I have noticed that for me a soundtrack is crucial to being impressed by a movie. Seeing Lord of the Rings without the soundtrack would be awful and the same counts for Star Wars. Did you know that they actually tested the first Star Wars film on an audience without music and they didn't like it? And after they had added the soundtrack they loved it! So what is it with music and soundtracks?
To stick with Star Wars and LOTR, which have undoubtedly the best soundtracks around, imagine the Lighting of the Beacons in the third movie without music? I added the music below, so just listen to it while imagining the scene without music!
I guess I am not alone when I say that movies would loose a lot of their original beauty without music. Music is a very strong medium for the raw emotions. I wonder whether a reunion in a movie between father and son would be less touching if it hadn't a beautiful soundtrack as a backdrop. Would we be less scared if a soundtrack didn't tell us something terrible was about to happen? Below is the love-theme from Star Wars and I must say that it brings me to tears. I might be a very emotional person, but doesn't it simply scream LOVE right into your face?
Would their love be any less if this music wouldn't accompany them? Not on paper anyway, but it would be less appealing! Would we cry during the Titanic if Sissel wasn't delivering her beautiful singing? Are words in dialogue not enough for our senses? Do we expect to be entertained in more than one way when watching movies? A remark I'd also like to make is that terrible acting can be helped by an amazing soundtrack as can a god-awful script. For exmaple, I've just seent he third Narnia-movie and it was highly entertaining. The story wasn't that incredible, but fun. The soundtrack was mindblowing. I watched it in 3D and found ymself closing my eyes a lot to listen to the music instead of seeing the special effects.
The meaning of this entire rant on soundtracks is that, in my opinion, it is one of the biggest differences between films and books. You can visualize books in your mind to an extent that they are almost movie-like, but the soundtrack is something you yourself can never manage to create to such an extent as the composers can. This leads to my question, Do we need a soundtrack to books?
What I love to do is put on the LOTR-soundtrack and start reading the book at a random page. Or put on the Lothlorien-track and read that very part in the book. I have found that it does add to the reading-adventure. It's like a fullbody experiece where you're only used to the experience of simply reading.
Do you like listening to music while reading or does it distract you from foccussing on the story? Vote in the poll and/or comment!