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As Emmy voting draws to a close, the 2020 music nominations span rookies to regulars. Martin Phipps landed his sixth nomination overall for the dramatic score to Netflix’s “The Crown.” Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and his scoring partner Atticus Ross nabbed a nomination for their first series, HBO’s “Watchmen.” Emmy fave “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” grabbed another music supervision nom, while composers Thomas Mizer and Curtis Moore landed their first for music and lyrics.

There is a wealth of music nominated across different sounds and genres. Variety breaks it all down in the annual Emmy chart.


Music Composition for a Series

"The Crown" (Netflix)
Composer: Martin Phipps
Pedigree: Six previous nominations
“Aberfan”
Vibe: Solo horn for a grieving Elizabeth; choir for mourning Welsh village

"Euphoria" (HBO)
Composer: Labrinth
Pedigree: First nomination (two this year)
“’03 Bonnie and Clyde”
Vibe: Contemporary sounds complement teen sex-and-drugs drama

"The Mandalorian" (Disney Plus)
Composer: Ludwig Goransson
Pedigree: First nomination
“Redemption”
Vibe: Bass recorder, unusual colors, 70-piece orchestra for bounty hunter

"Ozark" (Netflix)
Composers: Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
Pedigree: First nominations
“All In”
Vibe: Grim, unsettling sounds for dangerous drug cartel schemes

"Succession" (HBO)
Composer: Nicholas Britell
Pedigree: Won last year for theme
“This Is Not for Tears”
Vibe: Classically styled “concerto grosso” for son betraying father


Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special

"Hollywood" (Netflix)
Composer: Nathan Barr
Pedigree: Two previous noms (three this year)
“Hooray for Hollywood”
Vibe: Jazzy soundscape for ’40s-era film-biz glamour

"Little Fires Everywhere" (Hulu)
Composers: Mark Isham, Isabella Summers
Pedigree: One win for Isham; first nomination for Summers
“The Spider Web”
Vibe:Piano, percussion, strings for powerful Mia-burning-Elena-photo finale

"Mrs. America" (FX)
Composer: Kris Bowers
Pedigree: One previous nomination
“Reagan”
Vibe: Propulsive strings for determined ERA supporters post-Reagan win

"Unorthodox " (Netflix)
Composer: Antonio Gambale
Pedigree: First nomination (two this year)
“Part 1”
Vibe: Dramatic score avoids Hebraic music clichés

"Watchmen" (HBO)
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Pedigree: First nomination for both (both received two this year)
“It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”
Vibe: Nine Inch Nails-style driving electronic score for superhero sequel


“Watchmen” HBO

Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special

"Becoming" (Netflix)
Composer: Kamasi Washington
Pedigree: First nomination
Doc about Michelle Obama
Vibe: Breezy, ‘70s-style soul-jazz score from L.A. saxophonist

"Home" (Apple TV Plus)
Composer: Amanda Jones
Pedigree: First nomination
“Maine” episode of architectural series
Vibe: Indie-rock-style acoustic guitar for rural New England house

"McMillion$" (HBO)
Composers: Pinar Toprak, Alex Kovacs
Pedigree: First nominations
Doc about McDonald’s Monopoly game fraud in Florida
Vibe: “Heist” vibe, cop-show jazz provides lighthearted tone for FBI probe

"Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" (Netflix)
Composers: Mark Mothersbaugh, John Enroth, Albert Fox
Pedigree: Second nomination for Mothersbaugh, first for Enroth, Fox
Doc about bizarre Oklahoma zookeeper
Vibe: Electric guitars, banjo, marimba for locale and caged big cats

"Why We Hate" (Discovery)
Composer: Laura Karpman
Pedigree: Two prior Primetime nominations
Six-part series about hatred around the globe
Vibe: Orchestra, electronics, voices paint moods from violent to melancholy


Music Direction

"The Kennedy Center Honors " (CBS)
Music Director: Rickey Minor
Pedigree: One win, eight other nominations (two this year)
Annual Washington, D.C., salute to the arts
Performers: Carrie Underwood, John Legend, Audra McDonald, among others

"Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince" (CBS)
Music Directors: Sheila E., Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis
Pedigree: First nominations
Four-year anniversary of artist’s death
Performers: Susanna Hoffs, St. Vincent, Beck, Mavis Staples, among others

"The Oscars" (ABC)
Music Director: Rickey Minor
Pedigree: One win, eight other nominations (two this year)
92nd Annual Academy Awards
Produced all music, conducted 45-piece orchestra

"Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Music Directors: Lenny Pickett, Eli Brueggemann, Leon Pendarvis
Pedigree: Second noms for Pickett, Pendarvis; one win for Brueggemann First
“SNL at Home” episode
Chris Martin performs; tribute to music producer Hal Willner

"Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show" (Fox)
Music Director: Adam Wayne Blackstone
Pedigree: Second nomination
Annual music show during year’s top-rated sportscast
Shakira, Jennifer Lopez perform


