Study Guide

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Music (Score)

Music (Score)

Neil Innes andĀ De Wolfe Music

Frequent Monty Python collaborator and member of the esteemed British avant-garde, psychedelic pop-jazz band Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Neil Innes is responsible for the majority of The Holy Grail's scoring.

Having written songs for some of the Python's Flying Circus sketches, the writing of music for comical purposes made Innes a perfect fit for the tone of the film.

But that's not to say the score itself is a joke. In fact, a lot of the score (with perhaps the exception of the "Knights of the Round Table" jig, which is hardly subtle) is actually quite serious, and it's this seriousness that juxtaposes the ridiculousness of the action and dialogue as it appears on screen.

Even as soon as the opening credits, we get this mixture of a score that hints at some sort of impending doom with which we read a story of a moose. In Swedish.

By the way, this track and others not written by Innes, were provided by De Wolfe Music's library, including "Homeward Bound" used for Arthur's theme.

Like the credits, we get this very grand sound (with lots of horns) to let us know it's an important song for kings and conquests. But, as the song plays, on screen we see Arthur and his knights riding pretend horses as their squires bang coconuts.

A final example we have to mention is Dudley Matthews' "Crossed Swords." A very epic, high intensity song with violent strings make this track sound like the quintessential fight song, and yet all we get is a deranged knight hopping around on one leg talking about a "flesh wound."

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