The nostalgic Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things wears its 1980s influences on its sleeve, up to and including the ominous synthesizer score by Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon of the band Survive. In particular, the pulsing, John Carpenter-esque theme song creates a creepy, unsettling mood of unresolved tension that suits the show perfectly. But as U.K. musician Ian Gordon has demonstrated, it doesn’t take much to turn this eerie, unsettling composition into a jolly jingle: Just transpose it to a major key. Yes, simply bring a few notes a mere half step up on the scale, and suddenly, the Stranger Things theme isn’t so foreboding after all. On his YouTube channel, Muted Vocal, Gordon has shared a video that compares and contrasts two versions of the Stranger Things title music. The major-key version is followed immediately by the familiar minor-key version.
The bubbly major-key rendition of the Stranger Things music sounds like it could be the theme for an upbeat, gee-whiz PBS educational show about science or technology. It would fit in nicely on Cosmos, Star Gazers, Nova, or 3-2-1 Contact—at least, until it switches back to a minor key. And, just like that, the song becomes haunting again.