Monday, 9 May 2011

If music be the food of stories...

Picture this:

Me in my car. CD player finishes a track (as it's prone to), and starts on Within Temptation's "All I Need". My thoughts instantly deviate away from the thrilling traffic jam I'm stuck in, and I'm back with the characters in one of my stories.

For me, music fuels my imagination and enhances story sequences. I've lost count of the number of scenes that have sprung from some lyrics or the melody of a tune I've been listening to.

The same goes when I'm reading. How many of you read a chapter of a book and think, THAT song would be perfect for THAT scene? Or watch a book dramatised into a film or TV production, and find a scene much more potent thanks to the tune spun by its wizard of a composer?

The right sound can make me think of the sands of Egypt, or fairies dancing in a grove... or the wolf from "Shrek" looking up from Shrek's bed at the ogre himself and saying, "What?"

So, after this moment of revelation about the importance of music in storytelling, I thought I'd do a little quiz.

Below are five clips of soundtracks from different films, and YOU get to guess where they came from - aren't you lucky? I've added the answers right down the bottom of the post, so you can check if you're right (or, alternatively, cheat). There's also a special "Bonus Clip", which I thought was far too easy for a quiz, but is still a great piece of music for evoking a scene (in my humble opinion).

Have fun, peeps!

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

Clip 3:

Clip 4:

Clip 5:

And the special BONUS CLIP:

Clip 1 - "Flying" from "Peter Pan" (by James Newton Howard)
Clip 2 - "Sandcastles" from "The Mummy Returns" (by Alan Silvestri)
Clip 3 - "Luke's Nocturnal Visitor" from "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" (by John Williams)
Clip 4 - "Hallucination" from "Labyrinth" (by Trevor Jones)
Clip 5 - "Transylvania 1887" from "Van Helsing" (by Alan Silvestri)
Bonus Clip - (Don't think I need to do this, but hey ho!) "Hedwig's Theme" from "Harry Potter" (by John Williams)


Coral said...

I'm your first follower and your first commenter. I feel so special! :)

The music I'm listening to has a huge influence on what I'm writing. So much so that I've found if I'm accidentally listening to the wrong thing, it can cause some pretty potent writer's block. Try writing a fight scene while listening to Norah Jones, I dare you.

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm always running into music that matches a scene in a story. I love listening to classical when I'm writing; for my current WIP, Beethoven's Triple Concerto usually helps bring on the words.

LOL. The only one I managed to guess was "Hedwig's Theme". I love that one--sometimes I end up humming it and only realize it a while after I start.

C D Meetens said...

Thanks for the comments, and sorry for not replying earlier.

Coral: I can certainly see how Norah Jones would put a spanner in a fight scene ;).

TGE: Classical is fantastic for evoking moods. I think that's why I like soundtracks so much.

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