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Beau Sanchez
Beau Sanchez

Squid Game Music: From Pink Soldiers to Way Back Then, Explore the Songs and Composers

Squid Game (Original Soundtrack to the Netflix Series) is the soundtrack to the Korean survival drama television series of the same name. The score for the series is composed by Jung Jae-il in his maiden television debut. While Jae-il composed most of the cues, he later collaborated with Park Min-ju and Kim Sung-soo (under the stage name "23") for additional music.[1] The album featured 21 tracks was released on September 17, 2021 by Genie Music and Stone Music Entertainment.[2][3]

Jung Jae-il was first approached by the director following his critical acclaim to the score he composed for Parasite (2019). It marked his maiden television debut. Compared to feature film composition, the score for Squid Game demanded on being "bigger, longer and slightly different". Jae-il took a long time to compose the series, and to prevent the score from becoming boring, he asked the help of two other composers: Park Min-ju and Kim Sung-soo (under the stage name "23") for additional music.[4] The original score for the 9-episode series consisted a variety of musical styles and the instrumentation ranges from guitar and percussions to have a contemporary western music, with synth-rock, jazz and orchestral music, being juxtaposed with each mood of the scene.[5] Speaking to Gold Derby, Jae-il had said "the music should not be in the foreground of the scene, but at the same time, music can show something completely different to the scene".[5]

squid game music


For the song "Way Back Then" that accompanies children playing Squid Game, Jung wanted to use instruments that he practiced in elementary school, such as recorders and castanets.[4] The rhythm of the song is based on a 3-3-7 clapping rhythm that is commonly used in South Korea to cheer someone on.[4] The recorder, played by Jung himself, had a slight "beep", which was unintentional.[10] "Pink Soldiers", an a cappella composed by 23, was featured throughout the series.[10] The recording of the jazz band and orchestral music was mostly done by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra featuring over 50-60 musicians, while the minimal piano and guitar portions were recorded by Jae-il himself.[11] Additional instrumentation, include the rhythming of ethnic drums in the brief moments of the game. Jae-il initially requested on using heavy metal sounds in the score, but later disapproved as it would not feel appropriate to the scenes. The percussion instruments were imported from Brazil and Senegal to create a tense score.[10][12]

In response to the violent free-for-all, in which players turn on each other, Gi-Hun sees flashbacks of brutality from his life outside the games. These trancelike visions of his co-worker, which remain unexplained onscreen, are scenes depicting the 2009 Ssangyong Motors strike, which resulted in police charging into a factory and beating down protesting union members.

A number of players in the game compliment North Korean defector Sae-byeok's name, which is the Korean word for dawn. Another noteworthy name is that of Sae-byeok's optimistic foil, Ji-yeong (Lee Yoo-mi). Ji-yeong is one of the more common names among Korean women in their early 20s, which ties back to her life story as an ordinary teenager whose life was turned on its head after killing her abusive father.

Way Back Then (Squid Game) is a song by Jung Jae-il.Use your computer keyboard to play Way Back Then (Squid Game) music sheet on Virtual Piano.This is an Intermediate song and requires a lot of practice to play well.The recommended time to play this music sheet is 01:47, as verified by Virtual Piano legend,LegendEditor.The song Way Back Then (Squid Game) is classified in the genre ofSongs From TVon Virtual Piano.

Squid Game utilizes the song in the same fashion. The song is used by the hosts to lift the spirits of the players before and after the games. Each game ends in carnage, with people losing their lives and players witnessing tragic losses, similar to what the people of Vienna went through after the war.

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The video was sponsored by Brawl Stars, a mobile game from the Finnish publisher Supercell, with cameras provided by GoPro and visual effects by SoKrispyMedia.

What has probably passed under the radar is its frequent use of classical music. To start with it is piped to the game players by as they try to rest / avoid death between the games, and as they prepare for another tension-laden stint in the games room. Soon it becomes front and centre of the action itself. There are three main pieces used:

It is intriguing how the producers of Squid Game keep classical music in reserve for these moments, and use specially commissioned music from Jung Jae-il to describe scenes and events elsewhere in the drama. In doing this they create very different and effective backdrops that only add to the tension in a thoroughly gripping series!

Jung has spent over half of his life performing live, either on stage in bands or in theatre and musical performances. This is where Jung seems to be in his element the most. His first major claim to fame was forming and playing bass guitar in the South Korean funk band GIGS, which played a huge role in shaping the way he approaches now.

Sfyrios first teased snippets of his musical masterpiece on TikTok in early October, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how he layered beats over the eerie chant, paired with edited footage of Oh Il-nam (player 001) head-bobbing along. He describes the track's style as "minimal," a genre that's "underground and dark and has a correlation to techno," he told POPSUGAR. After thousands listened to the preview of his Squid Game-inspired song and dozens upon dozens begged for more, he released a full version on Soundcloud, and the streams have poured in since.

Nearly 1,000 TikTok creators have helped circulate Sfyrios's catchy song even more by using it to soundtrack their own videos. Some users can't help but comment on how it'd be impossible to win a game of Red Light, Green Light if those heavy beats came pulsating over the loudspeaker, which I concur with. I'd instantly trigger that cursed doll's motion-detecting eyes, but you know what? I'd go down fist-pumping, à la the cast of Jersey Shore circa 2010, with zero regrets.

Adele was still the bigger success, but only if measured by the way the music industry wants it to be measured, i.e., discounting all those extra BTS Army plays. But what if a 13-year-old BTS fan simply wants to listen to the track 20 times in a day because they love it so much, while an older Adele fan listens to her tune a couple of times in the evening after work? The way we measure success inherently suggests the former behaviour is invalid, while the latter is more valid. The system favours casual listening over super-engaged listening. Listen, I am fully aware that the BTS Army is renowned for caning BTS tracks 24-hours a day in their thousands. But the risk is that the baby is getting thrown out with the bathwater.

I cover hip-hop, pop, and R&B releases for Forbes, and have been interviewing artists and producers from every corner of the entertainment industry since 2017. I've been an avid consumer of music my whole life, and I make it both a personal and professional priority to highlight the work of marginalized groups. Other interests include distance running, The Legend of Zelda, and yerba mate.


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