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Film Genres Essay

Film genres hold a great influence on the type of music chosen to appear. Music must fit the theme and tone of films in order to convey emotions accurately. Between 1935 and 1939, films began to be widely segmented by genres. Many of the films didn’t fit just one genre, these films where categorized in two or more genres and their music reflected this hybrid quality. The film The Informers is categorized as being in a dramatic genre. The music of the film is greatly influenced by this genre. The main theme in the film is a very suggestive, creating drama about the characters future fate. The music builds up expectations and questions about what will happen in the rest of the film.

The music in these types of dramatic films are usually toned lower to create mystique and the music is then sped up and heightened in the most climactic scenes of the film to create a great sense of drama as the genre entitles. One of the films during this time to have a hybrid genre was The Bride of Frankenstein, which shares a horror and comedic genre. The horror influenced music in the film can be heard over exaggerating the qualities of the characters. The music used to represent these horror aspects is simple, yet effective.

The monster’s theme in this film only consisted of five notes which included harsh clashes. The use of two adjacent pitches creates a jarring effect in the music which develops into suspense. The comedic influence in the music of this film can be heard in the form of dance music played to create a light hearted mood to the characters. These comedic songs are very light without the harsh beats of the horror inspired ones. “The Adventures of Robin Hood” is a film included in the action genre.

This film uses a full orchestration, emphasizing brass and percussion sounds to create the sense of action. Loud dynamics, passage of quick notes, and irregular and hard accents are tools in action films to create a hectic situation, suggesting a chaotic environment. These tools are used thoroughly in the fight scenes involving the main character, Robin Hood. The music emphasized the movements during these battle scenes and warns of the dangers the character are facing. The first feature film to fit in the animation genre was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This genre of film consists of an abundance of continuously playing music through the film. The songs are very simple and brief which delighted the public who wanted to simply enjoy a film. These short and simple characteristics of these songs also made them quite catchy and easily remembered by those who watched these types of film.

The movements of the characters in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are also accentuated in a “Mickey Mousing” technique that provides a light hearted touch to the characters in the animation. A films genre will definitely dictate the music that can be used in the film. The right music for a film will allow the emotions of the film to easily move past to the audience. The right music for the film genre helps emphasize the genre and create a more enjoyable experience for those viewing the film.

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