Sherlock knows all the lyrics to Taylor Swift

Composers David Arnold and Michael Price on how the violin and pop music of the forthcoming Sherlock Prom give an insight into the detective

Music is important to Sherlock, both as a person and a show. His violin is as vital as his deerstalker, and Sherlock’s best moments (the fall from the roof, jousting with Mycroft) are inseparable from the bouncy, pirouetting score. This August, a special Prom at the Royal Albert Hall will celebrate the great detective’s (and surprisingly good dancer’s) favourite tunes.


“The literary Sherlock was a musician, a violin player and a genius,” David Arnold, who along with Michael Price composed the music for the new series, told “He’s so unknowable as a person, I think music is the only way you get to lift the lid a little bit and look under the carpet and see what is swept under there.”

Price picks up the theme. “One of the things that we thought about when we first started was how you could provide a musical way inside this extreme intelligence,” he explained. “Rather than just being locked out of these thought processes – Sherlock thinks of something brilliant and the story moves on – music is the closest you’re going to get really to knowing him.”

Arnold believes the connection with music goes even deeper. “He works in a musical way: the link between mathematical formula, counterpoint, harmony, disharmony, disaccord, accord. I suppose he represents the sort of analogue/digital representation of how music works.”

So he’s no slouch in musical terms? “This is entirely speculative on my part,” says Arnold. “But on a personal level I would quite like him to know everything there is to know about every nuance and parlance of contemporary music…but he chooses not to listen to a note of it.”

Sherlock knows pop music?

“He knows everything. He knows how it’s done, he knows who the artists are, he knows how it’s all made…”

He knows the secrets of the 36 Chambers?

Price: “Ha! Yes.”

And he could sing along to Shake It Off? 

Arnold: “…but he chooses not to. What would be the point?”

Well, genius or not, is there ever a point in Taylor Swift karaoke?


Tickets are now on sale for Sherlock Holmes: A Musical Mind, Royal Albert Hall, which takes place on Sunday 16th August 2015. Visit for information about this year’s Prom Season.