If you’re a composition nerd, this video is for you.

Contemporary superhero soundtracks have been notoriously mediocre. Forgettable loudness without melody, in service of some ethereal and trendy sense of atmosphere, the music backing the biggest franchises in modern film just simply don’t have any good themes.

Quick, hum Captain America’s theme song. Or wait, what about Thor. Batman? Nothing, huh? Wonder Woman set itself apart by creating a riff – a cool riff – that is flexible enough to fit the film but unique enough to stand on its own. It’s changing the game back to the retro music theory that melody is desirable in a film score.

Dan Golding’s video essay explains the tactics taken by Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams to create a theme that isn’t just a badass metal riff, but something defining that can be applied to scenes of varied emotions and tones. Allow Tina Guo‘s electric cello to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

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