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The first official trailer music companies, which later became epic music producers, were created in the 1990s, with Immediate Music being one of the first starting as early as 1993. From then until the 2010s, many albums and single tracks were created; however they were only available to the companies’ clients and the film industry. Until this day only few of these albums have been officially, or unofficially through Internet platforms, released to the public. It was around 2005-2010 some composers started to pick up public fame for the first time, thanks to their songs being featured at special events like the Olympic Games and the many trailers they composed for.
The genre was named 'epic music' by its community when composers finally started releasing public albums. The first company to release an album of epic music was Globus (Epicon), followed by Immediate Music with Trailerhead in 2008 and later in the same series with Nu Epiq. This and many requests from fans encouraged Two Steps from Hell to release their first public album Invincible in 2010, and things kept growing from there. These companies and composers showed that publicizing music, which was first vaguely referred to as trailer and film music, worked and that there was an audience for it. With more albums being released publicly, the community grew and has kept growing ever since, even reaching outer space.
Separating itself from the trailer music genre, epic music is a stand-alone genre which produces a lot of music that can be used in trailers (which then also makes it trailer music). Although people who enjoy epic music also tend to like trailer and film music due to the many similarities, the community distinguishes the three as separate genres. Epic music has also proven to be similar to neoclassical music.[by whom?]
Since epic music is a growing genre, many new composers have found a home in the genre over the past few years. But not only do composers profit from making songs; official promotion YouTube channels are a booming business, creating cinematics, mixes and promoting tracks. These channels are sometimes called EMCs (Epic Music Channels).
These are the most common styles used for epic music tracks, though a track can consist of multiple styles. These categories and names are more descriptive rather than distinct classifications.
The majority of epic music is orchestral, using either a real orchestra or samples. It often sounds similar to classical music, though shorter and with less emphasis on form.
A track counts as vocal if there is at least one lead singer in it or if vocals form a majority of the track. Any track can be vocal, from emotional to horror.
World (sometimes called folklore) contains cultural or traditional music like Celtic, Nordic, or Asian. However, these styles more generally are distinct from epic. For example, Adrian von Ziegler is currently one of the most famous Celtic Music composers, but only few of his tracks are considered epic. Relatively unknown composers of these styles may find a niche in epic music.
Hybrid epic music is a cross-genre which is likely to sound like EDM or any other genre related to electro-type music, but they are usually specifically made to fit in the epic genre by implementing certain feelings/emotions. Rock is said to sound the most like classical music out of all modern genres, which is why it fits very well in Epic music. Due to both styles' powerful arrangements, hybrid and rock usually go hand in hand.
Epic companies and composers
This is an incomplete list of composers and companies that produce epic music.
- Thomas J. Bergersen
- Jo Blankenburg
- Zack Hemsey
- Immediate Music
- Steve Jablonsky
- Clint Mansell
- Mark Petrie
- Nick Phoenix
- E.S. Posthumus
- Kevin Riepl
- Jennifer Thomas
- Two Steps from Hell
- Rome, Emily (April 8, 2012). "Their movie trailer music is proudly commercial".
- Robley, Chris (July 26, 2012). "Film Trailer Music, Pt. 2: An Interview with Two Steps from Hell".
- Lebrun, Clothilde (July 19, 2014). "Nu Epiq: Interview with Immediate Music's President Yoav Goren".
- "Coming Soon: The 'Epic Music' of Movie Trailers". May 19, 2014.
- O'Connor-Read, Greg (May 13, 2014). "'Epic Music' Pioneers IMMEDIATE Release Genre Defining New Album Trailerhead: NU EPIQ". PR Newswire. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- Wright, Chris (May 6, 2016). "Meet Thomas Bergersen — Master of Powerful, Epic Music".
- Rosenbloom, Etan (January 24, 2013). "On the Charts: Two Steps from Hell".
- "Trailer-Musik auch als Live-Event - Check Comment section". March 10, 2014.
- Helwig, David (May 6, 2014). "The Music That Sells Hollywood's Top Blockbusters: audiomachine".
- "Imperativa Records To Release First Ever Best Of 'Epic Music' Genre Compilation Album "This Is Epic Music: Volume 1"". November 21, 2014.
- Barker, Lynn (April 25, 2016). "Astronaut Barry Butch Wilmore for A Beautiful Planet".
- "Interview with Thomas Bergersen | Composer, 'Two Steps From Hell'". Screen Watch. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
- Lebrun, Clothilde (May 1, 2015). "Dragons & Kings: Interview with the Composers of Gothic Storm's Biggest Release to Date".
- "Young musician finds grandeur in epic genre". May 1, 2016.
- "Astra Heights teams up with Yoav Goren". February 26, 2016.