January 30, 2017

Understanding Film Music

When A Big Orchestra Is Too Much and Vice Vera

At CSS Music we love the movies! We see just about every major release and have done so for too many years to count. And if you’re like us, you probably pay close attention to the music! But what makes a great soundtrack and what type of orchestration works best for different films?

While a small, independent film might benefit from a large orchestral score—say for a scene of sweeping vistas—most often a smaller movie requires more intimacy. If you think about it….a quiet love scene with a huge string section playing the “lovers theme” could come off as quite camp. More likely a string quartet, solo piano or guitar or light synthesizer wash will best serve that type of scene.

The same applies to action scenes. An indie film chase scene will generally be on the low budget side and a huge orchestral track will probably sound out of place. The major action-adventure motion pictures thrive on spectacular special effects and a huge bombastic orchestral score--and of course, huge 5.1 surround-sound sound effects. The smaller film’s action scenes will be better served with a rock or country-based track or a driving synthesizer-sequencer track.

The current trend in both smaller films and certain major releases is to go the Singer-Songwriter route. This particular music style is often heard in the closing credits and may employ lyrics that relate back to the story of the movie. For you guys: CSS Music offers instrumental versions of the Singer-Songwriter style. Use our Hand Picked Genre menu and you’ll find suitable tracks under Country, (all styles except Wild West) Emotions (Lite Side) Film and Rock (Swampy-Southern Edge-Rural Rebellion.) Or try a search for “Folk” from our Keyword Alpha or Build-A-Search menus.

We want your productions to reflect current musical trends. Whether it’s a huge orchestra playing an emotional theme or a smaller group providing musical support for a comedic scene, CSS Music is here to make your shows sound great!

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