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Musical Scores VS Soundtracks in Horror Films

Updated on July 26, 2015

Have you ever thought just how much music plays apart within horror films, apart from the realistic special effects and jump scares, musical scores within films, any films, plays a huge part on viewers reactions and musical scores have played just as much part within classical horror films then the actors themselves as musical scores throughout history in any genre of film has created suspense in cinemas and homes throughout the world for decades!

Directors would have music composers who would sit down and watch the films with a deadline and general overview of what the director wants before the composer even thinks about writing, recording and finally finishing the music to fit in with the final cut of the films scene!

From classics such as John Carpenter’s alternating piano figure in Halloween that has been haunting the minds of all who have seen this classic, in which musical score must have been on just about every Halloween songs album in the world!

To Tobe Hooper's the texas chainsaw massacre in which musician Wayne Bells analogue synths and sounds of everyday household objects came together to create these memorable ominous soundscapes that can hardly be classed as a musical masterpiece but are up there with the greats of my most memorable musical scores

We then head over to the bates motel! The fantastic work by Bernard Hermann that worked extremely well with Alfred Hitchcock who requested a jazz score made purely of string instruments. which led up to one of the most iconic memorable scores that held no music at all, yet created suspense, remembered for years in of the jabbing scree scree scree during the shower scene!

Sadly it would seem that today's films, no matter the genre are lacking in film scores in which hold the viewers in gripped emotion and haven't had a composer near them for years! Don't get me wrong there are a few directors who still are sticking to the old ways but with new hit pop songs and alternative rock making it's way in to the charts it seems to be the way for new movies and directors to cash in more cheques as we see more and more film soundtracks going on sale to reap in as much profit available.

Don't get me wrong, i think the music of today should be celebrated and with many friends in successful bands I'd love for them to be able to make it on to a film but I think the days are long gone where composers are brought forwards to create masterpiece scores that give the fear, suspense and shock to go alongside our films!

A fast paced metal band simply just doesn't work the same when a stalker finally makes his kill, than a well thought out personalized musical score created for a specific scene does!

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Final Conclusion

As a final conclusion, I think that we need to have a drastic turn around and a revival of horror music scores bringing composers back in to the horror movie business to bring back the emotional peaks caused by musical turbulence like classic scores such as Hans J. Salter's music for 'the creature from the black lagoon', John Barry's music for King Kong and Lalo Schifrin's Amityville Horror

I do not in anyway disagree with having the odd music tracks within horror films, But i think that composed scores are much more fitting in horror films, having a composer working with an orchestra who works seamlessly with the films director to create a segment of musical perfection that is filled with the thrill, excitement and suspense that should be accompanying the filming and the acting!

What do you prefer? feel free to discuss below

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