Exclusive: Composer David Schwartz On Creating Music For 'The Good Place', 'Arrested Development' And 'VEEP'

David Schwartz has a knack for composing memorable music for very funny shows. He's spent the last two decades creating music for several TV titles, including The Good PlaceArrested Development and VEEP. In an exclusive clip below, Schwartz breaks down the elements from the scores of those three shows, utilizing unexpected instrumentation.

David Schwartz Clip

David Schwartz is, according to this video, a "wacky instrument connoisseur." Starting off here with Arrested Development, you can see why. The theme is, well...wacky. It even employs a Stump Fiddle, which looks like a metal rod with a tin pan, a bicycle horn, and more attached to it. I just had to look it up to be sure it was something that really existed, rather than some weird contraption manufactured for this video (believe it or not, this weird instrument has been around since at least the early 1900s, if not longer). "I had a feeling [the Arrested Development theme] might be too busy," Schwartz says. "But then I realized it's just like the show: layers upon layers upon layers."

Schwartz also goes on to talk about his work on The Good Place and VEEP, the latter of which he gets to write a new piece of end credit music for each episode. While this video only focuses on Schwartz's comedic shows, it's worth noting that he has a wealth of credits – including the theme for Deadwood, which is about as far removed from Arrested DevelopmentThe Good Place and VEEP as you can get.

Deadwood Theme

"Putting music to a scene is a very powerful thing," Schwartz said. "I could write a scene five different ways and each could result in a different feeling for the viewer. When music is not right, it's so easy to ruin a project. At its best, music and picture combine and make a whole that is greater than the individual parts. I've been doing this for a while, and it's still magic for me."