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Music and Movies

March 30, 2012 at 3:58 PM

It is my latest (and probably only, so far, at least) philosophy that "music tells half the story." When you watch a movie, you might get so into the plot and characters that you forget all about the music, and how the music is a character of its own. Think about it; a scene in which a character dies (like during The Hunger Games or in Harry Potter) would not be as sad if there was no beautiful violin solo with the other orchestral strings backing it with D minor chords, right? A scene in which an action battle is occuring (like in Star Wars) would not be as cool without the epic, loud, and intense backing of the music. A film's soundtrack is extremely important in a song. That's why I'm excited for our orchestra concert - it's music from the movies.

Silent movies, back in the old days, depended entirely on music, for there were no voiceovers, sound effects, or nearly anything else to back up the music. It's usually a piano solo, but there probably were orchestras playing as well.

"Music tells half the story." That's my latest philosophy.

From Wayne Wilkinson
Posted on March 30, 2012 at 4:13 PM
My community orchestra did an all-movie concert a couple of years ago and it was really fun (and popular - it was literally standing room only). What makes a movie score great is that the music can also stand on its own without the film (like in a concert setting). There are surprisingly few film composers (e.g., Williams, Shore, Kilar & Desplat) who can actually write such music. Just a warning though, if you've never played John Williams' music it is often difficult. The opening of the first Harry Potter film is a nightmare!

My great-grandmother often played pipe organs to accompany silent movies back in her youth (some of the older theatres still have their organs).


From di allen
Posted on March 30, 2012 at 5:33 PM
my mother played piano and organ for the silent movies. she was born in 1911, and died 2 years ago.
an interesting note - I heard this on PBS program. When the 'talkies' came in, 1926, The Jazz Singer, the studios fired their orchestras. They said it wouldnt make sense to have a symphony playing behind two cowboys in the desert. But one studio was smarter, and had a union contract, so they tried it out - lo and behold! it worked. Now we can hardly imagine movies without music. There is a neurological reason to it, too - the brain can comprehend visual things more easily and completely if it is also stimulated aurally. There are books and articles on these issues, alas, i cant quote them....

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