Musica Poetica by Carl Orff The Theme Music to the Movie Badlands: Directed by Terrence Malick

Buy the music or just listen to some exceprts at

Many people ask, "What is the theme music to Badlands?" It is a piece called "Musica Poetica" by the German composer Carl Orff. He is of course better known for "Carmina Burana" but I know which work I prefer.

This music has cropped up in other places as well. In the movie, "Finding Forrester" it is used as the theme when Sean Connery is riding his bike through the New York streets.

A couple of folks have reported that it is also used in a VW car advertisement but I've not seen that.

As far as I know, there is no soundtrack to Badlands and, although I have not heard the CD, I understand that the soundtrack to Finding Forrester does not include the section of Musica Poetica used in the movie. You can however buy a recording of the music from Amazon in the US or the UK.

A derivative of the music also appears in the film "True Romance" which was written by Quentin Tarantino in part as a homage to "Badlands." Tarantino did not write the music but he instructed the composer to use Musica Poetica as a starting point.

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