The End is Nigh: Music Postfaces and End Credit Sequences in Contemporary Television Serials

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End credit sequences have received little scholarly attention, and yet since The Sopranos (1997–2006), at least, there has been a concerted effort on the part of certain shows’ producers to use this ‘space’ productively. Rather than the same theme returning at the end of each episode, a different audio track/song may be selected (or composed) for each one. Since The Sopranos other serials have followed suit: examples include Mad Men (2007– ), Boardwalk Empire (2010– ), and True Blood (2008– ). Of course, popular songs have been heard during the end credit sequences of feature films, particularly since the 1980s, for reasons of cross promotion and economics. And certainly, on the one hand, the curation of popular songs (and other music tracks) over the end credit sequences of high production value television serials, particular to each episode, potentially signals a scale of budget for music rights that might be considered cinematic rather than televisual. But televisual seriality offers another reason why this approach is productive. Using The Sopranos as a case study, here I investigate the end credit sequence of contemporary television serials in the context of this seriality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195–215
Number of pages21
JournalMusic, Sound, and the Moving Image
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
EventMusic and Screen Media - University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Jun 201426 Jun 2014


  • End credit sequence
  • music
  • postface
  • Television
  • serial


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