Elfman Zone Home

Edward Scissorhands
CD Cover

Edward Scissorhands

Music composed by Danny Elfman
Label: MCA Records (MCAD 10133)
Orchestrations by: Steve Bartek
Conducted by: Shirley Walker
Mixed by: Shawn Murphy
Produced by: Danny Elfman
Rating: * * * * / * * * *


Go to the Reviews page

For an in-depth look go to
Completing Edward
For a transcript of Elfman's
DVD commentary go to
The transcript archive
Details of the
Edward Scissorhands ballet

Track Samples

1. Ice dance (1'13") 190k
2. Edwardo the barber (0'35") 93k

Did you know...

  • Edward Scissorhands is Danny's favorite score. He re-iterates this fact frequently in interviews, once describing it as "pure and sweet, with a trace of sadness." (Premiere Magazine, 1991)
  • "In a recording studio one afternoon, a shrunken head nicknamed Uncle Bill looked down on Mr. Elfman and Mr. Burton from the console as a 79-piece orchestra recorded a 90-second cue to accompany a key scene in the movie." (Larry Rohter, New York Times, 1990)
  • Elfman started the score soon after finishing Darkman (John Braheny, Los Angeles showcase musepaper, 1990), was still performing as part of Oingo Boingo, and was planning the release of his 'Music of a Darkened Theater' CD. (American film magazine, 1991.02)
  • After the film was released numerous rip-offs appeared as adverts took advantage of the fantasy-seasonal element, causing Danny to respond with lawsuits. (Film score monthly, 1997). Music from his score was (legally) adapted for Luc Besson's kitsch Chanel no.5 advert, titled 'Little Red Riding Hood' ca.1998
  • In ca.2000-2001 Elfman was in talks with ballet choreographer Matthew Bourne (of all-male Swan Lake fame) to adapt Edward Scissorhands for a new production (Classical KCSC/KBCW, 2001; Portugese edition of Premiere magazine, 2000). Elfman has admitted even to writing 14 minutes of music for Bourne in ca.2002 but was working on Corpse Bride in 2005 (Film Score Monthly, 2005.07-08) when Burton finally gave full permission and Bourne went ahead with the project (Edward Scissorhands [ballet] programme, Sadler's Wells, 2005.11).

Track Listing

01. Introduction (Titles) (2'36")
02. Storytime (2'35")
03. Castle on the hill (6'25")
04. Beautiful new world /
   Home sweet home (2'05")
05. The cookie factory (2'14")
06. Ballet de suburbia (1'17")
07. Ice dance (1'45")
08. Etiquette lesson (1'38")
09. Edwardo the barber (3'19")
10. Esmeralda (27")
11. Death! (3'29")
12. The tide turns (5'31")
13. The final confrontation (2'17")
14. Farewell (2'46")
15. The grand finale (3'26")
16. The end (4'47")
17. With these hands (2'43) (performed by Tom Jones)
Total running time: (49'21")


Web trawl...

  • Midi clips are available on the web, but if you look closely, most of them are the same file - of the main title music. The best place to download and view its workings is at Hamienet [the webpage allows playing of each part, and some music notation examples.
    Instruments are: glockenspiel, synth voice, tremolo strings, pizzicato strings, orchestral strings, acoustic bass, string ensemble 1, string ensemble 2, oboe, flute, timpani, bassoon] but other sites found in a quick search are listed in this .txt file. Hamienet also hosts a version of the 'Ice dance' here.
  • The people behind 'Cerulean Pictures' obviously have an Elfman fetish, as the number of their arrangements of cues from his scores attests. For ES, they provide .pdf and .midi versions of The Grand Finale (3'18") in a piano arrangement which is just a little too faithful to the original. Without the orchestral timbres or any attempt to truly adapt them to a wholly pianistic style makes for a stilted aural experience. But this is still a must-have, and freely available at www.cerulean-pictures.com
  • A CD exists including an arrangement of the Titles, for an ensemble, 'Campanile', fronted by hand and concert bells. The CD's title is 'Point of no return' and there is even sheet music available through Laurendale Publishing (Van Nuys, California, USA). A copy can be purchased through amazon.com, or via other details on the website. It certainly beats other arrangements, since the ensemble suits this cue perfectly. Check on the image for a sample: