You can listen to a story without video, but you can’t watch a movie without sound. Stories are not just stories, they are not just words and phrases connected by a beginning, a middle, and an end, stories are a collection of sounds that speak through the language of man. The aspect of sound is primordial in the concept of story, and in the visual and auditory stories of today, sound has evolved to not only exist within its sonic concept, but also as a harmonious piece consisting of rhythmic sound waves — music.
Like a film director tells his actors what to do and how to do it, music directs us towards a certain emotion in a movie. It is because of this principal reason that sound, especially music, is what makes a movie great. It’s what brings a movie to life. Take for example Furious 7:
Sound And Emotions
Paul Walker’s farewell scene at the end of the movie carried certain emotions, but it was ultimately the music behind that scene that made those tears come out of your eyes. If you were to watch that same scene again without the music and without sound, your emotional reception wouldn’t be the same.
Another example are horror films. These types of movies rely on sound and music to give you the frightful ride you long to experience. Take for example a door creak, or those haunting footsteps from your favorite horror movie. Little sounds like that add what a facial emotion from a character can’t, and the same goes for the music that accompanies it. If you were to take the dark and chilling music from The Conjuring, or Saw 2, or any other horror film, and replace it with the soundtrack from Pirates of the Caribbean, they would all be completely different movies.
The Beauty Of Sound
The beauty about sound and music is that anything can be incorporated into a movie or put into rhythm. As composer Hans Zimmer said:
“Anything can become a musical sound. The wind on telegraph wires is a great sound; get it into your machine and play it and it becomes interesting.”
That door creek mentioned earlier or those footsteps, more than usual it comes to be that those sounds were generated from a completely different source.
A film legend, composer Ennio Morricone is most known for scoring critically-acclaimed films like Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. His combination of world sounds with instrumental music completely revolutionized the genre of Western films. Some of the sounds you hear you might think are instruments, are actually animal sounds.
"With The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, I used animal sounds - as you say, the coyote sound - so the sound of the animal became the main theme of the movie." - Ennio Morricone
Sound In Animated Films & Video Games
Nowhere in movies and television is sound more important than in animated films and video games. Where in a live-action movie most sounds are captured in conjunction with the footage, in an animated film, every particular sound has to be inserted to match the setting and feel of each scene.
Additionally, voice-actors are infused with the roles of completely bringing to life a character with just the sounds of their voice, completely removing the non-verbal cues that are present in live-action films.
It takes great music and a combination of sounds to bring a movie to life, with the magic being that any sound can be made into music. From a psychological perspective, sound and music is to a movie what sensation is to the mind.