Real World

Halo: Original Soundtrack

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

(Redirected from Halo Original Soundtrack)
Halo: Original Soundtrack
The cover of the Halo: Original Soundtrack.


June 11, 2002


Sumthing Else Musicworks


Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori


Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori


Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, Harry Hmura, Arnold Roth, Peter Labella, Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky, Elliott Golub, Nisanne Howell, Marylou Johnston, Kevin Case, Barbara Haffner, Larry Glazier, Judy Stone, Robert Bowker, Jeffrey Morrow, and Rob Trow

Total length:



"Themes, moods and even the duration of these pieces will change and adapt with each player's Halo experience. I took the liberty of remixing and rearranging all the music in order to make listening to the soundtrack more enjoyable."
— Martin O'Donnell[1]

Halo: Original Soundtrack is the soundtrack for the video game Halo: Combat Evolved. Composed by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, it was released on June 11, 2002. The soundtrack contains most of the music from Halo: Combat Evolved, with some pieces remixed into suites. The soundtrack features a wide range of musical styles including chanting, string orchestra, and percussion.

A special edition of the soundtrack was released on October 28, 2003, featuring a trailer, demo movie, and music for Halo 2.



Main article: Music of Halo: Combat Evolved

The composition of the soundtrack for Halo: Combat Evolved began with the Halo Theme in July of 1999. The Halo Theme was composed to invoke feelings of "ancient, epic, and mysterious", and made its debut in the Halo MacWorld premiere demo.[2][3]

O'Donnell and Salvatori then completed the rest of the soundtrack over the course of 2001. Different aspects of the Halo Theme, including the Gregorian chant and string melody, were adapted into other musical pieces in the game.[4] The composers worked closely with the level designers to understand where the different points of tension and release would come into play within each level. The music was cut and edited into chunks that the game audio engine played dynamically based on the player's actions. The music used MIDI recordings, featuring keyboards, synths, and samplers as well as digital recording equipment controlled by computers. The composers added live instrumental performances to those recordings where needed. Certain tracks only adapted the live performance.[5]


Halo: Original Soundtrack was released in 2002, after record producer Nile Rodgers approached O'Donnell and Bungie to publish video game soundtrack under Sumthing Else Musicworks.[3] Following the announcement of Halo 2, a special edition was released in October, 2003.

While not displayed on the track listing, the soundtrack contains the track Siege of Madrigal from Bungie's previous game, Myth: The Fallen Lords. It plays following a period of silence near the end of the final track.

One piece of music, heard on the level Assault on the Control Room, does not appear on the soundtrack. Retroactively titled Lost Muse by O'Donnell, it was made available on until the site went offline in 2021.[6]

Various pieces of music from the soundtrack would be arranged and orchestrated for Halo 2 and Halo 3. Called “emotional equity” by O’Donnell, players would feel a sense of familiarity when themes are being repurposed, remixed, and reused throughout the trilogy.[7]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Opening Suite – 3:33
  2. Truth and Reconciliation Suite – 8:25
  3. Brothers in Arms – 1:29
  4. Enough Dead Heroes – 3:00
  5. Perilous Journey – 2:26
  6. A Walk in the Woods – 1:52
  7. Ambient Wonder – 1:56
  8. The Gun Pointed at the Head of the Universe – 2:26
  9. Trace Amounts – 1:51
  10. Under Cover of Night – 3:41
  11. What Once was Lost – 1:39
  12. Lament for Pvt. Jenkins – 1:13
  13. Devils... Monsters... – 1:29
  14. Covenant Dance – 1:56
  15. Alien Corridors – 1:47
  16. Rock Anthem for Saving the World – 1:17
  17. The Maw – 1:05
  18. Drumrun – 1:00
  19. On a Pale Horse – 1:34
  20. Perchance to Dream – 0:59
  21. Library Suite – 6:46
  22. The Long Run – 2:10
  23. Suite Autumn – 4:21
  24. Shadows – 0:58
  25. Dust and Echoes – 2:48
  26. Halo (and Siege of Madrigal) – 2:59

Album credits[edit]

2002 Release[edit]

  • Music written and composed by Martin O'Donnell - (ASCAP) and Michael Salvatori - (ASCAP)
  • Musicians: Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, Harry Hmura, Arnold Roth, Peter Labella, Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky, Elliott Golub, Nisanne Howell, Marylou Johnston, Kevin Case, Barbara Haffner, Larry Glazier, Judy Stone
  • Singers: Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, Robert Bowker, Jeffrey Morrow, Rob Trow

2003 Special Edition[edit]

  • Brendan O'Brien – Producer
  • Michael Ostin – Supervisor
  • Mike Plotnikoff – Engineer
  • Keith Armstrong – Mixing Assistant
  • Eric Miller – Engineer
  • Sandy Ting – Executive Producer
  • Cameron Payne – Marketing
  • Martin O'Donnell – Conductor, Producer, Orchestration
  • Dim e – Mixing Assistant
  • Nile Rodgers – Vocals, Producer, Supervisor
  • Chris Lord-Alge – Mixing
  • Howard Benson – Producer
  • Flea – Trumpet
  • Richard Hilton – Engineer
  • Steve Vai – Guitar

2003 Special Edition Bonus DVD Content[edit]

An extra DVD was included with 2003 Special Edition. It contains four options in the menu:


Main article: Halo 2 announcement trailer

The X02 Trailer is the Halo 2 announcement trailer released in September 2002. The 2 trailer depicts John-117 jumping out of Cairo Station in his MJOLNIR Mark VI armor.

E3 2003[edit]

Main article: Halo 2 E3 demo

The 2003 Halo 2 E3 demo depicts an early build of Halo 2. The demo shows the Covenant invasion of Mombasa, Kenya on Earth. John-117, Cortana, and [Orbital Drop Shock Trooper|ODSTs]] were deployed from Sergeant Major Avery Johnson's Pelican to reinforce UNSC Marines and Sergeant Banks in the city.

The Last Spartan Preview[edit]

Main article: The Last Spartan

There is a preview of The Last Spartan, a track from the Halo 2 soundtrack. It is accompanied by an image from the Halo 2 announcement trailer, featuring John-117, holding a Battle Rifle, about to leave Cairo Station into space.

Ghosts of Reach Preview[edit]

Main article: Ghosts of Reach

There is a preview of Ghosts of Reach, a track from the Halo 2 soundtrack. It is accompanied by an image from the Halo 2 E3 demo, featuring John-117 dual wielding SMGs and looking up at the sky before Covenant drop pods land near him.


The back cover of the physical CD release for the soundtrack has the acronym "SABABWL" above the barcode, at the end of the copyright legal text. This acronym is a long-running Bungie easter egg, based on a quote by Marty O'Donnell referring to Halo: Combat Evolved's graphics technology. This follows a tradition started with the Marathon games, which had similar acronyms on their boxes.[8]