Saturday, 3 September 2011

Soundtrack music

This post is in response to NextManStanding post about soundtracks.

I will classify soundtrack music in three categories.

The First Category will be Soundtracks which aim to transmit a specific feeling or mood in general terms. Music born out of a theme or idea.  This music has its origins in academic music.

From Vivaldi's four seasons:

to Holst's Planets:

or the famous Musorgski/Ravel "pictures at an exhibition":

they are compositions that try to express a visual idea, in form of music.  If successful the composer would be able to transmit the basic emotions associated with the visual (or multi sensory input) theme they chose as inspiration.

This is one of my favourite genres of music, since I think it was the first multimedia works, and they obviously work as it even now a days.   A lot of my own music falls into this category, specially when inspired on the places I have visited. Here an example.

Obviously with the advent of films, this was the chosen style that film soundtrack composer have chosen to follow, and there are great composers indeed.  Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Michael Nyman, to name a few. We all have our favourites, and we all know film themes that are easy to distinguish and associate with the film itself, specially if it's a famous one.  TV series and Video Games, now a days, tend to fall also on this categories, with really interesting music made for those two.

I can think of two of my favourites:

Bear McCreary's Battlestar Gallactica music:

Final Fantasy Advent Children:

The second category will be the "jingle"  "intro" themes for commercials, telly series, video games, and to some extend some films.  They tend to be easy listening, rapid-catch themes, case in point this two:

Or "epic and very identifiable themes" like, arguably the most famous music intro to a film,  which most people would recognize.

Even when they have to be in-line with the general feeling of the visual media they are associated, they not necessarily try to express a specific image on the listener (a priori that is).

The third category, the songs that have become famous for a film, tv series, video game or even commercial.  They may or may not have being composed specifically for the visual media they are associated to, they usually aren't, but after the media exposition they have come to be one and the same with the show.  Eg.

My obvious favourite is category one, but there are some interesting things that I have come to love from category 3, and not that many but some specific examples in category 2

So, do you like more a category from another, why and which song/theme is your favourite?


1 comment:

Steven said...

An excellent post well worth the read!

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