DramaMusic.com - movie and television soundtracks

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Drama Music

How did it start? (continued)

Music, in one form or another, has been used throughout history in dramatic situations such a wars and battles. The early Roman armies would have a corps of drummers pounding out dramatic rhythms as they marched into battle. This had two purposes. The first was to further unsettle their opponents and let them know that they meant business and the second was to instill confidence in their own soldiers and reassure them that they were the more powerful and invinsible force. This tactic has been used throughout the ages with various armies using drums and other instruments as they marched into battle. The Scots would use the bagpipes as a means to inspire their own men as well as put further fear into the opponents.

Today's Drama Music

In today's movies, a dramatic scene can utilise the full force of an orchestra to embellish the action. The same scene can work equally as well with minimum orchestration, or even a solo instrument can do the job. Sometimes a very suspenseful scene can be even more dramatic without music. Sometimes not having music in a scene that would normally be scored can work equally as well. Silence itself can give the viewer a sense of impending danger. Alfred Hitchcock was a master of knowing when silence would work better than music. In a particular suspenseful scene he would tell the audience, without the use of music and maybe just a clock ticking, that something bad was going to happen, but not tell them when. This created a real mood of impending doom and gloom. Of course when the action did eventually happen, in came the music and lifted the drama to another level.

When a very good drama director and a very good dramatic score composer get together, be prepared to be taken on an emotional ride.

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