Blackbeard is a musical theme composed by Hans Zimmer
for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It
appeared as a track on the film's soundtrack.
The three new themes for Blackbeard and the Queen
Anne's Revenge, as they are heard in "Blackbeard"
The track consists of almost entirely new music, split
into three parts. The first is an exposition of his new
themes, followed by an action variation of the Queen
Anne's Revenge. The second is a jolly skipping arpeggio
on the bass instruments with hints of the opening of
"On Stranger Tides" suite, followed tragic re-
orchestration of Blackbeard's theme for his demise. The
final section is another variation of the Queen Anne's
Revenge theme before restating the three note
descending figure from the end of "A Family Affair".
The track can be split into three "strains". The first
strain begins with a descending chromatic passage while
the chords alternate between I and V diminished (this
is technically a very minor motif for the character,
and is heard again in the track "Ignorance Is Bliss "
from the expended score). There is then a six note
pedal figure which is a minor motif for Blackbeard and
the Queen Anne's Revenge. The track then moves into
Blackbeard's main theme, which is stated three times,
accompanied with syncopated chords in the bass. This is
followed by a return of the six note figure, repeated
four times (each with the third of the chord missing,
giving it a medieval sound). The strain is ended with
two repeats of the Queen Anne's Revenge theme,
underscored with two sets of sixthlets per bar, and
then a final loud statement of the six note figure.
The second strain begins with skipping cello arpeggios,
with subtle hints of "On Stranger Tides". There are
then several incomplete renditions of Blackbeard's
theme, modulating through various different keys.
The third and final strain features a driving ostinato
rhythm in the bass, alternating between D and Ab, and
overlayed by a variation on the Queen Anne's Revenge
theme, and finishes with a solemn statements of the
final seconds of "A Family Affair".
The first strain marks Blackbeard's first appearance in
On Stranger Tides. The powerful statement of the Queen
Anne's Revenge theme can be heard when Blackbeard hangs
the mutineers. The second strain plays during
Blackbeard's death, where he realizes he has been
tricked into sacrificing himself before being consumed
by the Fountain. The the third strain accompanies the
Cook's punishment by the Greek fire cannons.
The track appears to be arranged in concert suite
format (similar to "The Kraken"), however it is
actually a compilation of music from three scenes from
The music is not in chronological order; the third
strain should be in between the first and the second.
The official piano transcription is slightly different
to the version heard on the soundtrack.
The version on the demo score features the three
strains as separate tracks: "Blackbeard", "Blackbeard's
Demise" and "Fry The Cook", respectively.
"Blackbeard" was one of the few tracks to use
synthesizers, as Zimmer wanted a more "organic" feel
for the fourth score.