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And as "Superman" came on the screen, I swear to God, if you listen carefully, it literally, the music speaks the word.
—Richard Donner (on the opening theme for Superman)
A type of Mood Motif that was traditionally used in medieval Europe to celebrate the arrival of a royal person. Today, it is still present in music as a form of celebrating something. A fanfare generally uses horns, or the closest digital music equivalent, and is stirring and uplifting.
- The original opening for UFO Robo Grendizer is a very uplifting Fanfare. Also used by several adaptations, like the French or Arabic versions.
- Voltron replaced Golion's simple theme song insert with a fanfare.
Films — Animation
- Shrek 2 played with this. The traditional fanfare is followed by one guy playing the Hawaii Five O theme. "Enough, Reggie!" indeed. In fact, the traditional fanfare was itself a stylized portion of the Hawaii Five O theme.
- In The Little Mermaid, Triton first appears to a fanfare. Sebastian is introduced with the same fanfare, only played on a kazoo.
- The recobbled version of The Thief and the Cobbler has many, most memorably:
"Beautiful! Princess! Yum Yum!"
- The Ear Worm-y "March of the Cards" from Alice in Wonderland.
- A Boy Named Charlie Brown. "Champion Charlie Brown" is such a triumphant, catchy tune, the instrumental is used for the production credits bumper.
Films — Live-Action
- This has been around for about as long as film had original music. Studios tried to have a fanfare as their theme, but only Twentieth Century Fox's theme has lasted.
- The Universal Logo, composed by the late, great Jerry Goldsmith is nothing short of EPIC.
- Jerry Goldsmith was the master of fanfares. He composed the Fanfare For Oscar which was commissioned for the Academy Awards ceremony, as well as for the films:
- Air Force One
- Capricorn One
- The Final Conflict
- First Knight
- King Solomons Mines
- The Mummy 1999
- Total Recall
- Twilight Zone the Movie
- The Wind and The Lion
- The Warner Bros. one made a brief return in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (though within the movie itself, and not the opening). It was also once used in synthesized form for the Warner Home Video logo.
- Warner nowadays uses an excerpt of "As Time Goes By", though it appears more on their TV logo than on movies.
- Paramount has one that's rarely used except in their home video releases.
- John Williams is fond of this.
- At this point we really should acknowledge Maurice Murphy, principal trumpeter of the London Symphony Orchestra at the time they recorded the original Star Wars score. John Williams was so impressed by Murphy's "heroic brass sound" that he personally asked for him as lead trumpet on several of his film scores, including all the rest of the Star Wars series.
- Parts of the theme to The Last Starfighter.
- Miklos Rozsa and his magnum opus music for Ben-Hur. Seriously, he out fanfares John Williams in the fanfare department.
- Independence Day
- Elmer Bernstein also made some memorable fanfares.
- The theme to Tombstone is on the dramatic end of this, but still has the elements.
- The theme to Star Trek the Motion Picture and Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan were fanfares (the former becoming the theme for The Next Generation).
- The Klingon theme from The Motion Picture was not a fanfare at first, but after the Klingons became the Badasses of the franchise (even when they were not good guys), the theme was remixed into a fanfare.
- Humperdinck's entrance in The Princess Bride gets a sinister fanfare.
- The background trumpets of "Comedy Tonight" from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Forum counts, or at least does during the final reprise.
- The stage version has fanfares heralding the grandiose entrance of Miles Gloriosus. A portion of the following song ("Bring Me My Bride") is recognizable in the fanfare that opens the show.
- In The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, a fanfare is played for the Grand Vizier of Marabia.
- In The Three Musketeers 1973 (1973), a fanfare is to be played for the King of France. One of the Musketeers (D'Artagnan?) needs a distraction, so he tries to play the fanfare and fails badly. However, the other musicians think it's time and play the fanfare correctly.
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold's composed several for The Adventures of Robin Hood (the Errol Flynn version).
- Hilariously parodied in Robin Hood: Men in Tights with the Sheriff's fanfare played by soldiers imitating trumpets, and later when an actual trumpet fanfare is played directly into Prince John's ears.
- The Galaxy Quest theme.
- The James Bond scores of John Barry are practically made of fanfare. Heck, there's a track on the A View to a Kill score that's called "Fanfare", listenable here.
- The Fellowship theme in The Lord of the Rings; as well as the themes for Rohan and Gondor, appropriately.
- How the West Was Won
- Despite being labeled as a march in the title, the main theme from Captain America the First Avenger (called the Captain America March) certainly opens as a fanfare.
- Hawaii Five O (and Hawaii Five 0, incidentally).
- The original Battlestar Galactica Classic Instrumental Theme Tune. Reused in the 2003 revival as the Colonial Anthem.
- The first season opening credits of Space: 1999 start with a grand fanfare, heralding the arrival of... Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.
- "Song of the High Seas", the Instrumental Theme Tune from Victory at Sea.
- Airwolf has a massive fanfare as part of its opening theme.
- One of Mystery Science Theater 3000's Running Gags involves someone (usually Servo) announcing "The King approaches!" in a pompous tone of voice whenever the movie plays a fanfare.
- Popular with British TV companies for their opening logos, particularly in the 1960s-80s. Anglia Television, ATV, Channel 4, LWT, Rediffusion, Thames, TVS and Yorkshire Television all used fanfares at one time or another.
- Entertainment Tonight, composed by Michael Mark.
