Music is a Fundamental Part of the Movie Experience

Music is a Fundamental Part of the Movie Experience

Music is a fundamental part of the movie experience since way back in the beginning, even during the silent film era.  It fills the silence and helps you to understand and feel a character’s emotions on the big screen.  Music helps you to embrace the drama of the film and movies would be incredibly dull without it.  When films were first brought to the screen and there was no dialogue film goers relied on an organist to help grasp the mood of the scene.

Film and Music

Music is used to convey emotion and introduce a scene, it doesn’t matter if the scene is triumphant, tragic or funny.  The music gives the theater goers a hint that the scene is building.  Music focuses on tension and the music will move between fast and complex to slow and smooth.  You can have a scene showing a panoramic vista and with music you can make it full of hope or indicate that danger is approaching.

Almost every film you see in a theater does this and most of the time they do it without you ever really noticing.  There are some films that are incredibly effective with their choice of accompanying music.  The “Harry Potter” franchise is one such example.  There are hints in the music as to what the upcoming scene will be about, just listen to the music from the “Goblet of Fire” when Harry faces a challenge.

Music and Misdirection

Music is also often used  to misdirect the viewer, in the thriller or horror it is used often.  Imagine two teens making out in a car and then you start to hear the suspenseful music, you’re expecting the killer to show up and instead it is the class clown out to just scare them.  The music is suspenseful setting the tone like there will be an imminent attack but something else entirely happens.  Here is a closer look at how music is used in film.

Not every movie needs a soundtrack to be a successful film but a really well done film score can make the whole experience extraordinary.  Can you imagine the movie Jaws without that iconic soundtrack…neither can we.  That score took that film to a whole other level of scary.  Other soundtracks have proven to be better than the films themselves.  Some of the best movie soundtracks manage to invoke happiness, fear, suspense, drama and a whole range of emotions without you even realizing it.  You experience everything the director of the film wants you to all because of music.

Continue Reading