Patrick Doyle - Shakespearean classicist

Patrick Doyle - Sense and Sensibility Soundtrack CD cover Born in Glasgow, Patrick Doyle has provided music for a significant number of British made films though by no means exclusively from these islands. Much of his music has been for director Kenneth Branagh, and this association has shaped the style of music we typically hear from Doyle. The relationship started with "Henry V" back in 1989 and has gone on to create a string of movies many being Shakespearean or literary classics including Much Ado About Nothing, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein", Hamlet, "Love's Labour's Lost" and "Dead Again". The TV movie "Look Back in Anger" also boasted music by Doyle and starred Branagh, though this time directed by Judi Dench. Also among his non-Branagh work, we have classics like the Jane Austin "Sense and Sensibility" or the Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations", animation work like "Quest for Camelot" and more gritty stuff such as "Needful Things", "Dead Again" and the thriller "Carlito's Way".

Patrick Doyle - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire soundtrack CD cover Doyle fell ill with Leukemia shortly after his work on "Great Expectations", but the workaholic in him meant that he was still writing music in his hospital bed. One now well-known film to bear the name Patrick Doyle is "Bridget Jones' Diary". Although the soundtrack to this features mostly chart songs, there are some examples of Doyle's music in between. On "Gosford Park" though, Doyle was able to include a couple of his own songs among a number of Ivor Novello originals interwoven with the soundtrack. With the release of "Calendar Girls" and "Secondhand Lions" Doyle has proved himself to be one of the foremost British soundtrack composers, on films stretching from comedy through to drama. With Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Doyle briefly took over from John Williams on the popular series about young wizards, referring only briefly to Williams' original theme.

Patrick Doyle - Thor soundtrack CD cover Doyle has kept busy this past few years, renewing his association with Branagh and Shakespeare with "As You Like It", delving into more family movies with the original "Nanny McPhee" and the animation "Igor", and also visiting Fantasy Adventures with "Eragon", "The Last Legion" and "Nim's Island". Following his previous Fantasy scores, Doyle has now moved into the comic superhero world with the eagerly awaited blockbuster "Thor". For "Thor" Doyle worked again with Kenneth Branagh on the movie based on the Marvel superhero, which in turn is based on one of the Norse Gods of Viking mythology. The film is set partly in the contemporary world and partly in Asgard the home of the gods, and Doyle's music uses some contemporary sounds for the former and more traditional Wagnerian sounds for the latter though still ensuring that both form a coherent musical experience. The soundtrack is largely low-key using chord progressions against ostinato rhythms but becoming more emphatic as the situation demands. Thor is available from these links at and Note that the Foo Fighters' "Walk" used on the End Credits is not on the soundtrack album.

Patrick Doyle - Rise of the Planet of the Apes soundtrack CD cover Doyle's latest score in what seems to be a very busy year for the composer is Rise of the Planet of the Apes. This looks to be an intelligent reboot of the whole Planet of the Apes franchise, using innovative motion capture techniques with Andy Serkis in the role of the lead ape "Caesar". With this project Doyle is again following in the footsteps of some of the cinema's greatest composers, Jerry Goldsmith (the original iconic movie with a ground-breaking avant-garde score) and Danny Elfman for the percussive score to Tim Burton's remake. Doyle's score is often dark and brooding with a feral edge, and with elements of African-influenced rhythms and electonic sounds, but it is also sympathetic to the animals' plight. This rewarding score can be found at and

Patrick Doyle's Scottish roots give him the ideal qualifications to score Disney's Brave, and his music makes an entertaining listen. Despite these roots, Doyle has recently released an album of non-film music called "Impressions of America". This can be found at and Watch out too for the composer's gorgeous score for Cinderella and the composer's latest album "The Music of Patrick Doyle: Solo Piano" where he performs tracks from his own film music. Most recently Patrick Doyle has scored the remake of 1949's "Whisky Galore", and his 70th Birthday Concert was held in Edinburgh and Glasgow on successive evenings in November 2023.

