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Music is like magic. It can sweep you off your feet and spirit you away to places you never thought possible: it can serve as a teleportation device, achieve time travel, and let us read minds. Some pieces of music exist for their own sake, like Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead, while others accompany different forms of media: ballets such as The Nutcracker and operas like La Bohème are instantly recognizable for their grandiose and immersive scores. For a moment in time, audiences can really believe that they are traveling to a magical world with Clara, and even without the stage one can see in their mind’s eye a looming and grave island of mortality… and it’s thanks to the music. This paper looks to examine the influential effects of music from a psychological perspective through the lens of film. Looking at three classic horror movies, Psycho, Halloween, and Scream, I aim to illustrate how music plays with our expectations to influence our perceptions of the screen and beyond.
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Herzog, Clare Ellen, "Getting Under Your Skin Until You Jump Out of It: The Psychological Effects of Music on The Experience of Film" (2022). Senior Projects Spring 2022. 167.
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