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Music & Cinema — The indispensable duo

Music & Cinema — The indispensable duo

Cinema – a world forging fantasy, the effective storytelling form, has been the most impactful revolution for the visual medium till date. Audiences are made to traverse a recreated world, sometimes fictitious, at times with adaptations and with a touch of realism fitfully.

Dynamics of cinema follows myriad nuances which culminate into a presentable piece that is a combination of – ‘the technicalities’, ‘other elements which go into making it’, and finally the ’embellishment stuff’. Of these, here, we speak about that integral constituent which one cannot do away with no matter how small, big, long or short the film is. Of course, the technical stuff is important, but ‘MUSIC’ falls into the categories of ‘other elements which go into the making’ & ’embellishment stuff’, but with no less parity. Can we imagine a film without musical intervention?? Be it in the form of a background score, mainstream songs or in whatever way you can visualise. Every scene is so weaved to communicate the message to the audience in the best possible way, and music to the most significant extent provides genuine support in achieving this!

When music does the talking
Cinema as a mode of expression is comprehended by the larger audience irrespective of the language barrier. This statement is valid even after being aware of the number of languages that exist around the world! Dialogues are unreservedly crucial ‐ which carry the language component, but while conversations explicitly convey the message in every scene, the music component complements the dialogue, enhances or rather establishes the mood, and adds beauty to work; in a nutshell, it fills in the lacuna that might be created within any frame. The best example for this would be the Indian movie 'Pushpakviman', which was made entirely without dialogues (mute film). Not because it was shot in the silent era, but because the director wanted to experiment and show the importance of music for a movie coupled with moods, expressions, and exciting properties. Music was the sure highlight of the film, and it was well received by the audiences world over, and the best part was, there was no difficulty understanding any part of the movie!

There are few catch-sounds called motifs/ thematic notations which are a set of recurring ideas or themes where the director attempts to train your mind to associate that particular motif to an object, character or sentiment whenever the notes play throughout the movie. For example, every time the guy who has puppy love on his batchmate is shown, thematic saxophone music could be played without anything being overtly said! A villain in a movie has a piece of set thematic music which when played will make the audience associate to that character. A character which has been portrayed negatively could be posing at attempting to change, which is not the case in reality, so here baleful music which was the earlier theme of the character in the movie could be repeated to show the intentions alike, without anything being said!

There are certain times when the scene needs to be underplayed owing to the emotional intensity it carries, and dialogue insertion might stuff and over-feed the audience, here music is to the rescue! Also, a character could be having mixed emotions, and here dialogues cannot justify what he thinks and wants, here music plays a critical role. A sequence which is on an emotional high can be best portrayed with accompanying frontend music. For composing any scene, be it happy, melancholic, vengeful, humorous or romantic, mood lighting is crucial which falls into the category of ‘technicalities’, but to this, a piece of subtle music going along with the set mood brings out the best work.

Indeed Inseparable
A lot can be talked about music and cinema, but no single person can wholly cover this topic because of its vastness. But, one thing is for sure, music and cinema co-exist, and cinema cannot be a stand-alone work.