In the Hall of the Mountain King

From Academic Kids

In the Hall of the Mountain King is a piece by Edvard Grieg, composed for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, which premiered in Oslo on February 24, 1876.

A fantasy story written in verse, Peer Gynt tells of the adventures of the eponymous boy.

The sequence in which In the Hall of the Mountain King is used is when Peer sneaks into the Mountain King's castle. The piece is played when Peer attempts to escape from the King.

Actions that the music signifies

Peer Gynt's slow, careful footsteps are played by bassoons.

The footsteps of the King's trolls are played quietly by other instruments.

When the trolls spot Peer, they give chase and the music begins to speed up.

Peer begins to run, and the music begins to get increasingly louder and faster.

The Mountain King runs into Peer, and Peer quickly runs the other way. The thundering giant that is the King runs too, and the music grows even louder and more manic.

Finally, at the end, the King catches Peer Gynt, picks him up and hurls him out the front door of the castle. The piece abruptly finishes on this note.

Other Versions

  • Saga, on their album Detours, released a rock version of In the Hall of the Mountain King.
  • In the 1931 Fritz Lang motion picture M, Peter Lorre's character, the child murderer Franz Beckert, constantly whistles In the Hall of the Mountain King.
  • Apocalyptica released a version on their 2000 album Cult
  • The Inspector Gadget theme song is based on In the Hall of the Mountain King.
  • The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog theme song is based on In the Hall of the Mountain King.
  • The ground-breaking 1983 computer game Manic Miner played In the Hall of the Mountain King as its theme song.
  • Dream a Dream featured in DDRMAX2: Dance Dance Revolution is a vocal/techno remix of In the Hall of the Mountain King.
  • The famous British theme park Alton Towers uses In the Hall of the Mountain King as its theme song, and it can be frequently heard as visitors make their way around the park.
  • Hall of the Mountain King is an album by Savatage, released in 1987 on Atlantic Records, featuring a song of the same name.
  • The theme song of Orson's older brothers in Garfield and Friends is a simplified variation of the tune
  • It is becoming increasing popular in British Television adverts, many adverts use its tempo to gain attention and involve the viewer in the action

External link

Classical Music Archives, MIDI of the piece available (


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