Take the Sky - Music from the Firefly Universe (music playlist)

UPDATED: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 02:13
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Thursday, January 25, 2018 4:29 PM


I revisited Firefly recently and it reaffirmed my love for the incidental music chosen for the show.

Sure, there is a lot of cool space battle rah-rah bombast that happens in the score when the guns start blazing, but the thing that I always liked was the odd juxtaposition of the dusty acoustic folk instrumentation with hints of Eastern elements and the occasional ambient/industrial-ish tones.

I pulled together a Spotify playlist of instrumentals that could be found in the Firefly and Serenity universe. As I indicate below, it is mostly instrumental acoustic folk with some bluegrass/Chinese hybrid songs and a couple appropriate tunes from film and video game soundtracks.

Take The Sky - Music Found in the Firefly Universe

Much of the highlighted instrumentation in the music I gravitate toward seems to be dobro, mandolin, and violin with occasional acoustic guitar and banjo or piano as underlying accents. Music theorist Jennifer Goltz in her excellent essay "Listening to Firefly" (found in the book Finding Serenity) points out:

"When they flew off after an adventure turned out all right, we heard slide guitar, a little strumming, sometimes a fiddle: it was the sound of their home and the sound of everything being right with the world.

And the fiddle and guitar are portable instruments, perfect for the lifestyle of the crew; the music they make calls up tunes played out in the open, by people who were hundreds of miles away just yesterday. [The musical theme] Serenity conjures the nomadic lifestyle the crew leads and underlines the western aspect of the show."

Since this kind of Appalachian folk has much of its original roots in Celtic music, song forms like reels and jigs wend their way into the soundtrack by way of flutes, pipes, and hand drums. Then from left field, Eastern folk instruments and phrasings would drift into the edges, due in large part to the influence of Chinese culture on that universe. And of course, being a sci-fi show, there are broad stretches of the music that feature atmospheric instrumentation and occasional industrial sounds -- the machinations of outer space.

The soundtrack to Firefly and the Serenity film are great, but they aren't really appropriate as background music. The music tells a narrative to what is happening on-screen including fistfights, space battles and other thrilling heroics, but I was looking for something that could be on in the background while reading or maybe starting a role-playing game that all had the same mood and feel, and kept the signal going.

Full tracklist, a Pandora station, and a bit more commentary can be found here:


Friday, January 26, 2018 6:35 AM


Have you heard the soundtrack for Wind River? I was haunted by the same sounds as Firefly, although did not see Greg Edmondson in the credits.
It may be described as Native American music, perhaps.

Greg also did the soundtrack for Bounty Killer (2013). The sound was very recognizable. Not sure if it had the low-excitement value you may be looking for. No need to pay attention to the film, other than for the sound.

Maybe not what you're looking for, but one of my favorite instrumentals, or Classical, is Adagio For Strings by Samuel Barber. A wider audience heard it in Platoon. My music friends who haven't heard it before usually first respond "that's a beautiful piece"


Friday, January 26, 2018 10:56 AM


I'll check them out, thanks.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:13 AM


Have you heard the [url=] Leaves on the Wind Music Project[/url]? Every song is based on an episode of Firefly, and we try to capture the unique sound, language and theme of each episode in the song. Might want to add it to the list!


Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:13 AM


Sorry for the double post, was trying to fix that link!







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