What are some examples of theme songs for television shows?


Quick Answer

Some examples of television theme songs include Mark Snow’s “The X-Files,” Will Smith’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Alexander Courage and Jerry Goldsmith’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back Kotter.” These iconic theme songs all serve to set the mood and introduce their respective shows.

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Full Answer

Mark Snow’s opening theme for science fiction favorite “The X-Files” embodies the show’s sense of mystery and danger, with eerie synth lines giving way to the theme’s memorable hook. This instrumental composition actually hit No. 1 on the French pop charts during the 1990s.

Will Smith was already a rapper before starring in the comedy series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” so it’s hardly surprising that he penned the show’s theme song. Smith’s light-hearted rap tells the story of how a West Philadelphia teen gets into trouble and comes to live with his relatives in the affluent Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air.

The theme for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” synthesized parts of Alexander Courage’s theme music for the original “Star Trek” television series along with Jerry Goldsmith’s theme for the “Star Trek” film, creating a new composition that was still familiar. The stirring orchestral piece conveys the vastness of space exploration.

Former Lovin’ Spoonful singer John Sebastian penned the theme for the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back Kotter,” centered on a wisecracking teacher who returns to work at his former high school. The song hit the top of the pop charts in 1976.

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