What is it about the power of a “Dramatic” film score that influences the moving image and how did the early Hollywood composers achieve this?
Music in film
Since 1933, the film industry has experienced a significant change regarding how it tries to portray messages to viewers through films. This is through the introduction of music in films by Max Steiner. This happened in the film ‘King Kong’, and not many viewers were expecting it. The purpose of music in film can be interpreted differently by individuals who develop an interest in the industry. In the film, when the moving image is accompanied by music, then it clearly becomes one of the most interesting scenes. Earlier, before the advancements in technology, the introduction of music in the film industry created more attention to the music instead of the films. However, film directors helped in changing the way viewers thought of the introduction of the music. Max Steiner was hence a beginner of a new trend that saw things totally change in the music industry. Hollywood filmmakers have used music to capture different scenes and movements of images, even if it is something to do with walking or talking. Through that, the filmmakers ensured the scenes were accompanied by music that caught the attention of the viewers, hence the dramatic film scoring. One aim of the dramatic film scoring that seemed to completely work well was the creation of tensions and expectations among viewers of films. For example, when watching horror movies, viewers can predict what might happen next in a scene with the introduction of some sort of music (Wegele 2014). Early Hollywood composers, therefore, had the duty of ensuring attention was not taken to the music used in the film but rather the scenes associated with the music. They did it by ensuring music was only incorporated in some of the most important scenes that viewers were looking up to, hence making viewers to completely focus on such moments.
Wegele, Peter. Max Steiner: Composing, Casablanca, and the Golden Age of Film Music. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.