The music of "My Little Pony"
This article was tweeted by Daniel Ingram, the Emmy-Award nominated composer for the series. Thank you for reading this article Mr. Ingram!
One of the most attractive features of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the music. The music style varies, but is usually a playful melody written in more of a contemporary style. I like to compare it to the music from the Disney shows of the nineties. It's contemporary, it's playful and fun, but not overly-childish, and really helps to tell the story and enhance the overall experience of watching the show. Daniel Ingram, who writes the music for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has even been nominated for two daytime Emmy Awards for his work on the series.
Brony musician All Levels At Once, who is known for his amazing covers to the songs from the show, says "Most of the songwriting and composition is simple, catchy melodies in major keys. His songwriting style was the exact style I had been trying to write in at around the time I got into the show. I've really learned a lot from watching how Ingram writes and I've picked up more than a few tricks. Senseless happiness is something that I really like in music, and the MLP songs do a very good job at this."
Of course, the music has also been a key favourite among Bronies, with discussions and debates surrounding favourite songs and musical numbers. Check out some of the key musical numbers here.
Giggle at the Ghosties
Giggle at the Ghosties
"Giggle at the Ghosties" was the first song to air as part of the series (not including the main title theme). It was included in the second part of the two part series premier, Friendship is Magic, Part 2. At this point the ponies keep running into distractions, some of them frightening, and To help reassure the ponies, Pinkie Pie sings a song about laughing at the things that scare you.
Sure, it sounds childish, but it is a children's cartoon, and at the time the episode aired, the large adult male fan base had yet to develop. Still, this was not your typical children's song. It was cleverly written, largely upbeat, and still had some inspiration from contemporary teen pop.
Winter Wrap Up
Winter Wrap Up
This was probably the biggest song of the first season. It had all 6 main characters, and had verses, a chorus, a bridge, key change, basically it was a full song. And a good one too.
The song was leaked to YouTube close to a month before the episode aired, purportedly by Ingram himself, which Hasbro was quick to remove.
The song takes place during "Winter Wrap Up," an event that occurs annually in the My Little Pony universe, in which it seems that the ponies are actually responsible for the weather. In this episode, it is the ponies job to clear all the snow, wake up the animals from hibernation and melt the ice on the lakes, as well as clear the skies of snow clouds and bring spring about. Also, because the town that the bulk of the series takes place in was founded by ponies with no magical powers, they all have to do everything by hand.
Twilight Sparkle, having just moved to Ponyville, and having relied on magic most of her life, does not know where she would fit in and what jobs she could do. And so begins the song as she explores all her options, and all the ponies sing about the jobs they perform.
At this point, this was likely the largest musical number in the series and included all six of the main characters and several background characters all singing. The Brony culture was also well into it's development at this time, and was adopted as kind of an anthem for the series from the fanbase.
There are several covers and remixes for this song as well, including an amazing cover by All Levels at Once.
Smile, Smile, Smile
The Smile Song (Smile, Smile, Smile)
Like "Winter Wrap Up," This song was also leaked onto youtube - this time not removed by Hasbro - several months before the episode aired. It aired as part of several songs on the episode "A Friend indeed." This was brilliant marketing, in my own opinion, because I know I was looking forward to every Saturday to see if this song aired. It's definitely a fan favourite.
In this episode, a new character comes to Ponyville who's a bit of a grump, and so Pinkie Pie makes it her goal to make him smile. And that explains the entire setting of the song right there.
Like "Winter Wrap Up," This song gained a major following, and became a second anthem among Bronies. As I had mentioned in a previous article, several Brony musicians had gotten together to do a cover to this song as part of a charity album, which had a "We Are The World" feel to it. Also, much like "Winter Wrap Up" it was very well written, very cheerful, and actually reminded me of the Bubblegum pop music of the late 90's.
A Canterlot Wedding
Features the song "This Day Aria"
This Day Aria
The second season one hour finale, "A Canterlot Wedding" played out much like a nineties Disney movie, both in terms of plot and music. And it works very well. The song "This Day Aria" from the episode, really reinforces how clever music can add to the show's storyline and truly enhance the experience. Much like popular musicals, this song, rather than acting as a relief from the story, helps tell the story, and really brings viewers of all ages in to the show.
As this is song is so essential to the story, it is extremely difficult for me to describe the setting of the song without revealing any spoilers, but involves Princess Cadance singing about her hopes for her upcoming wedding, paired with someone impersonating Princess Cadance, singing about her alternate plans.
It is very well written, and the beauty of this piece lies not only in the brilliant writing by Daniel Ingram, but by the amazing voice talent of Britt McKillip, who was tasked with performing as the same song as two different characters - both of them Princess Cadance. The difference in the personalities really come out and are absolutely amazing, and using one voice to portray two different characters in the same song is no easy feat. Adding onto that is the fact that McKillip is not only acting two different roles, but doing it while singing at the same time just really goes to show her amazing talent.
Sadly, I really cannot link to a video of the song without ruining it for anyone who has yet to see the finale (where have you been?). This is a song that needs to be experienced, rather than just listened to, but it is absolutely splendid. Please, I ask you all to take my word for it.
I feel inclined to also let you know, the reason I linked to videos that weren't clips from the show. Both the songs, and the series are property of Hasbro. While I am using the music to promote the series here, I am not an employee of Hasbro, and as such, do not wish to use any more of their properties than I have to in order to promote the show or this article. Most of these songs are just a YouTube search away, and you could do your own YouTube-fu. Also several episodes have been released on DVD (Including A Canterlot Wedding) and are also available on iTunes and (in the United States) on NetFlix. I would encourage readers to support the series through these avenues preferably.
Download My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on iTunes
- Download Season 2 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on iTunes
Preview and download your favorite episodes or the complete season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 2. Download episodes starting at just $1.99.
- Download Season 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on iTunes
Preview and download your favorite episodes or the complete season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 1. Download episodes starting at just $1.99.