Picture the summer Olympics. Gymnasts flying through the air, swimmers reaching for the wall, runners sprinting for the finish line. A full sized symphony orchestra?

Yes, indeed. The London Philharmonic Orchestra performed at the 2012 Opening Cermony. But before we get to the musical athletes themselves, we must first pay tribute to the Olympic theme music. NBC’s broadcast of the Olympic games wouldn’t be complete without the “bum, bum, ba bum bum bum bum” before and after every commercial break. Of course, there have been other Olympic themes throughout the years, which are covered in a fun post by NPR. And let’s not forget about all the national anthems played during the medal ceremonies for the best athletes in the world.

In addition to the theme song and national anthems, live music also accompanies the Olympics. In fact, over 10,000 musicians will perform alongside the athletes in the 2012 games. The music ranges from orchestra to choir to rock ‘n’ roll, with performances by #1 hit artists including Paul McCartney, the Spice Girls, and the Who.

Another piece of musical history made at these games is the ability to purchase the albums from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies immediately afterward. The Opening Ceremony album, Isles of Wonder skyrocketed to #5 on the British charts just one day after its release. A Symphony of British Music, the Closing Ceremony album, is expected to be just as well received after its release on Sunday.

Some of the songs on Isles of Wonder have become the theme songs of the 2012 London Olympic Games. According to the Huffington Post, “‘Heroes’ by David Bowie has been adopted as the British team’s anthem. ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet is the BBC’s song of choice for medal-winners. And Vangelis’ theme from ‘Chariots of Fire’ is played loudly and often in all sorts of venues.”

And if the live music isn’t enough, recorded songs blast out of speakers during all the events. Great Britain is certainly taking advantage of its vast musical history featuring hometown artists like The Beatles, Adele, The Kinks, and the Sex Pistols. The songs are well-known, up-beat, and sure to get the audience jazzed up to cheer on their favorite athletes.

Posted on August 7, 2012
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