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Film Music - Different Types of Atmosphere.

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Film Music - Different Types of Atmosphere I have chosen five different types of atmosphere that are found in film music, each one created a different effect and helps the film created the effect that is needed in the film. My chosen atmospheres are: Scary/Tense, Sad/Unhappy, Happy/Jolly, Mystical/Magical and Excited/Action. Scary/Tense Scary and tense music is a common type of music in a lot of films. The films that contain a lot of this type of music, not surprisingly, are horror films. This is because the film is obviously trying to scare you so they need tense music that is quite creepy and eerie. Scary and tense music often has a repeated rhythm either in the background or as the main tune. This sometimes gets faster as well, making you think that something is creeping up on you or getting nearer. The most famous example of this is in the film Jaws, in the parts where the killer shark is just about to strike! This type of music also often uses a minor key to make it sound a bit more sad and serious than happier music. The dynamics in scary music are often very similar. They use a lot of crescendos and diminuendos and accelerandos and rallentandos, as this variation in the music helps to build up the tension. ...read more.


However there is quite often a rallentando at the end of this type of music, like in the famous film of the 70s called Love Story, where a young woman was dying. This used a sad theme that included a lot of the typical musical elements associated with sad music. This theme became very well known. Happy/Jolly Happy and jolly music is often found in children's films. Some examples of this are at the end of Chicken Run and in A Bugs Life. The music in Chicken Run uses a flute for the main melody. This is effective as the timbre of the flute can be quite bouncy and jolly. Flute playing is fairly common in music trying to create a happy atmosphere. There are no particular dynamics that you would generally associate with happy and jolly music, but in Chicken Run they stay pretty much the same throughout the music and are mezzo forte. There weren't any crescendos or diminuendos in Chicken Run, but you do find them in other music trying to achieve the same atmosphere. The timbre is usually not largo or lento in jolly music, but is quite often andante or even faster. In A Bug's Life there is a mainly allegro tempo. ...read more.


The ornamentation also does this, so elements like glissandos and tremelandos can be quite effective. In a lot of films trying to create this effect an andante pace is used, though you do sometimes find that slightly slower tempos work just as well. Excited/Action The types of films that I'm referring to that create this type of atmosphere are the action films, such as James Bond or Die Hard. This type of film music is fairly similar in most action/thriller films. This is because quite a lot of the musical elements are the same. The instrumentation usually consists of a strong background base beat accompanied with a powerful melody. This is often found in James Bond films. The key of this type of music is often major, as the music needs to be quite upbeat and action like, not sad and slow. The dynamics can vary sometimes but are mainly found to be forte or fortissimo, because this goes with the strong feeling to the music, this is found in Die Hard. Crescendos work well and, like in scary movies, a subito can get the audience's attention. A brisk tempo is needed to keep in with the whole feel of the music. In most of the James Bond films the most famous tune uses a strong tune that drives the film forwards and leads it in into action. This is created by the fast moving tempo and the strong repeating rhythm. Tom Lewton ...read more.

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