Films by Patrick Doyle:

    Patrick Doyle - Henry V soundtrack CD cover
  • Henry V - a first collaboration with Kenneth Branagh
  • Dead Again - almost Herrmannesque in places
  • Look Back in Anger - TV movie/drama
  • Much Ado About Nothing - a delightful score for a delightful film by Kenneth Branagh
  • Carlito's Way
  • Hamlet - for Kenneth Branagh's epic film version of Shakespeare's masterpiece
  • A Little Princess
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - the Kenneth Branagh version
  • Sense and Sensibility - although more modern when depicting emotional turnmoil, this soundtrack is largely pleasant with Mozartian touches, including two pseudo-period songs by Doyle
  • Mrs. Winterbourne
  • Great Expectations (1998) - the modernisation of the classic Dickens tale
  • Quest for Camelot - an animated story
  • Bridget Jones' Diary - between the songs there are some instrumental cues by Patrick Doyle, the sequel "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" was scored by Harry Gregson-Williams
  • Gosford Park - includes two songs by Doyle and many by Ivor Novello
  • Killing Me Softly (2002)
  • Calendar Girls - this film also has some song tracks, and Doyle's music moves from tragedy to comedy with many uplifting moments along the way
  • Sense and Sensibility Sheet Music cover
  • Secondhand Lions - lots of musical variety, including a homage to Korngold
  • The Galindez File
  • Battle of the Brave
  • Man to Man
  • Wah-Wah - directed by Richard E. Grant
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - the 4th installment in the saga
  • Nanny McPhee - a fun score, with both magic and menace
  • Jekyll + Hyde
  • As You Like It - another Shakespeare play for director Kenneth Branagh
  • Eragon - more family magic this time in a dragon tale
  • Have Mercy on Us All
  • The Last Legion - Patrick Doyle revisits Arthurian legends with suitably epic music in this story which mixes legends about the fall of the Roman Empire with that of Excalibur
  • Patrick Doyle - Brave soundtrack CD cover
  • Sleuth
  • Nim's Island
  • Igor - animated movie
  • Main Street - Doyle scores another movie with Colin Firth
  • Thor - a respectable comic hero score, both majestic and exciting
  • Jig - documentary about Irish dancing competitions
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes - a new sound for this franchise reboot
  • Brave - released in most countries by summer 2012
  • Cinderella - Disney live action fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, the score is direct and simple yet beautiful with Viennese Waltzes and Polkas and Lavender's Blue
  • Whisky Galore - remake of the 1949 comedy where a ship laden with whisky runs aground off the Scottish coast, featuring the vocals of Gaelic singer Mairi Macinnes
  • A United Kingdom
  • The Emoji Movie
  • Murder on the Orient Express - Kenneth Branagh's take on this Agatha Christie story
  • Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero - animation
  • All is True - for Branagh again, not a Shakespeare adaptation but a story about Shakespeare
  • Artemis Fowl - lively Irish-infused music for the (Kenneth Branagh directed) film adaptation of the fantasy novels by Eoin Colfer
  • Death on the Nile

Patrick Doyle - CD recommendations

Here is a selection of soundtrack CDs by Patrick Doyle:

Patrick Doyle - Sheet Music

There is Sheet Music available for Doyle's "Sense and Sensibility" which you can find online for piano, vocal and guitar chords at Sheet Music Plus. There is also a book of piano arrangements by Jack Long of two Jane Austin films: "Sense and Sensibility" by Patrick Doyle and "Pride and Prejudice" by Carl Davis, called "Jane Austin: The Music" at The Music Room. A similarly themed book which is available online is called "Jane Austin's World" from Sheet Music Plus with "Sense and Sensibility", "Pride and Prejudice", "Emma" and "Persuasion".

In addition to these, the following more recent sheet music is generally available:

Patrick Doyle - Memorabilia:

Here are some CD covers signed by Patrick Doyle. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to use his collection of autographed CDs. Click any thumbnail below to see the image full size in a separate window.

Patrick Doyle: Eragon - signed CD Patrick Doyle: Great Expectations - signed CD Patrick Doyle: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - signed CD Patrick Doyle: Henry V - signed CD