Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How I Feel About Movie Soundtracks

I like music about the same amount as the average person. I listen to it daily, and if I don't actually listen to music for a certain period of time, I'll start singing inside my head (or out loud if no one is around) instead. I can't really go without music for an extended period without craving it.

That being said, I'm not a "music person." By that I mean that I don't have a deep knowledge of music. I took a music class this past semester, and I remember feeling so out of place on the first day even though I wasn't the only one who wasn't a music major. I ended up really enjoying that class, but at the end, I was still very aware that I didn't get music in a certain way that the music majors did. I played both piano and clarinet as a kid, and I was even in choir for a length of time. Still, it's not the same for me. I guess I love music, but it's not like books or words are to me. I like music like the "average" person who reads but not obsessively and doesn't write likes books.

All of that is to say that I really enjoy movie soundtracks when I listen to them on their own, but I also don't typically notice them during the actual movie. I get that that's actually important and how it's meant to be. I've listened to movie composers talk about how the goal is usually to make the music not noticeable.

But when I think of movie soundtracks, there are two pieces of music that immediately come to mind: Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter and the Star Wars Theme. Of course, both of these come right at the beginning of their respective movies during the title card/opening/etc., so that makes them more noticeable. They also happen to be from some of my favorite movies ever, so it's unsurprising that they resonate with me. I'm not alone though as I think those are two pieces of music that most people can easily identify.

Of course, they also have something else extremely important in common: They're both composed by John Williams. That fact alone is why I would name him as my favorite composer if asked. I may not know a whole lot about music, but those two songs in particular have really stuck with me. They're not only two of my favorite bits from movie soundtracks, they're two of my favorite pieces of music period. Each of them bring such a sense of nostalgia to me. They really do have a sense of magic as far as I'm concerned.

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