- Several Leitmotifs in Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle have a fanfare-like character, such as the Sword motif and the Valkyries' theme (exploited in the famous "Ride of the Valkyries"). Of Siegfried's two themes, one is only slightly fanfare-like; the other (the famous horn call) is much more so.
- The theme to Masterpiece Theatre is actually an old piece titled "Fanfare for trumpets, timpani, violins and oboes". It's on the more relaxing and graceful end, but it is a fanfare.
- The Triumphal Chorus from Verdi's Aida.
- Fanfare for the Common Man
- Rimsky-Korsakov's Mlada has the "Procession of the Nobles".
- The Moody Blues' Days of Future Past.
- Mirdautas Vras by Summoning. Perhaps the only example of a fanfare for a villain. Listen here.
- Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" opens with a fanfare that is repeated at intervals, though the main body of the piece relies rather more heavily on strings than the other examples here.
- In settings of the Requiem Mass, "Tuba mirum" is a good place to look for fanfares combined with Ominous Latin Chanting. Mozart's only has a relatively tame trombone solo, but the Berlioz and Verdi Requiems pile on the brass magnificently.
- Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien opens with the reveille call that he heard while on vacation in Spain.
- Gustav Mahler's music is filled with fanfares and marches, thanks to growing up in a town with a barracks.
- Camelot has a recurring fanfare derived from the title song ("Ca-me-lot!").
- Of Thee I Sing has a trumpet fanfare derived from its title song, which plays before various important entrances and announcements. This is subverted in the final scene by Rule of Three.
- Da-da-da-DAH! Arguably the best overture of a musical ever written, Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim's Gypsy revolves around four notes and four central words: "I had a dream!"
- Similarly, the overture of Leonard Berstein's version is so epic and widely regarded it is performed by symphonies as a modern classical piece completely separate from the musical. Its opening fanfare is instantly recognizable.
- There's also the Governor's fanfare, derived from his song "My Love", and a shofar-like Inquisition fanfare which sounds quite scary.
- The aptly-named Victory Fanfare, which has appeared in almost every game of the Final Fantasy series.
- The Dragon Quest overture (especially obvious in VIII).
- "The Musashi Legend" from Brave Fencer Musashi. Listen to it here.
- The theme to Golden Sun.
- Part of the Baldur's Gate 2 main theme, from about 0:15 to 0:50 here.
- The victory music in the first Star Fox game.
- The victory tune in Capcom's Knights of the Round. Oddly, it's just the SNES port, not the arcade version, which sounds more like chimes than trumpets.
- "Lucca's Theme" from Chrono Trigger. In fact, one of the things that annoyed some gamers about Cross was that even though that tune was upgraded to a full victory tune, and given two remixes, both of them slowed the tempo down.
- A different sort of fanfare is "Courage and Pride", the castle theme — there is a remix of it that plays it as it would be in "real life", outdoors with chattering voices.
- The theme to The Legend of Zelda series may have been intended as a fanfare at first, but the audio limitations of the Famicom/NES made it difficult to make clear. The Animated Adaptation on the Super Mario Bros Super Show made it clear that the theme is a fanfare, and was also played as one in A Link to the Past.
- The major item-finding cues in the games.
- From 1:40 onward, "The Greatest Journey" from Halo 3 is a Fanfare version of the original Halo Theme.
- Rise of Nations plays victorious fanfares whenever you're winning a battle, as well as during the victory debriefing screen.
- Kessen is absolutely overloaded with sweeping fanfares, both for victory and for battles. Kessen III replaced some of the fanfares with odd rock/techno orchestral mixes though, which sort of worked, but didn't make your hair stand on end like some previous songs in the series did.
- Cave Story has "item acquired" and "boss defeated" fanfares.
- The victory music (especially the "defended town" one) in Heroes of Might and Magic III.
- Numerous games released by Apogee Software in the early-to-mid 90s opened with a screen displaying the company's logo accompanied by the "Apogee Fanfare".
- The title screen music for the original Pokémon has been a recurring fanfare and main theme for the series. There are few various victory fanfares as well, but this is without the most recognizable one from the games.
- Super Mario Bros has the music played whenever Mario/Luigi touches a flagpole at the end of a level. A different fanfare is used at the end of each Castle level after he defeats a Fake Bowser (or the real one at the end of the final level) and rescues a Toad (or Princess Peach, again at the end of the final level).
- And Great Revival from the Ace Attorney series also qualifies. Even if you weren't a fan of Edgeworth, this song got your attention.
- The openings to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She Ra Princess of Power.
- Justice League has one, enhanced by the fact that there is a few seconds of darkness as the fanfare begins, before the outlines of the heroes slowly come into view.
- The old Superman and Batman: TAS themes also come in whenever Superman or Batman do something incredible; like Batman taking on Kalibak.
- Beast Wars introduced the character of Silverbolt in its second season. His statements concerning his honor code, and knightly actions were often accompanied by a medieval-style fanfare. Even his first appearance has him silhouetted in the moon as his fanfare played.
- From Season 2 on (when they started Flash animation), Johnny Test overused fanfares.
- Tale Spin has one that plays during the heroic and triumphant moments.
- The Bugler's Dream by Leo Arnaud is the most famous of the various songs used as themes for the Olympic Games. The version linked was arranged by John Williams and added to the beginning of his Olympic Fanfare Medley, which as indicated by the title follows it up with a fanfare of Williams' own.
- Williams' "Summon the Heroes", the 1996 Atlanta Olympic theme, also draws heavily on the fanfare.