“You mentioned Beetlejuice just now. I love that main title. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone make a tuba do that, before or since.
That’s because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing! That was my fifth score, I think. Tim used to joke, because Pee-wee, Beetlejuice and Batman were my first, fifth and tenth scores, and Tim would say, ‘How are you doing four films in between each of mine?!’ I said, ‘I’m trying to learn how to score, so I can do scores FOR your films!’ Beetlejuice was one that was like, ‘Oh my god, this is unplayable,’ because… Finally it was, but I hadn’t realised how impossible it was for the brass. The tuba had it easy! The tuba was playing the downbeats, and every downbeat was followed by an upbeat on the French horns, and that’s really hard, to pay fast offbeats. The horns and the trombones had a really rough time. I realised at the first rehearsals that it was not working at all. But they’re amazing musicians, so eventually we got it. It was just hard.”
- Danny Elfman on “Beetlejuice“‘s main theme, on Empire