Soundtracks that deliberately contrast with their content

Pic Source: Pexels

Music choice has the power to make or break content for a number of reasons. One example of this is dissonant sound, that is sound that is unharmonious or doesn’t fit with its setting. It is often used to elevate the emotions of viewers in film and TV, and it’s more common that you’d think. Let’s take a further look at some soundtracks that are used to contrast with their content.

Using Sound to Explore New Themes

Things like online games come in many different forms, from traditional to pop-culture themed. Here, the soundtracks and sound effects are used to make the games feel more immersive. That said, there’s one type of game that goes beyond the typical. This variety of online casino game is slingo bingo, which is a cross between slot games and bingo. Slingo utilises the rules of bingo, but with the interactive functionality and mechanisms of online slot games.

With this in mind, it is perhaps no surprise that the themes and soundtracks are often not what you’d expect from bingo games. Slingo Wolf Snowstorm, for example, is a far cry from bingo halls of old. With a rural snowscape setting, the soundtrack is akin to an epic adventure saga, with pulsing bass and marching drums. On the other hand, Slingo Cleopatra is set in the sand dunes of Ancient Egypt. This game features rolling hand drums and droning wind instruments. Even it’s sound effects evoke the spirit of the ancient civilisation – a musical tradition that is still preserved today.

Though it is certainly true that the soundtracks build upon the themes of the slingo games, the overall themes themselves contrast with the game mechanics. Traditionally, bingo didn’t have any soundtrack other than the sound of the cage spinning and the numbers being called. By utilising the transformative effect of sound, Slingo games can offer a unique twist on classic bingo that is both authentic and immersive.

New Perceptions of Pop Music

It goes without saying that minor keys have an emotion of sadness, whereas major keys feel more happy. In composition, harmonies can also have consonance or dissonance. Consonance is essentially when the harmony is resolved, or it sounds right. On the other hand, a dissonance is unresolved and provides a clash and overall tension to the music. The consistency of tempo can also contribute towards the feeling of harmony or tension. Typically, then, in horror film soundtracks you’ll most likely hear compositions in minor keys, with dissonance, and an unpredictable tempo.

That said, there are a few horror films that flip this trope on its head. Popular songs have been used in horror films since John Carpenter introduced Blue Öyster Cult’s (Don’t Fear) The Reaper into his 1978 cult classic. More recently, this contrast between popular music and horror has been honed by Jordan Peele. 90s hip hop track I Got 5 On It by Luniz, Beach Boys’ classic Good Vibrations, Flanagan and Allen’s Run Rabbit Run, and Stevie Wonder’s Fingertips are all utilised by Peele to contrast gory and challenging scenes.

A similar technique is used in the indie horror-thriller production Freakdog, otherwise known as Red Mist. Even in the trailer, this film uses loud, pulsing drum-and-bass house music that wouldn’t be out of place in a nightclub, before cutting to silence to create an unsettling atmosphere.