When I was 10-years-old, I learned how to use a CD player and listened to my dad’s first CD collection. In the 70′s my dad was a huge audiophile. We still have his old turntable and audio system sitting in my mom’s office.
Of all his CDs, my favorite one was an old Telarc called “Star Tracks.” The playlist was limited, but it had the theme songs to
some of the most popular movies ever made. The CD is scratched up now because I’ve played it so much.
Ever since then, my favorite thing to do after I watch a movie that I really like is to download its background instrumentals, or score. From scores by John Williams to Michael Giacchino to Ennio Morricone, there probably isn’t a popular movie theme song that can’t be found in my iTunes.
I bet you even have a popular movie theme song playing in your head now that you decided to read this blog on theme songs. Star Wars? Indiana Jones? Usually a great movie is coupled by even greater instrumentals.
Let’s take a listen to the score from Disney Pixar’s Ratatouille.
Ratatouille is about food and the idea that anyone can cook. Even little sewer rats. Every time I have the sudden urge to whip up something special in the kitchen, I set up my MacBook at the kitchen counter and have the entire Ratatouille soundtrack on repeat. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s even better when you’re cooking Italian food (the movie, however, is set in Paris). The music really does take you to another place and for some reason, my food tastes a lot better after I’ve had this Michael Giacchino composition blasting.
“Married Life” from Pixar’s Up, also by Michael Giacchino, is also one of my favorites.
The highest rated comment for this video summarized this song perfectly: “When a movie, in less than the first 5 minutes, can take you on the roller coaster of an entire lifetime that two people share together, and have you smiling one minute, sad the next, happy again, and very sad again; then use all this as the motivating theme throughout the movie, it is called magic.”
Last but not least, I cannot end this post without making a nod to my favorite composer John Williams. There’s a special place in my heart…or maybe in my ear…for Mr. Williams. First there was Jaws (1975) for which he received a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Then followed Superman (1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Harry Potter (2001-2004)…you get the picture. In my opinion, he’s basically the greatest composer of all time.
He also composed the soundtrack to another familiar movie: STAR WARS. It makes my geeky heart melt just thinking about it. I would link the famous main title song, but “The Imperial March” is just too badass to pass up.
My homework gets very intense every time my iTunes decides to play this on shuffle. And as one YouTuber plainly puts it, “Star Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars without this music.”
So why are these songs so memorable? You don’t have to speak or understand any particular language to be able to appreciate the content or to remember what movie the song was from. You hear it and you can picture in your head exactly how you felt at the movie theater or in front of your TV/computer at home.
Whether you want to cook with an attitude like me or pretend that you’re flying an X-wing through LA traffic, movie scores really do take your imagination to different places, which is why I have chosen music at the movies as my music therapy.
Post submitted by Crystal Maranan