As Sam and Dean let John go, and watch him drive away
  • Jim Murphy's Dead - 1.21 - As the trunk and Impala drive down the road through John stopping and explaining what happened to Pastor Jim
  • Finding The House - 1.21 - After Sam has the first vision, as he goes looking for the house
  • Happy Family - 1.21 - As Sam leaves Monica and Rosie, and watches the family from afar
  • Holy Water - 1.21 - Throughout John saying his prayer and dropping the rosary in the water
  • The Brothers' Confrontation - 1.21 - Throughout Sam's lamenting at Dean not letting him go back in.

Gruska Scoring

Gruska, in comparison, plays a much more melodic hand. He’s the one that helps give the show its big beating heart. While Lennertz tends to be more focused on the scare, Gruska seems to be more willing to play the sentiment. He’s created a fairly equal balance between the two aspects. What struck me when I first started watching was the amount of actual emotion contained in the show, and how they could balance it in just being real instead of going over the line into the corn most shows might make it. I’ve found Gruska’s scores to be really integral many of the most important scenes, skilled in being just prominent enough to be effective while still being careful enough not to be intrusive. It’s unconscious enough to let a viewer live in a scene alone, but when you are listening for it, you realize why that scene worked so well for you before. It truly lent something to the scene. If you've developed a connection to these characters and their journey during Season One, most likely it’s because of Gruska’s score that has effected you along the way. Of course, because this IS Supernatural, he also plays the needed amount of creepy Lennertz favors so much. But generally, Season One, he showed more willingness to use strings and woodwinds (including some fabulous oboe uses), especially in terms of sentiment where Lennertz leans more on the use of lone piano keys. It was also more likely hear an acoustic guitar for Gruska's score (opposed to Lennertz's electric) and as well as less-commonly used folk instruments to create a much more rustic Midwestern sound for the show.

Some of his most memorable cues from Season One:

  • For Jessica - 1.02 - Sam’s dream of visiting Jess’s grave
  • We‘re Gonna Find Dad - 1.02 - End of episode as Dean assures Sam they’ll find John
  • Triumph - 1.04 - The muted horn victory as the plane returns to safe flight
  • On Solid Ground - 1.04 - The passengers return to safety of the airport
  • Dad‘s Message - 1.04 - Sam and Dean call John’s cell and hear the new message. Melody heard again in 120 when John tells Sam this was never the life he wanted for him. (Can be considered Sam and John's Theme)
  • Mirror Murder - 1.06 - After Dean shoots the shapeshifter, as he examines the body and retrieves his necklace
  • Never Disappointed - 1.08 - Dean assures Sam John was never disappointed in him
  • To Find The Truth - 1.08 - Native melody heard as the boys visit the tribe to find information
  • Sam Wants To Find Dad - 1.08 - End of the episode as Sam admits to Dean he does want to find John
  • Opener - 1.11 - Beginning as the couple comes out of the restaurant in the town
  • Dad‘s Call - 1.11 - Throughout John's call to the boys
  • The Split - 1.11 - As Sam gets out of the car, Dean declares he's selfish, through Sam walking away and Dean leaving him behind
  • Coming Into Town - 1.11 - Dean drives into Burkittsville
  • Brothers' Goodbye - 1.11 - Throughout Dean's conversation with Sam on the cell
  • To Boston - 1.11 - A short melodic piece heard as the boys see Emily's bus off
  • Stuck With Sam - 1.11 - Sam tells Dean he's staying
  • Sheriff Checks Out The House - 1.15 - As the Sheriff walks up to the hillbillies' house
  • Don't Ever Do That Again - 1.15 - The ending as Dean expressing his sympathies to the sheriff, through Dean and Sam walking away to the close
  • The Hospital Walk (Full Episode Theme) - 1.18 - Heard as the boys first investigate the hospital corridors through talking to the doctor
  • Full Episode Theme - 1.18 - Same place as above, just cut before dialogue for a cleaner version of the theme
  • Drive Into Town - 1.18 - A short fragment heard as the boys drive into the hotel parking lot
  • Second Flashback - 1.18 - Heard throughout Dean remembering the milk and spaghettio's memory
  • Asher's Sick - 1.18 - Throughout Michael telling Dean about his brother
  • Old Woman (Theme) - 1.18 - Throughout Dean and Sam walking through the hospital to the old woman's room
  • Fort Douglas, Wisconsin - 1.18 - Throughout Dean's reveal of what happened before
  • Do Anything For Your Brother - 1.18 - As Michael comes back and agrees to help
  • All Better - 1.18 - As Dean, Sam, and Michael find out the kids are all well again
  • Stake Out/The Colt - 1.20 - As John stakes out the vamps with the boys, through him telling them about The Colt
  • Not The Life John Wanted For Sam - 1.20 - As John explains to Sam his mindset in their fight ((Same motif as that used in 'Dad's Message' - 1.04)
  • Leaving The Colt - 1.22 - A small response to Dean supposedly giving into Sam and putting The Colt in the trunk
  • Pulling The Alarm - 1.22 - As Sam pulls the alarm, Dean bothers the firefighters, and Sam gets the uniforms
  • Attack - 1.22 - Throughout Sam being attacked, to Dean's bullet usage
  • Dean's Family Dedication Theme - 1.22 - Heard as the Impala speeds down the road in the night, this is the clean version of the motif used for Dean later in 122, more fully heard throughout 201, then again in 209, 211, and its final use in 221. (Dean's Theme Analysis)
  • The Things Dean's Willing To Do (Dean's Full Theme) - 1.22 - In the cabin, the full motif is heard as Dean laments to Sam about killing for Sam, through John coming in and praising Dean

