How to Compose Music for Comedy and Thriller Films

Subject: Art
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1020
Topics: Film Analysis, Art History, Music

Music is an integral element for films, both comedy and thriller. However, making the right music composition for a film is usually a cumbersome task that requires a lot of precision in every step. Despite the fact that there is no particular method for composing music for films, there are certain crucial elements that every composer should take a keen interest on. The first step is to understand the film and the overall expectations from it. To achieve this, composers are required to always attend spotting sessions. Spotting sessions are significant meetings of all the important people involved in making a film to be successful such as the music supervisor and the director of the movie among others. These sessions involve reviewing the critical elements of the movie such as the characters, themes, as well as the music among other important elements (Cohen 2000). From the sessions, composers get to know what the directors’ intentions for the film are and how the music will help in driving the theme and make the movie a success. The crucial information to be gathered through the sessions include the kind of the film, the preferred music styles, and where applicable in various scenes.

It is paramount that composers have a full understanding of film scenes and subtext before beginning their music composition. By having a clear understanding of the dramatic aspect of a film, one can effectively come up with music that will not only convey the emotional element in the film but also create coherence in the whole movie and enhance the dramatic element. According to Donnelly (2005), one need not only to hear the music in a movie but also feel it so as to count a score in composition. An excellent understanding of a movie assists in imparting content in music form into the timeframe of the movie segments.

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One other important technique when composing music for both thriller and comedy film is to avoid restrictions during the composition process. After selecting scenes from a film, it is important to be open minded and pour all the ideas without any restrictions influenced by quantise opinions as well as the metronome (Buhler, Neumeyer & Deemer 2010). Restrictions interfere with one’s ability to pay full attention and having total control when composing music for a film (Donnelly 2005). Working without restrictions is the most effective technique of ensuring that one translates all the emotions portrayed in the movie. Necessary adjustments can, therefore, be made until one acquires a perfect score in the scenes and the overall movie.

Finally, thriller films and comedy films have different themes. Therefore, when composing music for these types of movies, it is important to pay attention to the type of the film and the most effective music to aid in portraying the theme (Dickinson 2003). Most of the comedy films involve funny episodes while thrilling films involves episodes that send absurd feeling to the viewers. Taking into consideration such matters is one of the most significant technique that all the modern composers take keen interests in. 

Distinction of Bad and Good Music

The process of distinction between good and bad music in a film is a very demanding task. In a film, music plays a very specific role that is mainly to add the emotional element and help drive to the overall theme. Music can be composed originally for a particular movie or can be an existing music used in various scenes of the movie. Therefore, for music to be considered as good, there are various indicators that should be observed. First is the ability of the music to blend with the sound and action so as to complement each other in attaining the overall objective for a particular scene or film (Buhler & Neumeyer 2001). For instance, in a rapid action, a fast music may be more effective whereas in a slow action, slow and soothing music may be more appropriate. Also, the quality of the music can be evaluated on the basis of the emotions that it is portraying (Donnelly 2005). In summation, the quality of the music is determined by its ability to integrate with the scene including the actions, emotions as well as other non-musical sounds that are involved in film creation.

Detecting that a certain music is not appropriate for particular scenes and episodes is also a daunting process. There are various factors that one need to look into so as to conclude that the music is of poor quality. These factors include the message of the music, the rhythm, and ability to integrate with other actions and other sounds (Dickinson 2003). For instance, in a sombre mood episode, slow music may seem to be appropriate. However, when the words in the music reflect a wonderful experience, the music loses its quality as it does not integrate effectively with the emotion hence does not couple the actions in portraying the theme. On the other hand, a faster music can only be deemed to be of good quality if the wordings reflect the emotions of the scene. In the same way, the speed of the music should also pay critical attention to the actions, whether slow or fast.

In conclusion, therefore, music is a very important element of a movie. Hence, composers need to understand certain elements and techniques so as to be successful in their composition. The first factor that the modern composers for both thriller and comedy movies pay attention to is to understand the film in depth. This calls for critical reviews with all the involved persons in developing the film, including the director of the film, so as to understand the aims and themes at the various scenes. Other factors include avoiding restrictions and knowing the type of the film. Also, identifying good and bad music in films is an important process as it helps in avoiding certain mistakes that composers make. The most important element when distinguishing between good and bad music is understanding if it is appropriately integrated with the visual elements as well as other non-music sounds.

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  1. Buhler, J. and Neumeyer, D., 2001. Analytical and interpretive approaches to film music (II): Analysing interactions of music and film. Film music: Critical approaches, pp.39-61.
  2. Buhler, J., Neumeyer, D. and Deemer, R., 2010. Hearing the movies: music and sound in film history (p. 310). Oxford University Press.
  3. Cohen, A.J., 2000. Film music. Perspectives, 1, p.361.
  4. Dickinson, K. ed., 2003. Movie music, the film reader. Psychology Press.
  5. Donnelly, K., 2005. The spectre of sound: Music in film and television. University of California Press.
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