The Vacation Read: What does movie music mean to you?

I hope you guys are having fun with this week’s posts.  I’m probably at a museum with the boys this morning, and I always enjoy those moments when I help broaden their horizons in ways that aren’t about movies.  Sure, I consider Film Nerd 2.0 a major part of what I do here at HitFix, but if I’ve ever given you the impression that all I talk to them about is movies, that would be wrong.

Sports, for example, are a big part of Toshi’s world right now, and we’re just gearing up for the fall baseball season.  Both of the kids also really love anything that has to do with science, and I love watching them attack a new topic, desperate to learn.  That appetite for education is something that life tends to beat out of people at some point, but in kids, it is undimmed, vibrant, essential.

One of the things that Toshi is most curious about as we watch movies these days is the music that is created for films.  I went to a scoring session last week, and I wish I’d been able to bring him along.  He’s fascinated by the scores that he owns, and he plays them every time we’re in the car.  The “Star Wars” scores are big ones, of course, and he’s almost completely worn his “Empire Strikes Back” CD smooth from replaying “The Imperial March.”  As I’ve mentioned here before, he also loves “Grease” and “Singin’ In The Rain” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and he has no trouble buying into the reality of a movie musical.  I love that he and his little brother walk around the house singing the “Godzilla” theme, happy as can be.  Movie music means something to them.  It resonates with them.

But I know people who barely even hear movie music.  My own parents often tell me that they can’t “hear” a score.  They’re aware there is music in a film, but they don’t hear it as a discrete part of the process.  It’s background.  It’s just wallpaper to them.  And while I can’t imagine that, I can’t fault them for it, either.  To them, discussion of movie music is like having a conversation about the color in a movie.

Here’s my question for you today:  how aware are you of movie music, and what movie music would you describe as important or essential to you?  If you have specific memories of the music in films, I’d love to hear those memories.  If you work in film composition, I’d love to know what inspired you and got you to pursue that as a craft.  And if you’re one of those people who barely register a film’s score, can you explain to me what you hear when you’re watching a film?

I look forward to reading your responses to this and all the other topics this week, and I’m thanking you in advance for participating, even if you don’t normally participate.  If you guys don’t respond, this is going to be a very slow week here on the blog.  I’m counting on you, and I hope that by the time I return next Monday, I’ll know a lot more about you, and that I can use your answers to help make Motion/Captured even better.