Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Scary Movie Music Soundtracks

Quick: Name the scariest movie music of all time!
My bet is that most of you thought of Jaws.  Not surprising.  Music can make or break a movie.  A few years back, I saw a show on PBS honoring the music of John Williams.  Richard Dreyfus was a guest host.  For his part of the show, Dreyfus explained how a few simple notes changes the way a person views a movie.  First, a scene from Jaws was shown, minus the music.  Meh.  Then, the same scene was replayed, this time with Williams' killer soundtrack.  Movie magic, folks, with chill-bumps galore.  Heck, I'm still creeped out just jumping in the pool, hearing that music playing in the back of my mind...(are you hearing it too?)

Hop on over to Cinematical for their full list of Seven Great Horror Themes.

#6. John Williams "Main Title and First Victim" (Bruce the shark, Jaws) – John Williams is famously influenced by Wagner's leitmotif compositional structures where each character gets an individual theme, so it should have come as no surprise that he would create a theme even for the shark itself in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Peter Benchley's novel. Stolen by countless filmmakers in subsequent films, albeit primarily for humorous purposes, the music has lost some of its impact detached from the film it came from. But in the context of that underwater opening and the sad fate of some poor skinny dipper, it's still as terrifying as the first day it made people never want to go into the water again.

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