Why any film needs music

How do most of us like to spend our free time today? Many will answer this question: "Watching a movie." Most often, we pay attention to the actors and the plot of the film. But music is also important. Is music needed in films and why is it even inserted into films?

Each film is always associated with a song or melody. Often, we cannot even remember the name of the film, but we can hum the melody that sounded there. For example, think of The Matrix or Leon the Killer. The works from these films became hits, which are still heard by everyone today.

Music in the film

In general, cinema cannot exist without music. When cinema was just in its infancy and people had not yet learned how to sound it, they showed a picture in cinemas accompanied by a piano. It was the pianist's play that helped to understand the essence of what is happening on the screen and make what is happening in the film almost a reality. Now, thanks to modern technologies, artificial intelligence, and in general world development, it is possible to find and select any music for cinema at the request of the producer, from royalty music for epic trailer to a unique choir with all licensing rights to use.

Music is the inner filling not only of the human soul but also of the film. The melody in the film helps to understand the state of mind of the hero, the situation. Music allows you to feel the inner world of the main characters. She is able to talk about joy or misfortune, warn of danger, tune in to a lyrical or comedic character.

Each genre of cinema has its own music. No director will agree to put fast and groovy music in a melodrama. Or a requiem in a comedy. Music makes many movies more interesting to watch. Often already existing compositions are used as a soundtrack. But it is much more interesting when a composer is invited to create something individual that will only belong to this film.

A bit of history about music in films

Today it is difficult to imagine a full-fledged film in which there is no music at all: even if the directors decide to deliberately abandon the "mood" offscreen losses, they try to cram melodies into their films in other ways - for example, through a car player or a radio channel playing in a bar. Meanwhile, initially, music was not an aesthetic, but a purely technical addition to the film process: the fact is that the first film projectors were installed not in a special projection booth, but right in the auditorium, and their chatter seriously interfered with viewing. 

The Lumiere brothers came up with the idea of ​​muffling the noise with music: a pianist was invited to their first show in 1885. The tradition took root and developed in the twentieth century when famous composers began to order music for films. True, in the first decades, such cases were infrequent, and this concerned only very expensive productions, in other cases, the tappers got out as best they could, improvising or playing a medley of everything in a row, from classics to popular melodies at that time (the practice of piano accompaniment was familiar to the show -Business is still centuries from the 18th century, when performances with the participation of a "magic lantern" became fashionable, so the method has been worked out long ago). 

But no matter how many melodies were spinning in the pianist's head, they all became boring over time, besides, neither the classics nor the modern stage did not cover all the needs of cinema - few people understood, for example, what melodies should be used to create an "atmosphere of mystery." Music publishers such as Sam Fox Music and Academic Music have decided to fill this gap by releasing sheet music with short pieces of music written to order by composers. The owners of cinemas, of which about 15 thousand had already opened in the United States in the 1920s, willingly bought them up, forming whole catalogs of "music for photographs" in their storerooms (as it was customary to call films at that time). And why not, if the innovation was promoted by Thomas Edison himself with his film company?

How the music for the film is written

Most often, the composer's work begins with the director inviting him to the editing room and showing a rough cut of his tape. “I need disturbing music from this place to this,” says the director. "With a special dramatic emphasis on the moment where the hero finds someone else's size 60 sock under the bed and guesses everything." The composer listens and makes notes in a notebook. Setting the boundaries of future melodies is called "spotting" - having received exhaustive instructions, the composer can only compose something that fits within the time frame specified by the director. This is actually not so simple - whoever wrote music for cinema constantly remembers both the Procrustean bed and the Damocles sword - therefore, in order not to go beyond the boundaries, many authors use special formulas or computer programs to help calculate the tempo. An already written melody that does not fit into the "window" assigned to it can be accelerated or slowed down.

How does the genre of a film influence the selection of a composer, musical intonation?

A contemporary film composer is an extremely difficult profession. Universal composers who would have mastered all genres and styles are now a rarity. The whole difficulty lies in the fact that the author must not only master the composer's writing but also possess the art of programming and sound engineering, today this is a component of a modern composer working in cinema. He must also be guided in modern musical directions, but at the same time, he must also master the tradition (academic writing), be polystylistic and multi-genre.


Often the music in the movies is the backdrop for the main action. However, in masterpieces, music is a full-fledged part of the picture. Can you imagine Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones without their famous themes? The question is rhetorical. At the same time, in other films, as already mentioned, the music only serves as an additional background. An example is the Fast and the Furious franchise. Yes, there is a lot of cool music, and it makes the perception of the film brighter and more intense. Coming out, however, from the cinema after watching the next part of the series about dashing drivers, the soundtrack, with a rare (DJ Shadow - Six days from "Triple Fast and the Furious") exception, disappears from the head. Although the films are generally good. Imagine what it would be like if the musical accompaniment was thought out a little better….

So, music in cinema plays a huge role: it can be an integral attribute, a "visiting card" of a picture, or it can only convey the action taking place on the screen more vividly. One thing is invariable: it is difficult to imagine modern cinema without a soundtrack.

Post a Comment