John Debney – Cutthroat Island Sequence

This sequence is based on the opening lick in John Debney‘s main theme for the 1995 film, Cutthroat Island.


I’m a child of the 90s, so Cutthroat Island fell squarely in my most impressionable years. I watched it countless times with my best buddy who lived down the street. We loved the sword fighting, chase scenes, double crosses, and search for treasure, that we failed to realize that the move is simply not very good. 

I rewatched it about a month ago and couldn’t stop laughing at how awesomely bad it is. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by how awesome the music is, so I added it to my list of future sequences.

I had absolutely no idea that this film was one of the biggest box office flops of all time, ended Carolco Pictures, and lead to the pirate genre’s demise until Pirates of the Caribbean arrived in the early 2000s.

All that said, the movie is entertaining if you go into it with the right mindset. I still love it, even if only for the nostalgia it gives me.


Although the movie was a giant flop, John Debney’s score was praised for its conjuring up memories of the Golden Age Hollywood scores by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The score features memorable themes, richly orchestrated and backed by a choir. The London symphony shines in every moment. Check out the original here:


This sequence is the opening phrase from the main theme that is supposed to represent the main character, Morgan Adams. She comes from a pirate family and is a fully fledged badass. Channel your inner Pirate Captain when you play this sequence. Strive for a brilliant sound, full of life, with crisp articulations and long sense of phrase.

This sequence will improve your sound, articulation, range, and minor scales.

Have any questions? Comment below, or leave a comment on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Happy Practicing!

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