Music and Lyrics

"The Black Godfather" (Netflix)
Music and Lyrics by: Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo
Pedigree: First nominations
Song “Letter to My Godfather”
Vibe: End-title anthem celebrating legendary music executive

"Euphoria" (HBO)
Music and Lyrics by: Labrinth
Pedigree: Second nomination this year
Song “All for Us”
Vibe: Zendaya sings; huge production number closes final episode

"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" (HBO)
Music and Lyrics by: David Dabbon, Joanna Rothkopf, Jill Twiss, Seena Vali
Pedigree: Four wins for Twiss, two for Vali, one for Rothkopf; first nom for Dabbon
Song “Eat S—, Bob”
Vibe: Hilarious, profane production number targeting litigious coal magnate

"Little Fires Everywhere" (Hulu)
Music and Lyrics by: Ingrid Michaelson
Pedigree: First nomination
Song “Build It Up”
Vibe: Ballad about mothers and daughters closes miniseries

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)
Music and Lyrics by: Thomas Mizer, Curtis Moore
Pedigree: First nominations
Song “One Less Angel”
Vibe: Faux ‘60s pop hit for performer Shy Baldwin at USO show

"This Is Us" (NBC)
Music and Lyrics by: Siddhartha Khosla, Taylor Goldsmith
Pedigree: Second nomination for Khosla, first for Goldsmith
Song “Memorized”
Vibe: Blind singer (Kate and Toby’s son) performs before stadium crowd

"Watchmen" (HBO)
Music and Lyrics by: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Pedigree: Second nominations this year
Song “The Way It Used to Be”
Vibe: ’40s style big-band number with vocalist set against lynching


Nicole Rivelli/Amazon

Main Title Theme Music

"Carnival Row" (Amazon Prime)
Composer: Nathan Barr
Pedigree: Second nomination this year
Period fantasy about fairies, other mythical creatures
Vibe: Theater organ, virtuosic violin, women’s choir set grand stage

"Defending Jacob" (Apple TV Plus)
Composer: Ólafur Arnalds
Pedigree: First nomination
Miniseries about family torn apart when son accused of murder
Vibe: Violin, cello, electronics establish melancholy, noirish tone

"Hollywood"(Netflix)
Composer: Nathan Barr
Pedigree: Third nomination this year
Ryan Murphy series about making it in post-WWII film biz
Vibe:Big band plus strings for wannabes climbing back of Hollywood sign

"Unorthodox" (Netflix)
Composer: Antonio Gambale
Pedigree: Second nomination this year
Fact-based miniseries about leaving Orthodox Jewish family
Vibe: Propulsive strings, electronics for lines establishing Jewish eruv concept

"Why We Hate " (Discovery)
Composer: Laura Karpman
Pedigree: Second nomination this year
Roots of tribalism, bigotry, violence explored
Vibe: Symphonic overture for hateful imagery hints at darkness, hope

"Wu-Tang: An American Saga" (Hulu)
Composer: The RZA
Pedigree: First nomination
Dramatized history of Wu-Tang Clan against drug, violence backdrop
Vibe: Hip-hop beat, plus voices, orchestra for images of bees, drugs, kung fu


Music Supervision

"Better Call Saul"(AMC)
Music Supervisor:Thomas Golubić
Pedigree:Two previous nominations
“The Guy for This” episode
Vibe:Swiss yodeling for ice-cream-devouring ants; Reggaeton for Jimmy

"Euphoria"(HBO)
Music Supervisors:Jen Malone, Adam Leber
Pedigree” Second nomination for Malone, first for Leber
“And Salt the Earth Behind You” episode
Vibe:Arcade Fire song for abortion scene; Donny Hathaway for Rue’s dad

"Insecure"(HBO)
Music Supervisor: Kier Lehman
Pedigree: First nomination
“Lowkey Movin’ On” episode
Vibe: SiR, Vince Staples perform live at Issa’s block party

"Killing Eve" (BBC America)
Music Supervisors: Catherine Grieves, David Holmes
Pedigree: First nominations
“Meetings Have Biscuits” episode
Vibe: Eve, Villanelle kiss to Unloved cover of the Kinks’ “This Strange Effect”

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)
Music Supervisors: Robin Urdang, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino
Pedigree: Five wins for Sherman-Palladino, three for Palladino, two for Urdang
“It’s Comedy or Cabbage” episode
Vibe: Period ‘60s tunes for Shy Baldwin

"Stranger Things" (Netflix)
Music Supervisor: Nora Felder
Pedigree: Second nomination
“The Case of the Missing Lifeguard” episode
Vibe: ‘80s songs by Madonna, Wham!; “American Pie” for violent finale

"Watchmen" (HBO)
Music Supervisor: Liza Richardson
Pedigree: First nomination
“This Extraordinary Being” episode
Vibe: Garland Wilson, Ink Spots, Eartha Kitt tracks set 1940s mood