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Ludwig Göransson’s Hexatonic Scale in Oppenheimer’s Award-Winning OST

Ludwig Göransson’s Hexatonic Scale in Oppenheimer’s Award-Winning OST

Unveiling the Musical Mastery Behind the Oscars 2024 Winning Composition


The Hexatonic Scale

Ludwig Göransson’s development and use of a hexatonic scale in Oppenheimer’s OST represents a remarkable fusion of musical theory and innovative composition.

Born from the synthesis of B minor and C major triads, this six-note scale deviates from traditional seven-note scales, offering a fresh sonic landscape for the main theme, ‘Can You Hear The Music?’ The resulting scale is equivalent to a C Lydian scale without its A, or in other words, a Lydian scale without its 6th degree.

This particular sound is funneled into a brilliant melody. To do so, Göransson uses an intricate pattern that follows these rules:

  • Ascending line plays 1st, 2nd, and 3rd notes consecutively
  • Skips the 4th
  • Ascending line plays 5th, and 6th notes consecutively
  • Descends to play the 4th note
  • Repeats the process starting from the next note of the scale


Here’s how it looks on sheet music:

Sheet Music of "Can you hear the music?" by Ludwig Göransson - Oppenheimer OST


Watch this video interview where he explains the decision-making behind this composition.


The Missing Note’s Role

If you’ve read carefully, you’ll realize that the pattern will play all 6th available notes each time around. Why does a simple pattern create such an intricate melody? The key is the missing note.

As we pointed out, this is a 6-note scale, resulting in irregular intervals separating its notes.

On a regular scale, the 7 notes are separated by 6 intervals of a second, here we have 5 intervals of a second and 1 interval of a 3rd. The missing note is key to the melody’s complex yet repetitive nature since that “larger interval” will be located at a different part of the pattern in each new iteration.


Marked Sheet Music of "Can you hear the music?" by Ludwig Göransson - Oppenheimer OST


The interplay of structure and randomness imbues the melody with a sense of both familiarity and unpredictability, captivating the listener’s ear.

For an in-depth interview with Göransson discussing his inspiration and creative process for Oppenheimer’s OST, check out this blog post interview.


Harmonic Resonance with Quantum Physics

Göransson’s composition not only showcases his musical prowess but also mirrors the thematic depth of Oppenheimer’s narrative.

The melody’s intricate nature parallels the enigmatic realm of quantum physics explored by the main character.

Just as quantum mechanics oscillates between deterministic laws and inherent uncertainty, Göransson’s melody oscillates between structured patterns and spontaneous deviations, echoing the complexity of Oppenheimer’s scientific journey.



If you’re inspired by Göransson’s work and wish to explore music production services, consider visiting our site at MySongProductions.com for more information.


Conclusion: A Symphony of Innovation

In conclusion, Ludwig Göransson’s masterful utilization of the hexatonic scale in Oppenheimer’s OST transcends mere musical experimentation. It represents a bold exploration of harmonic possibilities, intertwined with thematic resonance and narrative depth.

Through his innovative melodies and harmonic ingenuity, Göransson not only enriches the auditory experience but also invites audiences to contemplate the intersection of music, science, and creative expression.


Your favorite music, in your hands!

At My Sheet Music Transcriptions, we can provide you with the sheet music of your favorite OSTs. With just two clicks, you can have access to exactly what you need. And if it doesn’t exist yet, don’t worry – we’ll create it for you, note-for-note. Our expertise covers all musical instruments and ensembles!

Request your sheet music through our website!

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