The best soundtracks are the ones that dig deeper.
So often, we use music in games and films that barely scratches the surface: soundtracks that simply represent what we see.
But our eyes are already telling us what we see. Why not score what we don't see?
Let's say we have a see a battle in a fantasy-themed game. Our initial reaction could be to use epic music there. But we can make it more interesting by scoring what's buried underneath.
Is this a fight to save a loved one? Play emotional, tender music.
Is this a fight doomed to be lost? Play choral music.
Is this a fight to avenge a fallen friend? Play the friend's theme.
Is it a meaningless fight that shouldn't happen? Don't play music. Use silence.
I'm not saying we should always do this. Sometimes the most effective way is to be clear and straightforward. But every time we ask ourselves, "What music fits here?" we should also ask, "What is this really about?".
Do this, and you might stumble upon a hidden gem.
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