Music News

After 35 years, we can finally see the official score for the THX sound

If you’ve been to a movie anytime since 1983, you’ve heard this.

Cool stuff. But who made those sounds? And was it ever written down?

The THX sound was written by Dr. James “Andy” Moorer on commission from Lucasfilm. He called his composition “Deep Note.”

The fanfare was patented. It reads:

The THX logo theme consists of 30 voices over seven measures, starting in a narrow range, 200 to 400 Hz, and slowly diverting to preselected pitches encompassing three octaves. The 30 voices begin at pitches between 200 Hz and 400 Hz and arrive at pre-selected pitches spanning three octaves by the fourth measure. The highest pitch is slightly detuned while there are double the number of voices of the lowest two pitches.

This past week, the score for “Deep Note” was finally released. If you ever want to play it yourself, this is what you do.

Here’s a history of “Deep Note.”

This is the current version of “Deep Note.”


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37441 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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