Monster Music

Have you ever wondered what’s on a monster’s playlist? Do you think they prefer spooky tunes, or do they enjoy leaning into their more sensitive side? Do they like to dance or draw while listening to music, or maybe make monster macaroni?

Lucky for you, ICAN Radio has the inside scoop on our monster friend’s favorite hits for your own monster merriment. Check out our Monster Music playlist as you celebrate the season for scary creatures, goblins, and ghouls—just in time for ICAN’s Annual Spooky Special!

“In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg

A monster party wouldn’t be complete without Edvard Grieg’s famous piece, “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” The Norwegian composer loved to convey his love for his native culture in his music. Written as part of the incidental (or accompanying) music for a play called “Peer Gynt” by Henrik Isben, “In the Hall of the Mountain King” depicts the title character being chased by trolls as he narrowly escapes captivity from the Mountain King. 

Jaws theme by John Williams

Monsters of the deep shouldn’t be left out of fun! Representing the soundtrack of the sea is the main theme music from the movie Jaws. While John Williams wrote this toothy score to go with the film by Steven Spielberg, listeners can still grasp the thrill of the massive shark lurking beneath the waves through the music alone. Fun fact – did you know that sharks have no bones? Their body is instead structured by cartilaginous tissues.

Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns

Speaking of bones…

Spindly skeletons love to dance along with this deathly tune by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The composer even utilizes a xylophone to represent the rattling of skeleton bones (!). Danse Macabre is a tone poem, or piece of music depicting a descriptive setting or story, and it was inspired by a poem by Henri Cazalis describing a folkloric Dance of Death. You can read Cazalis’s poem here.

“Dance of the Furies” from Orpheus and Eurydice by Christoph Willibald Gluck

Based on Greek mythology, Christoph Gluck’s opera Orpheus and Eurydice tells the story of two lovers torn apart by death. Orpheus refuses to let go of Eurydice and journeys to the underworld to bring her back to the land of the living. The “Dance of the Furies” is a terrifying depiction of the underworld that Orpheus must travel through to rescue his love. In Ancient Greek mythology, furies are goddesses of vengeance and other malicious things… spooky!

The Water Goblin by Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák’s symphonic poem (another name for a tone poem) portrays a greedy water goblin (sort of like a merman, but scarier) who lives in a lake. In the music inspired by Karel Jaromír Erben’s Czech folk tales, the water goblin claims a young woman who lives near the lake, leading to a tragic ending. Listen for how Dvořák shows specific moments in the story, such as a woman singing a lullaby to her baby, a terrible storm on the lake, and the water goblin’s final vanishing into the lake’s depths.

You can listen to all these chilling tunes, plus a few additional eerie hits, on our Spotify playlist – Monster Music.