The Tempest makes extensive use of music as a part of the magical setting of the island. The songs sung by Ariel were originally set to music by Robert Johnson, whose compositions survive and can be heard here.

The music is used to achieve different effects, from spookiness to gaiety, and was played in different locations in the Elizabethan playhouse according each desired effect. Music is used in many of Shakespeare's plays, although it is perhaps more integrated into The Tempest than many others.