Ever watched a horror movie?? When you think of the most memorable scenes, the scenes that made it so tough for you to sleep in the following weeks, the scenes that made you jump out of your chair, you remember only what you saw. The visual is probably your entire memory, but the sound of the scene manipulates you just as much as what you’re seeing on screen.
There are many examples of this happening in all movies, music influencing your mood and thoughts, even with basic things such as the Darth Vader music in the Star Wars films. This is extremely prevalent in horror movies. One of the more iconic instances of this is in the “Jaws” saga. In this famous scene, Roy Scheider (Brody) is relaxing on the beach when all of a sudden, the foreboding music begins to play. It starts out slow, then its speed begins to increase and accelerate until all of a sudden it reaches a crescendo and the boy is attacked! Not only does the music tell me what’s going to happen, but it influences my thoughts and makes me anxious for what’s going to happen.
The effectiveness of this music certainly could be debated by any individual viewer of such movies, and some people would probably say it means nothing to them. It certainly varies from person to person, but I would certainly argue it has a strong effect on me.
There would definitely be a few ways to avoid the horror music and see how the scene affects you. The mute button obviously would work quite well to remove sound from any scene. If you’re in a movie theatre or with friends who want to truly watch the movie, you can simply cover your ears and see how the experience changes.