Every episode of Scriptnotes starts with the same five notes:

Beginning with episode 98, every episode ends with a new listener-created outro, each one a variation on that same five-note theme.

We’ve had some amazing outros, both because our listeners are geniuses and the basic melody is so adaptable. You can hear all of them here.

Our stockpile of outros has started to wane, so consider this an official call for entries. If you’d like to submit one of your own, send a link to ask@johnaugust.com. SoundCloud is terrific if you use it, but you can also attach an mp3.1

While we’ve had a wide range of styles, I can think of a few variants no one has submitted:

  • an Old West theme
  • anything baroque
  • Gregorian chanting
  • something like The Clapping Song
  • the style of Aaron Copland
  • the style of Danny Elfman (surprising, really)

Some of my favorite outros are riffs on familiar movie themes. Matthew Chilelli has done two. The first one in the style of Close Encounters:

The second one was for our Frozen episode:

I can imagine some other promising movie-homage riffs, if anyone cares to try:

  • the flute melody from Alien
  • the violin theme from The Godfather
  • “Everything is Awesome” from the LEGO movie
  • the Downton Abbey theme
  • the Harry Potter theme
  • every James Bond title song

The best outros we get are short, usually about 30 seconds. They quickly establish the stylistic idea, then weave in the five-note melody, before getting to a smart conclusion. The endings are especially important. We avoid fading out if we can.

  1. If you use SoundCloud, be sure to enable downloading. Also tag your entry as Scriptnotes so users can find it.