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The Importance of Soundtrack in Films

A movie is incomplete without a good soundtrack. With that said, some soundtracks surpass the original film and often are considered as being so significant in their presentation, they are considered on their own independent of the movie. This has been the case with Conan the Barbarian (1982) when the score by the late Basil Poedouris can best be considered standalone.

Which is where the questions for this topic come in:

1) In which films have soundtracks been underrated due to the movie itself not standing out or being underrated?
2) Can renditions be counted as a part of a soundtrack of films? This question is made relevant when one considers some movies which have different presentations and interpretations of originals, such as the Laura Del Ray version of "Once Upon a Dream", or "Singing in the Rain" as used by Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange".

Guidelines are open for this topic.

  • Along the lines of the example of Kubrick's use of 'Singin' in the Rain' in Clockwork Orange), I have always been interested in how a film's tone can drastically change by soundtrack genre. I recall a short film I once saw that explained this by showing a video of a crocodile walking toward a camera. In one version, an ominous soundtrack was used, causing the sight to be intimidating; in the next, a comical soundtrack was used, and the alligator's short-legged gait became awkward, silly and bumbling. I'd like to see someone write about this, using two different types of music for film clips and see how it changes the tone. – Katheryn 5 years ago
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  • The recent Mad Max movie had an awesome soundtrack. Soundtracks that introduce a character always add to the movie. For example, Darth Vader's music has become synonymous with sinister characters. Relating to the idea of becoming synonymous, one of my friends from England once asked me why every rom-com has the song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"? Some soundtracks are overused. – Munjeera 5 years ago
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  • Another example which can be quoted as being a soundtrack which is famous, but is almost always associated with a single film/film franchise (alongside Star Wars and Star Trek and Indiana Jones), is the opening song in Kill Bill Vol. 1. of "Bang Bang!" by Sonny Bono. Although there are various versions (Frank Sinatra), this one is iconic of Kill Bill Vol 1. – shehrozeameen 5 years ago
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  • It might be interesting to explore Melodrama as a form and how the addition of music to subtend emotion is a relatively new phenomenon in storytelling (though one that's obviously become the norm). – Tiffany 5 years ago
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  • One aspect of looking at movie soundtracks might be to see how film reviews or categorization such as nominations changes our perception of the film soundtrack. Quiet often films that are nominated for Oscars, Golden Globe, BAFTA or so on have great soundtracks, or is it that the idea that they are nominated changes our perception of the music to see them as "great"? – Arazoo Ferozan 5 years ago
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  • The idea of analysing how a good/bad soundtrack makes or breaks a film with in-depth look at particular examples, this would be interesting. In terms of melodrama, I did this article https://the-artifice.com/are-blockbusters-melodramatic/ which already kind of covers it. – Francesca Turauskis 5 years ago
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  • This topic is really interesting to me! it reminds me of when I made the connection in one of my favourite films "Angela's Ashes". The main theme contains only 3 basic chords and they are used to symbolize the father, son and holy ghost. This furthers the connection to the Catholicism in the film and really hit home for me. I do think that music is really important when it comes to films and the emotions they invoke in us as an audience. I believe what makes a good soundtrack/score is the time and place it is used in the film and how the actual notes relate back. – Shannon 5 years ago
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  • You use the term 'Importance' in the title which often suggests something is either worth paying attention to or it is not. Perhaps the term 'significance'? It is more suggestive of possible levels of relevance. Also if you are interested in music or sound significance R. Murray Schafer wrote a book titled 'The New Soundscape' and it discusses the significance/relevance of sounds within society today. He also talks about defining music in the contemporary world and compares the rural soundscape with the urban. If you are not familiar with the artist/musician John Cage, please check him out! It would be so worth your time. I hope this helps :) – melpetrinack 5 years ago
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  • I think it would be really helpful to this topic to analyze the absence of soundtrack in film. Specifically, I'm thinking of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and Fritz Lang's "M," but I know that there are others. These are movies that really tonally benefit from having no non-diegetic sound in terms of creating mood. Similarly, the Dogme '95 famously demanded that no director was allowed to use diegetic music in their films to make their films more 'realistic.' I often wonder how effective this is. – DerekHorneland 5 years ago
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