The music for Law & Order Tv Show was composed by veteran composer Mike Post, and was deliberately designed to be minimal to match the abbreviated style of the series.
Post wrote the theme song using electric piano, guitar, and clarinet.
In addition, scene changes were accompanied by a tone generated by Post. He refers to the tone as “The Clang,” while Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker has referred to the sound as the “ominous chung CHUNG”, actor Dann Florek (in a promo) as the “doink doink”, and Richard Belzer as “the Dick Wolf Cash Register Sound.”
The tone moves the viewer from scene to scene, jumping forward in time with all the importance and immediacy of a judge’s gavel – which is exactly what Post was aiming for when he created it. “The Clang” is an amalgamation of nearly a dozen sounds, including an actual gavel, a jail door slamming, and five hundred Japanese monks walking across a hardwood floor.
The sound has become so associated with the Law & Order brand that it was also carried over to other series of the franchise.
The UK-aired Channel Five versions of seasons 7–16 of Law & Order and Seasons 1–9 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit feature the song “I’m Not Driving Anymore” by Rob Dougan in the opening credits with “Urban Warfare” by Paul Dinletir being used for Seasons 10–11 after that Seasons 16–20 of Law & Order and Seasons 12+ of SVU used the US theme. Another Rob Dougan track, “There’s Only Me”, w