Saturday, April 10, 2010

Music in Movies

So I was going to do a post about the delicious cheesecake cupcakes that I made for Easter, but something is wrong with ScribeFire (the blogging editor I use) and it is not letting me import photos. This is a major issue because Blogger, near as I can figure, only allows one photo to be uploaded and it shows at the top of the page. :/ Until this problem resolves itself I have something else to discuss.

The other day, while in our Aesthetics of Film class, we watched "Paradise Now" (2005.) If you haven't heard of it, it is a movie about the Israel/Palestine conflict. It was a very powerful movie and very well made.

I noticed while watching this movie that there was no music in it at all. Later that day I was still thinking about the role of music in movies and how most music supervisors and directors seem to just throw random song into the movie they are working on.

If you are watching a contemporary action movie there is bound to be random rap and/or hip-hop songs playing in the background that do nothing to strengthen it as a film. In romantic comedies or love stories there will be the obligatory love song or sad romance song. Most of the time the music is set so much louder than the dialogue it almost hurts. I see no reason for this as people in theaters are already watching movies at a louder volume than needed. Then when you get the DVD it is sometimes necessary to turn the movie down during the music. Annoying.

One of the other movies we have watched for this class was "Bom yeoreum gaeul gyoel geurigo bom" (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.) All songs except for one in this movie were instrumental. The one song that did have words, I found to be very distracting.

I feel that it is almost never necessary to use songs in movies. Scores, yes. I am all for instrumental music if it helps to set the mood for the scene. The one place where a good composer is very important and songs are completely irrelevant is in a horror movie. Would "Halloween" or "Jaws" have been the same without their iconic scores? I really doubt it. We went to go see "The Shining" and I kept jumping because of the music. That is what it is designed to do. Music in a horror film is preparing you for the horror that is to come. You always know when something awful is about to happen because of the music.

I know I don't have a lot of followers, but, if anyone reads this I would really like to hear what you have to say in response. As always, thanks for reading!



  1. Hey Sam! I am actually buying the soundtrack to How to Train Your Dragon right now :) I just saw it for the third time today (I wanted my mom to see it) and I realized how much emotion the music adds to the animation.
    I like reading your blog posts! I was surprised to see the picture of me as Luigi down at the bottom, too, hehe.

  2. Samantha,I so agree!Well said!I would also add the same about the explosions and such -they are way too loud in the movies!Are you taking a class
    with Simon What'shisname(forgot:)It was one of my most unfavorite classes in college!