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The film score of the original release of Metropolis was composed by Gottfried Huppertz and it was meant to be performed by large orchestras to accompany the film during production. Huppertz took inspiration from Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, plus some mild modernism for the city of the workers and the use of the popular Dies Irae for some apocalyptic imagery. Huppertz borrowed and altered the "Dies Irae" theme from Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique as well as the French National Anthem. His music played a prominent role during the shooting of the film, since during principal photography many scenes were accompanied by him playing the piano to get a certain effect from the actors.
The score was rerecorded for the 2001 DVD release of the film with Berndt Heller conducting the Rundfunksinfonieorchester Saarbrücken. It was the first release of the reasonably reconstructed movie accompanied by the music that was originally intended for it. In 2007, the original film score was also played live by the VCS Radio Symphony which accompanied the restored version of the film at Brenden Theatres in Vacaville, California on 1 and 2 August. The score was also produced in a salon orchestration which was performed for the first time in the United States in August 2007 by The Bijou Orchestra under the direction of Leo Najar as part of a German Expressionist film festival in Bay City, Michigan. The same forces also performed the work at the Traverse City Film Festival in Traverse City, Michigan in August 2009.
For the 2010 almost complete reconstruction, the score was performed and recorded for the DVD release by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Frank Strobel, who also conducted the premiere of the reconstructed version at Berlin Friedrichstadtpalast.
There have been many other soundtracks created for Metropolis by different artists, including, but not limited to:
- 1975 – The BBC version of Metropolis features an electronic score composed by William Fitzwater and Hugh Davies.
- 1984 – Giorgio Moroder restored and produced the 80-minute 1984 re-release, which had a pop soundtrack written by Moroder and performed by Moroder, Pat Benatar, Bonnie Tyler, Jon Anderson, Adam Ant, Cycle V, Loverboy, Billy Squier, and Freddie Mercury.
- 2000 – Jeff Mills created a techno score for Metropolis which was released as an album. He also performed the score live at public screenings of the film.
- 2004 – Abel Korzeniowski created a score for Metropolis played live by a 90-piece orchestra and a choir of 60 voices and two soloists. The first performance took place at the Era Nowe Horyzonty Film Festival in Poland.
- 2004 – Ronnie Cramer produced a score and effects soundtrack for Metropolis that won two Aurora awards.
- 2005/2011 – The New Pollutants (Mister Speed and DJ Tr!p) performed Metropolis Rescore live for festivals since 2005 and are rescoring to the 2010 version of the film for premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival 2011.
- 2010 — The Alloy Orchestra has scored four different versions of the film, most recently for the American premiere of the 2010 restoration.