Outlander: Season 2 Begins . . . All Things New, Even the Music

We love the new main title theme and tone of the music for Season 2 thus far. As Bear McCreary mentioned, the music is also a part of telling the story. He is an absolute genius! If you never followed his blog, you should. It’s quite insightful.

The first season of Outlander gave me the chance to fulfill a life-long dream of incorporating Scottish folk music and instrumentation into an original score. The second season, debuting this weekend on Starz, presented an immensely challenging shift in tone. Our protagonists move from the rolling hills of the Scottish highlands, to the gilded halls of Parisian courts during the opulent reign of King Louis XV. I enthusiastically embraced this dramatic journey by reinventing the sound of my score.


The most obvious musical change this season is that my arrangement of the main title theme has changed. Altering a series main title is a risky move. The entire point of a main title is to be consistent from episode to episode, building a relationship with the audience. My arrangement of “The Skye Boat Song,” functioning as the Outlander Main Title Theme, accomplished this goal beyond my wildest dreams. Fans have thrown their arms around me, raving about how much the theme song means to them. I have seen our unique variation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s iconic text tattooed into flesh! So, Ron and I approached very conservatively the notion of altering something so beloved by fans. Still, we felt a distinctly Scottish musical tone would be at odds with the French baroque imagery of the second season.

Something in the main title theme had to change. But, what? And by how much?

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