Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: Sarah Hall

The Television Music of Trevor Jones: Exploring an Audio-Visual Archive

Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music


The speaker is Sarah Hall (University of Leeds)


Between 2005 and 2013, film and television composer Trevor Jones donated a substantial collection of audio-visual materials relating to his soundtracks to the University of Leeds. These materials include audio files, VHS tapes (containing unfinished cuts of film, with and without music) and a variety of paper documents (such as track sheets and cue lists), which offer the opportunity to explore the processes by which film and television music is created, developed and produced alongside the final productions themselves. The Trevor Jones Archive is unique in its level of detail and accessibility as these materials are often closely guarded by studios or even destroyed after a production’s release, allowing a rare insight into the inner workings of a composer for screen.

In this seminar I will be investigating the process of composing music for television from the perspective of Trevor Jones: a prolific UK-based composer whose 30-year career has overseen the analogue-digital switchover and who has worked across multiple industries (primarily in the UK and US). Resources in the Trevor Jones Archive distinguish compositional processes unique to composing for television, such as navigating advertisement breaks and the differences in composing for various types of programme (such as the miniseries, series, documentary and made-for-television film). Furthermore, the archive highlights differences between British television productions (such as those produced by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4) and American broadcasters (such as NBC, ABC and HBO) before and after the analogue-digital switchover. Ultimately, this paper provides an insight into the changes television and the music production process has seen through the lens of Trevor Jones’s career.

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