The Nightmare Before Christmas – This is Halloween (with sheet music) Danny Elfman

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    The Nightmare Before Christmas – This is Halloween (with sheet music) Danny Elfman

    DANNY ELFMAN The Nightmare Before Christmas - This is Halloween (with sheet music) sheet music

    Danny Elfman

    Danny Elfman ( Los Angeles , California , USA , May 29, 1953 ) is an American composer of soundtracks, noted for his collaborations with Tim Burton .

    His parents hired a private tutor and enrolled him in the music conservatory, but Danny left everything to learn on his own. He joined his brother’s theater group, The mystic knights of Oingo Boingo as part of the chorus, but his restless personality led him to songwriting and eventually directing.

    Danny and his group compose the music for the film made by his sister Forbidden Zone (1980 ) and after many concerts they reach some fame.

    In 1985, Tim Burton, a young man who wanted to make his first film, wanted Danny Elfman to compose the music for his film, from then on the collaboration between the two was almost total, with the only exception by Ed Wood composed by Howard Shore.

    Danny shows with his work that he adapts to all styles with works of impossible love like Edward Scissorhands , comic characters like Batman , Hulk , Spider-Man , Men in Black or Dick Tracy , fantastic worlds like Night Races , Mars Attacks! or Planet of the Apes and also in the musical, with a work full of irony and qualified by some as a work of art, The Nightmare before Christmas.

    Most of these soundtracks were orchestrated by his teacher, composer, conductor and arranger Shirley Walker.

    For television series, he has performed the main themes for The Simpsons, Tales from the Crypt Keeper , Beetlejuice , Futurama and Desperate Housewives.

    They have also used their themes in the soundtracks of some video games such as: Fable , Kingdom Hearts II and most of the Simpsons ( Road Rage , Hit & Run , etc.)

    He has been nominated for The Academy Awards three times for Untamed Will Hunting (1997), Men in Black (1997) and Big Fish (2003), although he has yet to win.

    He has been married since November 29, 2003, to the actress Bridget Fonda, with whom he has a daughter.


    The American composer Danny Elfman is included in the New wave musical style. This style was born in the sixties and has been evolving until today.

    It sets up a musical style similar to Pop, but with added elements such as the use of organs and synthesized sounds, in New Wave style, with Wind instruments. Children’s and adult choirs combined with symphony orchestras are also used.

    Analysis of the main works

    Edward Scissorhands

    In 1990, the film Edward Scissorhands, by the director Tim Burton, was released. Danny Elfman participated in this film composing and conducting the BSO (Original Soundtrack).

    This is one of the most recognized works within his work according to Espinof , a cinematographic news page.

    They explain how Danny Elfman divided this soundtrack into themes according to what he needed to express. Some of them are: The castle, The theme of Edward and The theme of the inventor , explained by the same musical director in an interview conducted by Los Angeles Showcase Musepaper in 1990.

    The theme of the castle is configured from children’s choirs, high-pitched melodies. The author of the work created this theme to express through music the lonely life of the protagonist, as he himself said in the magazine interview conducted by Hopes&Fears . He added that it had a melancholic and fantastical mix that added intrigue to the images.

    Edward’s theme, on the other hand, was not composed to convey mystery, but to become, as the film progresses , the theme of love . It looks for sweetness, tenderness and nostalgia. Danny Elfman used different resources that fit the images. In the case of the inventor’s theme he was looking for rhythmic music, for which he used percussion and brass.

    Alice in Wonderland

    To create the soundtrack for the film Alice in Wonderland, 2010, Danny Elfman composed twenty-four songs with a total duration of fifty minutes and fifty-nine seconds.

    To create them he used both children’s and adult choirs combined with a symphony orchestra.

    The composer’s intention with this soundtrack was to express mystery, magic and intrigue in a subtle and exciting way, as he explained in the interview published by Disney in 2010.

    In the soundtrack he also used the same song in different forms, specifically Alice’s song. It has a base of string instruments with children’s choirs to which he added percussion, organs and wind instruments at exciting moments.

    Throughout the film this song varies depending on what is seen in the images. Specifically, it has three forms. In the first Danny Elfman emphasized the strings and percussion to give a childish and delicate nuance. In the second he tries to create an atmosphere of uncertainty by means of synthesized choruses.

    He also created a third version of the same song with percussion, wind instruments and organs for the heroic moments.

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    1990Batman, 1989The Batman ThemeBest instrumental composition

    Primetime Emmy

    2006housewivesMain topicBest theme music
    2016Alice through the looking glassOSTBest Music Direction
    Saturn Award
    1996The FightenersOSTBest Official Soundtrack
    1998BeetlejuiceOSTBest OST
    2003Spider-ManOSTBest OST
    Phoenix Critics Society Award
    2005Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryOSTBest Soundtrack

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