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Film Music

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To be used as “unheard” or “heard” music, some of the factors have to meet the criteria. In “unheard” music, intensified scene dominated music. Casablanca’s As time Goes By was always mentioned as example of “unheard” music among the members (Stephanie Lee, Stephanie Baldwin). The scene where the music used as “unheard” was when the Island and Ricky are having conversation in Ricky’s office. As they are having a conversation, the song As Time Goes By plays softly. However, that particular scene is intensified wherein viewers are focusing on characters’ dialogue instead of music.

Furthermore, the mood changed the viewer’s focus to the dialogue and helped to increase the tension. During the conversation, the mood was very melancholic and about reminiscing the past. The idea of Jaclyn Ricci that the function of “unheard” music in Casablanca was similarly used in the Taxi’s Driver’s opening scene and ending scene made me realize that unheard music is powerful and compelling.

Hence, I agree with the idea that the general trend in “unheard” music is that there are no lyrics; rather, the dialogues replace the lyrics. The viewers tend to focus on the dialogue which catches one’s attention. Besides, the beating of the drum and contrasting ideas of scores making a unified rhythmic sound leading to build up of intense scene and theme which is isolation. It has intense scenes with corresponding mood. This “unheard” music generally comes as bridge linking either past or the future with present because music itself generally shows what had happened or what will happen and parallel to character’s mind.

On the other hand, in “heard” music, the opposite trend shows. The music is generally energetic, powerful, and familiar to viewer’s ear. Singing in the Rain and 2001: Space Odyssey was used the most among the members. In both cases, Stephanie Baldwin and Ruth Ellis, agree with me that “heard” music works as attention grabber. Songs like Make Them Laugh by Cosmo, and Singing in the Rain by Don brings attention by having lyrics, and choreography.

Unlike “unheard” music, the “heard” music clearly hears and has no interference by any dialogue; instead, lyrics replaced the dialogue. The absence of dialogue led viewers to focus on the lyrics. Because music is familiar to our ears, such as “Blue Danube” from 2001: Space Odyssey, viewers give more attention to it. In line with that, the idea of “heard” music also embedded in Rushmore. The music was borrowed that it was already popular among the public.

The idea of using “unheard” or “heard’ music is director’s intention where to put more emphasis on and how to grab viewer’s attention in certain situation. In the plot intensified scene of having melancholy or modern social mood, “unheard” music was used with absence of lyrics. However, in the playful and vigorous scene, familiar music such as pop music lyrics was used to entice viewers to the film.  The ultimate point of having music is that music plays greater influence on image – how to view them and where to force. Therefore, both “unheard” and “heard” music prove to be useful in engaging the attention and interest of viewers.

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