What’s the music in Shadow and Bone on Netflix, and who wrote the eerie soundtrack?

29 April 2021, 14:39

By Sian Moore

Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels have been brought to life for the small screen, in a brand new Netflix series. But what’s the eerie music soundtracking the show?

Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel Shadow and Bone is one of the latest Netflix series to hit our screens.

The fantasy drama follows cartographer Alina Starkov, who embarks on an adventure after discovering she holds rare magical abilities that could change the fate of her war-torn world.

As we are drawn into the fictitious kingdom of Ravka, and Bardugo’s captivating characters, an epic and eerie soundtrack plays. And it’s all the fine work of American composer Joseph Trapanese, whose score is performed by the Budapest Art Orchestra.

Here’s all you need to know about the music...

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What are the inspirations behind the Shadow and Bone soundtrack?
What are the inspirations behind the Shadow and Bone soundtrack? Picture: Netflix

What are the inspirations behind the Shadow and Bone soundtrack?

Trapanese’s expansive score is a perfect match for the wide landscapes of Bardugo’s fictional world. Trapanese, who’s previously worked on The Greatest Showman soundtrack, has said his inspiration for the series’ sweeping, orchestral music came from fairytales, Russian stories and magic.

Bardugo’s made-up world is, after all, largely influenced by 1800s Russia.

When the composer met with the author, the two were on exactly the same page with their musical ideas – which Bardugo named as Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, and folk songs.

“We played Prokofiev favourites for each other and I inflicted some very pitchy renditions of old folk songs on him,” Bardugo revealed. “There’s certain music that sparks imagination,” she continued.

“Joseph’s extraordinary work on Shadow and Bone not only helped to bring this world fully alive, but also changed the way I experience my characters’ stories.”

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What is Alina’s Theme in Shadow and Bone?
What is Alina’s Theme in Shadow and Bone? Picture: Netflix

What is Alina’s Theme in Shadow and Bone?

Lead character Alina’s signature piece of music, ‘Her Name Is Alina Starkov’, uses strings to soundtrack the character’s story arc.

Speaking to Variety, Trapanese said he chose to use the violin to create “an intimate, raspy sound” that, as Alina begins to discover her power, “is transformed into this more mature, developed, refined kind of playing”.

How can I listen to the Shadow and Bone soundtrack?

The full soundtrack album, by Joseph Trapanese and The Budapest Art Orchestra, is available on Spotify (listen below).

Shadow and Bone is available on Netflix now in the UK.