Music, Film, and Cartoon
“Music and art are similar concepts as they are both trying to explain and express ideas through abstract mediums” (Gilbert, 2007). The similarities of these two are that they are creative and can be understood in many different ways. Audiences need to use their imagination of feeling to understand these two. Music is influences by many arts forms and the other way around, almost all arts forms are influenced by music in many different ways. Film is one of the art forms that are influenced by music. Music makes a film as well as an animated cartoon more interesting by bringing out audiences’ emotion, introducing and setting a tone of a movie, dictating characters’ action, misleading audiences, and creating an original soundtrack.
Music can bring out the audiences’ emotion. So when using music in a film, music makes a film more significant by providing the audiences with the connection of emotion, character, and situation. Sometimes proper music in a proper situation in a movie can touch the audiences’ emotion and helps the audiences feel deeply inside that situation. As Johnny Depp said, “music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t” (as cited in Picardi, 2013). For example, a scene of a couple who have just been married, exiting the church uses a love song to show the feeling of the characters at that moment. The love song that is used in this scene can make the audiences feel romantic and full of happiness. If there is no song used in this scene, there would be nothing wrong but the scene may not reach its climax like what it has to be. Without the appropriate music in appropriate scene, the emotion of the audiences is “almost completely eliminated” (Bell, 2010). As Picardi (2013) states: Music does indeed touch us emotionally, that is most likely why Sarah Mclachlan chose a morose song to accompany her animal cruelty video. The same concept applied in commercials is valid in film. Without the proper scoring and music, a Grammy Winning film can be changed drastically only by a different song choice. For example if these scenes in Anna Karenina, with Anna & Vronksy is played with Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift the message would remain relatively true to the intention of Joe Wright, however, the emotions evoked may be completely different.
Music is often used as background music in many different situations. It is used along with a scene to introduce and set a tone of a movie at the beginning stage before other dramatic things occur (Watkins, 2013). It creates an atmosphere of the time and place and tells the audiences what they are going to experience (Bell, 2010). For instance, in the first scene of a horror film, a dark and empty street scene accompanied by foreboding music appears. This scene provides audiences with frightening feeling and this can be expected that this movie will be scary. This also lets the audiences curious to know what are going to happen. Moreover, music is used to “heighten the drama of a given scene in a film” (Watkins, 2013). For example, in a comedy scene, music used is seemed to be light, silly or funny. In contrast, in an action scene, music used must full of power and energy in order to match the scene. On the other hand, in some animated cartoons, “music is not used as a background, but as the dictating factor in the actions of characters” (Jones, 1946). Music connects with every movement of the characters actions which is called mickey-mousing (coming from a technique that was often used in Mickey Mouse cartoon). For example, when someone on a screen raises his eyebrow, there is a sound of xylophone “plings” (Hoffmann, 2011) or when music is allegro, the characters’ actions move faster and become livelier. In contrast, when music is pianissimo or the tempo is decreased from allegro to andante, the actions of those characters will become softer and slower (Jones, 1946). This idea also happens in the Disney’s Fantasia which music influences...
References: Bell, J. (2010). Music Makes Movies. Retrieved July 22, 2013, from http://www.center-
Gilbert, J. (2007). The Influence of Music on Painting and Animation. Retrieved July 19, 2013, from http://ncca.bournemouth.ac.uk/gallery/files/innovations/2007/Gilbert_
Gioia, T. (2008). Jazz and Cartoons: The Secret History. Retrieved July 18, 2013, from http://www.jazz.com/jazz-blog/2008/5/7/jazz-and-cartoons-the-secret-history
Picardi, C. (2013). Music & Cinema: The Importance of Scoring in Films. Retrieved July 21, 2013, from http://www.aureusgrex.com/music-cinema-the-importance-of-scoring-in-films
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