Tag Archives: Hollywood music

Background Music

27 Feb

Hollywood Indians are coming over the hill, blazing arrows precisely aimed & fired at the canvas covers of the wagons that are in a circle at the bottom of the ravine. Just in the nick of time the cavalry comes riding over that same hill & saves the day. The only thing better than flaming arrows, cowboys, Indians, a wagon train in distress & salvation just at the right time is the background music. What would that scene be without it?

We’ve grown up with background music. Movies & early television depended on it to set just the right mood … or tone … of a scene or film. We take it so for granted that, if asked, I’d bet 90% of us couldn’t describe the exact music that was playing during our most favorite episode of The Walking Dead. Well, maybe not The Walking Dead because that background music doesn’t change much, but most shows meld the music so well into the scene we hardly notice that it’s there. What we WOULD notice is if it weren’t. I can’t imagine background music simply not being there. It builds to a blaring crescendo at just the right moment, encouraging our pulse to race in anticipation of what will be at the end of that startling bit of music. We may not notice it, but subliminally we do & it helps push the plot along.

On the other hand, the National News at 6 & 11 has no background music at all but maybe it doesn’t need it. The News is frightening enough without background music scaring us to death along with the narrative.

Did you ever think about our lives & especially our personal drama being enhanced by background music? Would washing dishes & cleaning up the kitchen after a big holiday meal be more easily done with a little soothing background music? And just what type of music would be good for kitchen clean-up … or for bathroom cleaning, for that matter? Music that whips us into a cleaning frenzy or lulls us into methodically doing a really good cleaning job & making sure the porcelain sparkles under that toilet rim?

I’m wondering what type of background music should accompany me frantically searching for my car keys when I’m late for an important appointment, only to find the cat has coughed up a furball on the hardwood floors. The furball has to be cleaned up before I leave the house or it will discolor the hardwood. I imagine a frantic score with lots of drum rolls & maybe cymbals & if I happen to find my lost car keys under the furball yak, I wonder how the music would change.

Standing in the grocery store check-out line waiting for the woman in front of me to whip out, check & give to the clerk no less than 4000 coupons, half of which went out of date in December 2010, I can imagine that ominously audible background music. It includes drums sounding a heartbeat staccato that increases as my blood pressure rises right along with my heart rate. I believe the music would be distracting but it could possibly be a stress reducer by lowering my blood pressure while I’m trying to figure out what the song is & separate it from that annoying, overhead elevator music playing in the grocery store. My ears are exploding!

There definitely would be whole selections of pulse-pounding music to choose from. There would also be, out of necessity, soothing, soft, ‘waves breaking on the shore’ selections to use at our most vulnerable times.

I’d need music to get me through struggling into a pair of support pantyhose only to find a run in the heel after finally getting them situated in just the right position. THAT music should be racy until the heel run is discovered when it should, if it’s good background music worth its salt, slow down to a heartbeat-dropping lullaby that is listed in the “Stroke Prevention” category.

Dealing with children would call for one type of background music while dealing with teenage children would be something else entirely. The possibilities boggle the mind.

I’m betting that in our most intimate moments … off screen … seldom do any of us at the end of that interlude tell our spouse or partner, “Now that would have been 10 times better with a little background music” (we pick our battles ….)

The idea of background music just came to me out of the blue today. Maybe it came because of some subtle background music that was on TV as I was making up the bed or fixing lunch. Whatever got me thinking led me to try to consider what kind of music, playing subtly in the background of my life, would there be at different mundane, exciting, tedious & obviously fascinating moments as I tiptoe through a normal day.

Now I can’t stop thinking about it & trying to consider just what perfect background music would be the defining score for cleaning the litter box.

Since I’ve thought about it & shared it with you I am pleased that there will be several of us thinking about this for days on end & dealing with the accompanying “brain itch,” much like getting an old song stuck in your head whether you like it or not. There’s comfort in numbers.

I’m going to go to the kitchen now to decide what to fix for dinner. I’m sure, like a good phone app, there’s background music for that.

Thank you for reading & have a nice day (Who Let the Dogs Out? … )

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