One of the main contributing factors to a movie’s success is its soundtrack. Music is an essential element in most plays and dramas. Shakespeare made efficient use of music in his famous plays. Movie makers realize that a lot of the movie’s business at the box office depends upon the music recording. There are many ways to incorporate songs in a movie. Musicals are one genre which is exclusively based on songs and lyrics. However, even if it is an action movie, filmmakers find ways to include some soundtracks into it.
In fact, Bollywood films are renowned for the excessive song and dance sequences they have. Hollywood movies too use orchestral or synthesizer score or even a new hit song to add to the interest element. Sometimes a movie’s popularity is increased by its musical score. Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on” for Titanic stayed on in public memory long after the movie left the cinema halls. The soundtrack of Love Story is one of the most enduring ever, and who doesn’t download music from Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Many a times, blockbusters become classics because of their excellent scores. Hence, composers and song writers are in great demand in Hollywood.
There are different types of motion picture music. One is the underscore category like the score for Steven Spielberg’s E.T. Another is the category of original recording like “Hungry Heart” for the movie Perfect Storm. Finally there is the song that is written especially for a movie like “Over the rainbow” for the hugely popular Wizard of Oz. Each of these types is used frequently in movies and requires different recordings, contracts and royalties.
Songs are used in movies to show all kinds of emotions. A romantic setting is enhanced by an appropriate love song. Similarly music has been used to make people laugh and cry. In fact the story itself can be narrated through cleverly inserted songs. Moreover, with a great background score, emotions and dialogs acquire more significance. If a producer wants to use an existing soundtrack for his movie, he can do so by negotiating with the music producer. Often, a pre-existing, hit song can help create the mood required in the movie. The soundtracks of many movies come out and go on to become huge hits in their own right. These days with digital music recording, adding new songs to movies is becoming easier.
My Fair Lady was a complete musical whose main claim to fame was the witty use of lyrics to show every mood. Similarly, Chicago and Moulin Rouge used songs and extravagant dances to create the required atmosphere. Even if the movie does not use songs every other minute, it will show action with a background score playing regularly. Who can forget the scenes of Psycho with the spine tingling music in the background? The audio mastering was such here that the score heightens the audience’s fear and any time one hears the music he quickly associates it with Psycho. Such is the power of appropriate music in cinema!
By Sarika Kabra
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