Here’s a short little post for a day that hasn’t gone great for me…
Ever been going through your day-to-day life and suddenly you think to yourself: “Dang, this would be so much better if it had background music.”
Your right it would be. It seems as if in all the movies, there is a perfect soundtrack sitting right there, just perfect for the movie. But it would be good to remember that the music didn’t just come out of nowhere.
Composers who write movie soundtracks are somewhat under appreciated in popular culture. No doubt you’ve heard of a few of them. Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings and Twilight), and Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera) are good examples. But have you ever heard of James Newton Howard (Several films by M. Night Shyamalan, I am Legend) or Danny Elfman (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Spiderman and The Hunger Games)? Maybe, but quite possibly not.
So why don’t these people seem to have fans screaming for them and asking for autographs like Bono or Simon & Garfunkel? It could very well be argued that the music they are creating is far more complicated and difficult (a view I tend to agree with). Shouldn’t they get as much, if not more, credit then the rest of these guys?
Well, unfortunately, the don’t. But why? The answer lies in the way people listen to their music. In a movie, the music is something ever present, but it is not the focus. Although it is an integral part, the most important part is what you are receiving through your eyes, not your ears. When you listen to U2, it is not just part of the experience, it is the experience. You are listening to it, not as a piece of something bigger, but all on its own. Naturally you pay more attention to the music when listening to it in this way. You know the music better, you know more about the music, and consequently, know and care a lot more about whoever performed it.
Is this fair? No not really. You know who else gets the short end of the stick? The people that write the music for many of the pop icons. For example, Till the World Ends was not, in fact, written by Britney Spears. Want to know who? You’ll have to find out for yourself.
So do me a favor, next time you watch a movie, find out who wrote the music. Give them a pat on the back if you ever meet them.