Season 2

By Season Two, the scoring had evolved into a much more integrated sound. Gruska could be heard using electric guitar melodies similar to those used by Lennertz in the Silly Brothers Theme and the End Credits. Lennertz could now be heard turning to an acoustic guitar similar to Gruska's use in Scarecrow (1.11) and The Benders (1.15) to codify the Roadhouse (first notably introduced in 2.02) and help lend more of that Midwestern sound to the show. Additionally, Lennertz's score seems to have evolved immensely over the last year, especially in terms of timbre expansion, with a more liberal use of strings (such as the gorgeous piece heard during the Winchester reunion in All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 2)) and a willingness to implement woodwinds (for such sweet-sounding scores as those heard in What Is And What Should Never Be). Meanwhile, Gruska seemed to have not only experimented with different sounds this season, but also could be heard establishing an increased musical presence, especially in the case of scene transition cues (such as those in Croatoan and Playthings). Still, we saw patented Lennertz responsible for much of the exhilarating tension and suspense of the season, such as that seen in Nightshifter (2.12) and Born Under A Bad Sign (2.14), as well as classic Gruska in the emotionally-driven scenes of Heart (2.17) and Croatoan (2.09).

While overall, I tend to believe the consistency of effective scoring in the second season had waned, it also contained some of the most excellent standout moments of the series, including those written for Crossroad Blues (2.08), What Is and What Should Never Be(2.20), and arguably the best full episode score heard yet, All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 2) (2.22), all by Lennertz.

Perhaps the most noteworthy occasion of the Season Two scoring was hearing Gruska put his memorable melodic presence to work through the excellent usage of the Dean Family Dedication Theme. This theme could be heard in emotional scenes throughout the season, possessing a strong sense of meaning and purpose, adding dimension to the scenes it accompanied, and overall pulling the season together from bookend to bookend. [For more on this motif, see below]

Series Motifs

Background on Motifs:

Just as literature can possess reoccurring themes called 'motifs', so can strains of music within the score of a film or television show. The tradition of the use of motifs in film score is actually an old idea which was derived from the German composers who coined the phrase, leitmotif ('leading motif') and made the practice popular. While the precise term, 'leitmotif' was first to explain the work of von Weber (1786-1826), it was Wagner (1813-1888) who is most commonly associated with popularizing the practice. His operas which early film composers would later look to for inspiration, made liberal use of these leitmotifs, and consequently became a large part of scoring film and television.

The most common use of a musical motif ties a particular melody to a character, which is repeated in reference to that character. More complex motifs which reference feelings or ideas can also occur. They function quite interestingly on a subconscious level for the viewer to recall the visual or visuals previously associated with that melody and evoke certain emotions because of it.

Motifs on Supernatural:

Because Supernatural has two composers, it is hard to keep up a truly consistent motif usage. Individually, each have introduced and used their own motifs for certain characters or ideas. It's debatable whether Gruska and Lennertz have been consciously willing to use the others motif for a specific instance a scene might relate to.

It's hard to purely quantify what the meaning of a repeated melody on the show might be. Sometimes, it means nothing. Composers on television recycle bits of score all the time. But sometimes a melody will be reused, and has a direct connection with its first use. These are the motifs I've listed below as they have occurred in Supernatural. Motifs were named purely based on the common thread that all its instances contained.

