A Guide to the Music in HBO’s “The Gilded Age”

I’d like to invite you to immerse yourself in this captivating series with a deeper look at the role of music in HBO’s “The Gilded Age.” I have spent many years researching this topic, and enjoyed the opportunity to put my knowledge to good use by assisting with the historical accuracy of the orchestra scene in Episode 4, “A Long Ladder.” In fact, if you look closely, you will recognize me portraying the very real nineteenth-century conductor and composer, John Knowles Paine! 

Although the Gregson-Williams Brothers composed exquisite themes and underscoring for the series, I will focus on the “diegetic music” (i.e., music the characters actually hear, see, and discuss within the story). I’ll list the musical topic from each episode with the time it occurs, so you can go back and watch each episode from a musical perspective. 


Dr. Christopher Brellochs

SUNY Schenectady, Dean of the School of Music

Vassar College, Adjunct Artist in Music




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Dr. Christopher Brellochs