Carl Orff

percussion // contemporary instrumental classical

You’ve heard Carl Orff’s composition in the trailer of some movie, I’m sure. From the opera Carmina Burana, “O Fortuna” has appeared in countless contemporary contexts, from Walt Disney World to internet video memes. ‘Gassenhauer’, or ‘Street Song’, was arranged from a lute setting by Hans Neusiedler from 1536. Orff used basic orchestra percussion, layering each one one top of eachother to create a vibrant crescendo of sound. If it comes off as familiar, you’ve likely heard it in one of these films: Badlands, True Romance, and Me and You and Everyone We Know.

Xylophone, marimba, timpani, shaker, castanets, then snare.
Carl Orff – Gassenhauer
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17 Responses to “Carl Orff”

  1. bresslau :

    Bem legal, valeu! A great way to start a day. I am off to tuning harmonica in a few minutes.

  2. moo :

    Yea, Gassenhauer has pure fun percussion! :)

  3. runman :

    Thought you were dead Paul:)

  4. Anonymous :

    I recognized it instantly from True Romance… The version for that movie is made by Hanz Zimmer and called “You’re so cool”. Thanks!

  5. Anonymous :

    Good post. FYI, though, “Carmina Burana” is not an opera like “La Boheme” or “Carmen.” It’s more correctly called a cantata, performed by an orchestra and chorus in a straightforward symphonic setting rather than in a dramatic setting like an opera.

  6. Tigermilk :

    This track is a gem.

  7. Anonymous :

    Bet you didn’t know this…but Carl Orff was the guy that came up with all the musical instruments that we have in elementary school. the xylophone looking things are called “Orff Intrumentarium” He’s a god in the Music Education world


  8. jam :

    hmmm… i don’t think they used the actual Orff piece in either True Romance or Me You & Everyone We Know – i think they were covers or reworkings by other artists, no?

  9. Paul Irish :

    Yeah, very likely. The info on the net is spotty, so I couldn’t validate. So you’re likely right..

  10. ineptmule :

    I’d heard “O Fortuna” and the rest of Carmina Burana before, but this track is extraordinary.

    I’m amazed that Hans Zimmer and/or Mark Mancina managed to get away without making it clear that they were so influenced by this when writing the theme to True Romance. The similarities are far too strong to be coincidental, and the connection really should be made more explicit.

  11. Anonymous :

    I am a big fan of your music “O fortuna”(excalibur)..
    I love this and all music of yours..

  12. Ragged Hobo :

    I was acutally looking for this record today in Tokyo and all I could find were countless versions of Carmina Burana – typical.

    Came home disappointed – checked out the always excellent aurgasm – and found this great post, which cheered me up no end!

    Cheers, I love it when unexpected sychronicity strikes.

  13. Matthew :

    Oh, man…finally. My father used to play this album (“Street Song”) LOUD, and this first track has always triggered something deep and profound for me. I have been searching for it for years. Thanks.

  14. Wednesday Keller :

    The download link is broken, so no more song? Sigh.

  15. lauren :

    We’re playing this song in music class, for our concery. I’m playing the “woodpecker” part. the gggggggggg aaaaaaaaaa gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg aaaaaaaaaa gggggggggggggggggggg aaaaa ggggggggggggggg aaaaa
    Yeah. I’m a master.

  16. djerzinski :

    speaking of “countless contemporary contexts” I also mention Finding Forrester, a Steven Soderbergh movie. however, I can’t help myself asking you a favor: please fix the broken link! thank you very much!

  17. djerzinski :

    I have to correct my post above: Finding Forrester is a Gus van Sant film and the song they used there is actually a cover made by Hans Zimmer. sorry!