Derivatives of a theme are also commonly used in film score, where a motif is taken and manipulated in a meaningful way. For instance, flattening out the notes of a melody can illustrate metaphorically the loss of the idea that that melody previously represented.

Different forms of a theme through the use of different timbres can also be meaningful. Trumpets can be victory. Woodwinds can be warmth and safety. Violins can be the voice of a specific character.

All of this is of course hinged on the word 'can'. We can't actually know whether or not the meaning is there intentionally. These notes below are simply sketches of what was presented. Infer or not as you wish. (But really, that's half the motif fun!)

Lennertz Motifs

The Demon's Theme: (the beginning of 'And So It Begins')

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  • 1.01 - Starts as Mary gets out of bed to check on Sammy
  • 1.14 - Heard again as Max tells Sam his mother died in his nursery

UPDATE! (08/03/07) Silly Brothers Theme:

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-   - -   -    - -    -   - -    -           --   -            - -
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  • 1.01 - Electric guitar piece heard first as Dean and Sam first arrive at the bridge and impersonate U.S. Marshalls
    • Heard again a couple minutes later after they run into the REAL U.S. Marshalls
    • One bar of this piece is heard in the later bridge scene after Sam tells Dean he "smells like a toilet"
  • 1.08 - Heard as Dean convinces Sam to squat in the model house for the night
  • 1.14 - Heard at the end of the episode as Dean cracks his Vegas joke
  • 1.17 - Heard as a response to Sam's prank of salsa-fying Dean's radio
    • Heard as Dean slips pepper in Sam's pants while he takes a shower
    • Heard again as Dean realizes his hand is stuck to the beer bottle and Sam celebrates in victory
  • 2.06 - Heard towards the end after Dean drives in with the cement truck

(thanks to stargatemouse for helping find all these instances)

Gruska Motifs

Sam and John's Theme:

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  • 1.04 - Heard at the end as Sam and Dean listen to John's new cell message
  • 1.08 - A wavering, unsettled derivative heard as Sam tells Dean he wants to find John
  • 1.20 - Heard as John tells Sam this was never the life he wanted for him

Dean's Family Dedication Theme:

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  • 1.22 - Heard through Dean's "Things I'm willing to do" speech inside the cabin
  • 2.01 - Episode Theme (small strains are heard throughout the episode)
    • The pure form heard as John sits by Dean's bedside while Dean yells at him to do something
    • A distorted form heard as Tessa is revealed as a reaper and tries to convince Dean to let go
    • A piano and flute version heard through John's "You did that" speech to Dean
    • A higher octave flute w/ backed orch. version heard as Sam finds John dead
  • 2.09 - An acoustic version heard throughout Dean's "I'm tired" speech
  • 2.11 - Same acoustic version heard as Dean watches Drunk!Sam go to sleep after he made Dean swear to kill him if he goes dangerous
  • 2.20 - Flattened form heard when Dean realizes Sam and him don't get along in Wishverse
  • 2.21 - A brass form of the full theme heard as Sam dies in Dean's arms

ANALYSIS: This theme could be heard in emotional scenes throughout the season, possessing a strong sense of meaning and purpose, adding dimension to the scenes it accompanied, and overall pulling the season together from bookend to bookend. After first appearing in 'Devil's Trap' (1.22]) to accompany Dean's speech in which revealed his fears for the things he is willing to do for his family, it's melody becomes the major musical theme of the season two premiere, 'In My Time of Dying' (2.01). In here, it is most notably paired with John and his silent decision to sacrifice himself to save Dean and suggests that that sacrifice was for Dean in response to everything Dean had given him and Sam over the years. Furthermore, its accompaniment to The Secret tells us of John's belief in Dean and his power to watch over his family. As it is carried throughout the season, the theme references not only Dean's responsibility to keep Sam safe, but also the burden of The Secret, and marks Dean's weariness with this life, both in 'Croatoan' (2.09) and 'Playthings' (2.11). During Dean's Wish World in 'What Is', Lennertz quite brilliantly (whether intentional or not) references this theme in a flatten form of the theme's melody right as Dean realizes that the Sam in this world does not need him, and signifies the loss of that responsibility. Probably most memorable is its use at the end of 'All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 1)' (2.21), as Dean holds a stabbed Sam and watches him die in his arms. This use all at once invokes the whole season and all of Dean's dedication towards his family right before your eyes, helping the viewer to mourn with Dean his complete loss of the most important people in his life and subsequent loss of purpose.