Today I will be discussing Why Music is Important in Movies. I am not a professional when it comes to film-making, I can only testify to the musical part. Let’s face it, everyone loves watching movies. We al have different preferences for what type of movie we are interested in watching, but could you imagine how boring it would be to watch a movie in silence? Totally boring!
Don’t get me wrong, there are some movies that have long periods of silence which actually adds to the effect of the scene. One reason filmmakers may do this is because it emphasizes the character’s actions or facial expression. It makes the audience aware of what they are doing and makes us feel like we are watching them like we would someone in real life. Personally, I love music in the movies I watch, especially when the music is appropriate, it just gets me emotionally involved.
IT ADDS TO THE EFFECTS OF THE MOVIE
There may be a scene in the movie where a character is at the beach, film makers may use natural sounds to help the audience have a real and natural experience, as if they are there. Other sounds include fires, wind, cars driving, etc. The point of films these days is to come across as authentic as possible.
Another example is if there is an explosion in a scene. This is usually accompanied by a loud explosion sound, to match the picture to the sound. This is the same when there is a car accident.
Music is used differently in musicals, as characters usually sing about what they are feeling or what has happened. Musicals take on a less realistic feel. Musical theatre is brought across as a staged drama and is made to feel that way. This is the opposite with regular movies.
TO HELP DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN CHARACTERS
In movies, the composer may give a happy melody to the hero in the film, whist the antagonist will be given an “evil” or sad melody. Happy melodies are usually using the major scale and evil or sad melodies are usually notes from the minor scale. For more on music theory, you can go here.
When the audience hears the happy melody, they usually know that good things are going to happen or the hero will soon appear on the screen. When audiences hear the minor melody, they will see that the antagonist is either making plans to destroy something or he/she comes on the scene to cause destruction.
The melody’s we hear helps us with our emotions. It makes us feel a deeper emotion when we can see and hear something, which results in the audience being more emotionally involved in the film and we end up enjoying it even more.
TO CONVEY AN EMOTION
As I have previously mentioned in the paragraph above, music is important in movies in order to convey certain emotions. An example of this is when a character is the victim of unfortunate events, such as a parent or friend that has died.
The composer may then choose to incorporate violins playing a sad, long melody line. This instrument sounds similar to the human voice, and may be used to imitate a person having an emotional experience such as crying. An example of how the music would convey the emotion is-: The melody the violinist plays may sound like a person crying.
When humans cry, they start on a higher note and move to a lower note. The same is achieved using a violin or cello. This helps convey a sad emotion. Similarly, to capture a person that sighs, the music would be depicted as a higher note moving to a lower note. Just as humans naturally do when they sigh.
TO ECHO AN ACTIVITY
Emphasizing an activity is greatly achieved in animations and cartoons. In some cartoons such as Mr. Bean’s animated series, there is minimal to no talking and the music and moving pictures tell the story. In the story, Mr. Bean goes on adventures and if he walks down the steps, the music will be played by an instrument that plays notes moving in a downward motion quickly.
This is to emphasize that the character is walking down. Likewise, if the character was walking up the stairs, the melody will be played using notes that are moving higher. Also, known as playing scales that ascend or descend. If a character had to tiptoe in a cartoon, the musicians would play high notes separately.
Similar to Mr. Beans and some animations, the movies of Charlie Chaplin also relies heavily on the music and actions to tell the story, as there is no dialogue. Charlie Chaplin’s movies are about a man who goes through various experiences comedically.
I LOVE MUSIC IN FILMS
In conclusion, film makers want to give the most natural and real experience to the audience, to help them connect to their film. Composers who write for films have similar interests, they too want the audience to connect to the movie. Composers create their music in a way that elevates the film.
Some of you may be quite aware of the film music techniques I touched on in this article, and for some readers, it may be something new that they have not paid any attention to. No matter on which spectrum you are at, I hope you enjoyed the article.
I love having music in films, I think it can be clever and fun. It makes movies so much more enjoyable for me and I find it wonderful! I enjoy musical theatre and musicals too, I love the dramatic effects and feel, as well as the soundtracks.
If I have missed anything, please feel free to add it in the comments below and let me know what you think. If you have any questions, please leave that too in the comments below.
Thank you for reading and I hope to see you soon!