Editing requires the right amount of rhythm and pace and music plays a key role in the structure of how the story will be displayed. Music can trigger fear in horror, suspense in action, and uncertainty in drama movies by providing the right element of surprise to evoke the right responses. In most cases the music can make or break a scene if the scoring isn’t done properly. Just imagine the music in the horror movie “Friday the 13th” when Jason is about to attack his victim or when you hear the music but nothing happen but your still clutching to the edge of your seat.
And what about the various scenes in Star Wars when the music gives you an indication that Darth Vader is about to enter to scene (which also happens to be the theme music during the intro of the movie)…as you can imagine, the music dictates and creates a reference point for the visuals. I was once told by an Academy award winning editor to play any award winning movie with the music turned off and see if you get the same effect…point made. The only recollection I have of a movie where the scoring did not play a part in driving the narrative, was in the movie “No Country for Old Men” where there was only one scene that had music in the background.
Aside from that, scoring, sound design, and music are essential elements in catering to the emotions of that particular scene in the making of a movie production. In some cases, the music can make the director change the script to make a better marriage between the characters and the music. For example, in the 1972 movie entitled “Super Fly” director Gordon Parks jr. had to change several scenes in the script and the lead character’s (Ron O’Neal) wardrobe in the movie after (R.I.P.) Curtis Mayfield created the complete score based off the screenplay.
And who can forget the famous scoring of all the James Bond movies. In any form of film or video editing, any professional post production editor will always emphasis the importance of developing a pace to tell the story from the inciting incident to the plot, and music is the key component of putting it all together. Of course with technology at our fingertips we have the advantage of producing, directing, and scoring much easier then ever before but the key elements will always remain the same.