Identify a piece of music for me.
September 25, 2022 7:55 PM   Subscribe

In my mind, this piece is associated with the Olympics, really dignified music playing over superb athletic feets. The melody repeats. But each time something is added and it builds up to the end. And then maybe it kind of fades. IIRC, it starts with strings, adds flutes, adds horns, in that order. Help me out, please.

I'm deaf. So linking me to something won't be any help. Thanks!
posted by Stuka to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
Best answer: Maybe a fanfare for the common man? It's horns, not strings, but definitely builds.

Here's a video where you can see the instruments being played (apologies if this isn't helpful!)
posted by freethefeet at 8:04 PM on September 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

Chariots of Fire by Vangelis is what I immediately think of about Olympics, athletics. And the song potentially fits as well.

A YouTube with the song and clips from the movie
posted by Jacen at 8:16 PM on September 25, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Ravel’s Bolero?
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 8:57 PM on September 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

(Used for a famous Winter Olympics ice-dance routine by British duo Torvill & Dean in the 80s?)
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 8:59 PM on September 25, 2022

Best answer: John Williams' Olympic Theme and Fanfare for the 1984 Olympics. I tried to find a full score, but I'm not having any luck looking for free versions. I don't know if you can read music, but here's a quick glimpse.
posted by sardonyx at 9:49 PM on September 25, 2022

More of the score is visible here starting around the 44 second mark (give or take). Plus there are other Olympic themes that might be what you are looking for if my suggestion isn't the right one.
posted by sardonyx at 10:06 PM on September 25, 2022

This might be easier to follow if you're not used to reading scores. It's not the full orchestral arrangement, so you're missing the woodwinds and strings, but if you're not listening to it anyways, you can really get the gist of the piece by the musical notation.
posted by sardonyx at 10:11 PM on September 25, 2022

I'm going to guess Ravel's Bolero too. The story is that Ravel's idea for the piece came from tapping out the rhythm - which repeats throughout - as a single note on the piano. "Don’t you think that has an insistent quality? I’m going to try to repeat it a number of times without any development, gradually increasing the orchestra as best I can.” - the 15 minute long piece is under-pinned by the same repeated pattern on a snare drum. Most of the piece is in C major but the music moves to E major in the last part - giving quite a jarring effect. The version used by Torvil and Dean was cut down to 4 minutes for their performance - but it still features the key change over the final 30 seconds or so of skating. For a little context here it is worth mentioning Bolero was cited by Bo Derek's character in the 1979 movie "10" "Did you ever do it do Ravel's Bolero? ... Uncle Fred said Bolero was the most descriptive piece of sex music ever written". So - be aware of that other context of usage.!
posted by rongorongo at 12:23 AM on September 26, 2022

Perhaps the UEFA Champions League Theme?
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:49 PM on September 26, 2022

The theme song for Brisco County, Jr.? It's been used during the Olympics.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 8:54 PM on September 26, 2022

Response by poster: Thank you for the answers. There is no way for a positive ID unless someone wants to come and hash this out with me person! But I appreciate the input and I will check these out. At the very least, I could prossibly eliminate them.
posted by Stuka at 8:56 AM on September 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

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