Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

Sappy Music in movies

You know when the hero is reunited with his love, or the sad bit when romeo finds out julliet is dead, how do they pick the music?

I'm not very musical, but the sad music makes me sad and the happy music makes me happy. (OK, the plot helps too).

Are there particular notes or structures or something in music that make it sad? or happy?

Are they using the same tunes again and again -- not that I've noticed. Or do we get original music for each movie.

I really admire these guys work. Subtle behind the scenes unnoticed, but effective.
Permalink Kasey 
January 4th, 2006
There are "major" and "minor" chords/scales which tend to be happy or sad.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 4th, 2006
which is which, where can I hear them? What's a chord anyway?
Permalink Kasey 
January 4th, 2006
I hate these devices. In particular, when they use sins to make characters either irredeemable or use them to justify bad stuff that happens later on.

<SPOILER SHOW='Sleeper Cell'>

Take Sleeper Cell. The bad guys were portrayed sympathetically, but brutally killed a sweet wisecracking friendly guy to make them irredeemable. Later a sympathetically-portrayed truck driver cheated on his wife, making him almost inevitably killable.

</ending xml tags properly is not the point of my life>
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
January 5th, 2006
I'm talking about the music. 'when they put in a tune to the heighten the emotion and they hit it just right. HOW? How to those geniuses do it?
Permalink Kasey 
January 5th, 2006
50% is taking advantage of taking advantage of the natural emotion of music - A slow and sombre violin is like a cry, for example.

50% of it is taking advantage of precedent &#8212; At some point a famous media event (e.g. movie) correlated certain music or sounds with certain events, and everyone after just took advantage of the precedent.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 5th, 2006
"which is which, where can I hear them? What's a chord anyway?"

Go to http://chordfind.com/ -- when you first arrive it'll be on C major; click the "MIDI" button, and it'll play the notes in the chord, which have a fairly neutral tone to them. Go back to the chord selector, and change it to C minor and hit the button; note now that the notes somehow sound sad. (As to what a chord is, it's really just "a bunch of notes played at the same time".)

There are a lot ways of making music sound sad, but as MarkTAW says the simplest way is to play in a minor key; slowing the tempo and adding more "feel" to it (think "Moonlight Sonata" -- if you play it at an even speed it sounds sad, but if you lengthen some notes you can make it even sadder) can add to the sadness, and in movies you've got the added plot and visual cues.
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 5th, 2006
"I'm talking about the music. 'when they put in a tune to the heighten the emotion and they hit it just right. HOW? How to those geniuses do it?"

When you listen to music, you don't ascribe an emotion to it, automatically? It seems almost unnatural not to have this ability/need. 

When I hear music associated with a time in my life, all the emotions of that time are evoked.

Don't you have a life soundtrack? I assume these people who choose movie music do too, and pick accordingly.

And yes, musical patterns exist that easily, consistently, predictably correspond to human emotion. One of the things I hate about pop music is they find one or two combinations of musical pattern every 2 years and pound it to death in repeats of the same song, just different "artists".
Permalink sharkfish 
January 5th, 2006
Who listens to pop music? The closest I get to radio is http://www.radioparadise.com/ and I rarely listen to that.

I am thinking of DJing at my school's radio station, though. Try and introduce these kids to some real music.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 5th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

Other topics: January, 2006 Other topics: January, 2006 Recent topics Recent topics