What music is similar to the main theme from HBO's Rome?
January 13, 2008 5:44 PM   Subscribe

I love the Main Title Theme (composed by Jeff Beal) from the HBO series "Rome." Unfortunately, it is only about 1.5 minutes long. Can any of you think of some music that is similar? Strong on percussion, interesting rythms, period sounding, etc. (FYI, I have checked out Jeff Beal's other music.)
posted by shifafa to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but the sound of the Rome theme somehow reminded me of the band "Beirut", although it has lyrics (not sure if you're sticking to scores). A song auto-plays on their official site.
posted by sharkfu at 6:24 PM on January 13, 2008

No suggestions yet but in case anyone needs to hear it, here's a Youtube clip with the theme.
posted by junesix at 7:15 PM on January 13, 2008

peter gabriel's passion (soundtrack to "the last temptation of christ")

the soundtrack to "gladiator" (by lisa gerrard of "dead can dance')

and, of course, "dead can dance" (caveat: i find lisa gerrard's stuff amazing, and she has solo stuff as well, but her partner brendan perry seems to have the wrong kind of voice for the music they do.)

you may also like loreena mckennitt. her style ranges widely, but she generally does a pretty nice mix of anglo/celtic/balkan/middle eastern styles all blended together. some stuff, obviously, sounds more irish while other songs take on more of an african or eastern feel.

i can't make any recommendations, but i also wouldn't be surprised if you started looking around into some modern indian instrumental music, you might find something similar.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:30 PM on January 13, 2008

Just about every aspect of Rome is awesome! ;) That said, you simply might try E.S. Posthumus' Unearthed album. I'll echo the Gladiator suggestion, but surprisingly the Black Hawk Down soundtrack has some as well and most notably, Mogadishu Blues. Oh, and also try the Troy soundtrack too; Hector's Death is amazingly similar.

Good luck! That kind of music is so refreshingly different. I'm thrilled to find someone else who likes it!
posted by magnoliasouth at 9:20 PM on January 13, 2008

Ugh! That should've been "you simply MUST try..." Sometimes I type faster than I think. :(
posted by magnoliasouth at 9:22 PM on January 13, 2008

Not exactly period, but this reminded me a bit of Thomas Newman's percussion-heavy American Beauty score (not the piano-heavy theme, but tracks like Dead Already (sample)), and even more of the percussion-heavy Battlestar Galactica score (which has been by two composers to date, Richard Gibbs and Bear McCreary). Main Title (sample)

Along the lines of Beirut, indie instrumental bands that might fit are Boom Bip and Four Tet.
posted by dhartung at 11:29 PM on January 13, 2008

Response by poster: Hey thanks everyone, these are terrific recommendations. Keep 'em coming!

I'm a huge fan of "Rome" as well, magnoliasouth. I just discovered it, via Netflix, and I'm hooked.

junesix, thanks for posting the theme.
posted by shifafa at 11:31 PM on January 13, 2008

I've never seen the show, but I remember enjoying this radio interview with Beal about the process of creating the score-- you might like it too.
posted by moonmilk at 1:40 AM on January 14, 2008

Second The Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack - it's great; check the sample for "a different drum." More upbeat and peppy/less bombastic than the Rome theme, you might be interested in Afro Celt Sound System - their older stuff especially. They are on Peter Gabriel's Real World Records label, which has artists that sample a lot of different cultures.
posted by CaptApollo at 8:57 AM on January 14, 2008

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