Lights! Camera! Action! Music in the Movies!


April 18, 2018

hollywood2Whether we notice it or not, music is ubiquitous in films. From catchy songs and lyrics to background music, music is an often unrecognized yet important factor in movies. Dominique Royem’s upcoming class, “Music in the Movies” covers a wide range of music in films, encompassing everything from early silent German expressionist works to the blockbusters of today. We visited with Royem to find out more.

WIH Reporter: What is important to know about your upcoming class?

Royem: There is a lot more to music in movies than what you remember hearing in the theater! You usually don’t even remember hearing the large majority of good movie music. To truly understand what’s at work, we will have to analyze why they work so well in context with the movie.

WIH Reporter: What makes music so important in movies?

Royem: Music is fundamental to the art of storytelling through film, not just something that’s thrown on top at the end. It can make or break a movie – John Williams is credited with turning Star Wars into a galaxy-spanning drama instead of a cheesy science fiction niche film.

WIH Reporter: What is the most incredible fact about music in films that you have discovered?

Royem: Music is so important to movies even silent films had music!

WIH Reporter: What will be the format of your class?

Royem: We will watch and analyze clips from major motion pictures spanning over a hundred years. Your participation is welcomed – everyone’s take on culture is different, and these small (or large) personal differences add complexity to the composer’s job.

WIH Reporter: What books are on your night table right now?

Royem: These are the books I am reading right now: Film Music: A History  by James Eugene Wierzbicki, Celluloid Symphonies: Texts and Contexts in Film Music History  edited by Julie Hubbert, and Overtones and Undertones: Reading Film Music  by Royal S. Brown.

Royem’s 6-week class begins on May 3 and starts at 10:00 a.m. For more information, or to register, click here.