The Simpsons Theme Song: A Fighting Melody

The Simpsons. Everyone knows them and everyone recognizes the theme music. What most people don’t know is which mode of the main scale it is based on. The published score for The Simpsons The title song claims that it is written in the key of C major. I am sorry I disagree. It seems to me that it is actually in the key of G major using the Lydian C scale. To prove my point, you will need a little understanding of key signatures.

If you know your circle of fifths from music theory, then you know that C major has no sharps or flats, except for accidentals in a melody. You will also know that the key of G major has a sharp (F #), again, unless there are accidentals in a melody. My problem with The Simpsons; The key signature of the theme is that every F played is accidental (F #). You can say The Simpsons The issue is in the key of C Lydian, but to say that it is C major, for me, is a mistake.

Now, I didn’t write the music, obviously, and it’s not me who wins the copyright. So my opinion is just that, and it’s worth every penny you’ve paid for it. But I’d rather see that the melody is actually in the key of G Major, which, again, has a sharp. If it had been written this way, there would have been no alterations in the melody. Just for fun, I am going to post the Lydian scale tablature for the key of C Lydian (G major), and then I will post part of the tablature for this piece. Obviously it wasn’t written for guitar, but it’s fun to play and listen to anyway. Lydian is one of the least used guitar modes, but The Simpsons the theme song is a popular piece.

Here’s the ascending C Lydian scale:



… and here is the descending C Lydian scale.



Here is the main melody for The Simpsons theme song. I should note that every two dashes after the first two dashes after the note represents an eighth silence or half a beat (in a 4/4 beat). For example,


it would be the 10th fret at beat 1, then the half beat and the second beat are empty, and the 12th fret is played at beat 2 1/2.



I hope you enjoy playing these as much as I do. You should play around with this unique mode for a while and maybe discover your own theme song.

Thanks, and as always, great shredding!

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