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Chapter Eleven. Polishing Sound and Images > The Infinite Variety of Music

The Infinite Variety of Music

The role of music in the movies goes back to the era of silent film, when every local movie theater employed a pianist whose job was to improvise on the emotional themes of the story as a film unreeled. Sometimes the movie distributors would send accompanying sheet music for a high-profile extravaganza, but mostly they relied on the skills of the vaudeville piano players who had standard ditties and riffs for most comedic or dramatic situations, as well as a collection of noisemakers like slide whistles and kazoos for special effects.

Even though real life has no musical soundtrack (except for people wearing headphones and carrying MP3 players), audiences expect their emotions to be guided and enhanced by a musical score as the scenes of a story unfold. Commercials rely on music as much as their stunning visual effects to impart a sense of excitement and motivate buying decisions. Even a training video will benefit from scoring to add interest and continuity.


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