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Into the World of Soundtracks Starting with Gettysburg

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I was having a debate with a friend over what was the best kind of music. He said that he only liked soundtracks as lyrics annoyed him because they unsuccessfully combined music with poetry. I disagreed, and I said that musicals were the best music as they're goal was to convey pure feelings to you that the artist wanted you to feel, as opposed to shit like pop which is designed to make the singer look pretty; this is why I believe that the Defying Gravity Broadway recording is literally infinitely better that Idinia Menzel's pop abomination of that great song.

 

I also said musicals' purpose, was opposed to soundtracks which is just supposed to complement the main attraction, like an hors d'oeuvre compliments the main meal. He said that soundtracks are an integral part of the movie and he likes it for the same reason that I like musicals; it conveys emotion that the artist wanted you to feel when the picture wouldn't be enough. I kind of just shrugged this off.

 

Later, I was thinking about the American Civil War and I was thinking about the movie Gettysburg. I remember it being an incredibly long movie--about four hours long. It's also literally the slowest movie I've ever seen, but for what ever reason, I loved it. Now I know why: it's the soundtrack. Without it, Gettysburg would have been a very mediocre movie. The fight scenes are just a bunch of guys yelling at each other, and the rest of the movie is just long dialogue about military strategy. The soundtrack conveys the emotion of the soldiers on the battlefield, that the screaming alone couldn't.

 

Don't believe me? Watch this scene depicting the charge of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment on the second day of battle with no ammo, but watch it with sound turned off. Don't worry, you're not missing any important dialogue; dialogue is simply "We can't hold them sir! Alright, so fixed bayonets! We're going to charge swinging down the hill. Does everyone understand! Yes sir! Alright, sir! Move! BAYONETS! FIX BAYONETS! Right wheel, charge! CHARGE! ARGHHHHHHH"

 

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Very mediocre scene, right? Just a bunch of Americans charging, like they always do, right? Not very original, in terms of camera shots or other movie effects, and the special effects aren't even that great. You may have even saw a guy at the beginning pretend to die in a totally not convincing way.

 

Now watch it with the sound on. Suddenly, this becomes the best scene in the entire movie. I get shivers every time I watch that scene. I now know that the composer of the music and the director wanted me to feel the passion for which these boys charged. They wanted me to feel the feeling these men felt when they were defending their country for a cause they believed in. They wanted me to feel the feeling these men felt: that they'd rather die than give up their country and homeland to these traitorous aggressors.

 

So yeah, in conclusion, the Gettysburg soundtrack is great and completely changed my opinion on soundtracks. The tracks are on Youtube, so give it a listen if you want to.

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So this is what it took to get you to realize the power of sounds in movies? Try it with better movies, and you'll see it even more.

 

(soundtracks are 99% of all emotion inducing stimuli in movies)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Well I can't say this soundtrack is my kind of preference, but music does have a big impact on videos:

 

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Well...strictly speaking, you're right, but it's a music video. That's different.

 

Also, Smooth Criminal the song is stupid as hell, but the video makes it exponentially better, in my opinion. I don't even like the song, but I put up with it since the music video is kick-ass.

 

So this is what it took to get you to realize the power of sounds in movies? Try it with better movies, and you'll see it even more.

 

(soundtracks are 99% of all emotion inducing stimuli in movies)

 

Not true at all. Lord of the Rings, I'd say, relied on visuals equally as much, if not more so, as its soundtrack. 12 Angry Men was pure visual, as was Pulp Fiction and Resevoir Dogs.

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I thought the video was funny and showed a nice contrast, I'm championing Michael Jackson's music.

 

Good and bad music can make or break a movie. In general no music means having a more serious tone than having it.

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So this is what it took to get you to realize the power of sounds in movies? Try it with better movies, and you'll see it even more.

 

(soundtracks are 99% of all emotion inducing stimuli in movies)

 

Inception, for example. That movie had incredible music. And look at the Dead Island trailer; it wouldn't be what it is without the music.

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I firmly believe that the only reason that the Gettysburg themes and motifs in its soundtrack are not iconic in movie history, similar to how the Jaws theme is, is that the movie was too long, too technical, too slow, and not geared towards the average person.

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