What’s So Spooky About the Addams Family Theme Song?
Listen to the Addams Family theme song.
Start a conversation with your students about what makes this song sound spooky:
What instruments do the students think they can hear being used? Do they know what a harpsichord is? How do they think it relates to the Addams family?
The main progression of the Addams Family theme is C–Dm7–G7–C, or I–ii7–V7–I. (Scooby Doo, another spooky comedy from the 60s, features a I-ii-V-I chord progression).
The ii7–V7–I part of the progression is very common. What relationship can students see between the three chords? If the progression is common, what is it that makes the music sound quirky?
Do the dynamics and the lyrics add to the overall spooky feel?
Practice playing the song as a class, utilizing available instruments, have some students clicking their fingers in the appropriate spots.
Record the song with the class playing together.
Does the recording sound as quirky as the original?
How does the choice of instrumentation affect how the song sounds?
TAKE IT FURTHER:
Have students improvise using the animated chords displayed and/or improvising a new rhythm in the finger click sections.
IOS, Android or Chromebook device. Instruments are optional.
Students can either play instruments along with the tracks or use percussion only. Encourage students to work together so that one student plays the run up and the other plays the finger snap sections to develop impulse control and collaboration skills.
Record the theme to Scooby Doo (which uses a similar chord progression to that of Adams Family) with an instrumental choice that you think will be unusual for the song.
Students will examine what makes a song sound spooky, including instrumentation, chord progressions, dynamics, rhythm and lyrics.
Musical: Group Performance, Instrument Motor Skills, Expression, Harmony, Articulation, Dynamics
ExtraMusical: Collaboration, Concentration, Critical Reflection, Emotional Recognition & Empathy, Effective Communication, Self-Awareness & Confidence
Top 10 Song Picks for HALLOWEEN! (For Vocal or Instrumental)
Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones
Don’t Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell
The Monster by Eminem Feat. Rihanna
Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
Monster Mash by Bobby “boris” Pickett & The Crypt-kickers
Demons by Imagine Dragons
A Nightmare On My Street by DJ Jazzy Jeff
Zombie by The Cranberries
The Addams Family