Love Island theme tune: a rigorous musical analysis

4 June 2019, 12:47 | Updated: 4 June 2019, 12:51

By Sofia Rizzi

Love Island 2019 is upon us, and with all the hype around the new islanders set to take over the Internet, we return to the one thing that’s remained a constant throughout every series: the theme tune.

We get the vibe: you’re in Mallorca, cocktail in hand and dance beat ringing in your ears. But why is the Love Island theme tune actually so popular? Let’s dissect...

The theme tune

Quirky yet simple, it’s 100 per cent our type on paper.

Produced by Music Productions company A-MNEMONIC Music, the main theme is only four bars long, and consists of the same two bars repeated with slight variations. It’s a succinct little ditty that immediately captures our attention.

The melody

The angular melody is built on minor triads. The bass line melody moves in the sequence F# – A – C# – F#, while the treble simultaneously plays C# – E – G# – C#. Both melodic lines move in parallel fifths throughout, giving the piece a feeling of bi-tonality (F sharp minor and C sharp minor).

What’s clever about this melody is that although the notes rise up the minor chord, the pitch doesn’t. It jumps about and keeps you on your toes.

Love Island cast 2019
Love Island cast 2019. Picture: Joel Anderson / ITV

The next part of the melody is functional, and serves to give the music a bit of colour. We hear a standard chord progression of iv – VI – iv – i, allowing the melody to return to the beginning and start all over again.

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But, surprise: the end of the second phrase doesn’t resolve to the tonic (i).

Instead, it leaves us on a sneaky subdominant (iv) cliffhanger, ready to dive into the latest episode of the show to find out who has mugged off who in the last 24 hours.

The production

The melody itself might not be reminiscent of a Mahler symphony. But the real character comes from the music production, which is full of exciting nuggets.

Take the beginning for example: the music begins with a septuplet, making it instantly recognisable. And underneath, there’s a constant dance beat that complements that syncopated melody.

Plus, the music is made up of entirely synthesised sounds and sampling, transporting us straight to the club dance floor (in our minds, anyway).


Love Island Series 5 started last night on ITV2 – find out more about the music used in last year’s series here.