Parallel and Contrapuntal Sound

Usually the sound we hear in a film directly accompanies what we see on the screen; it is appropriate sound, it is the sound we expect. The music in Trainspotting matches what we see in the film and seems relevant to the characters, their lifestyles, and the pace of the film. In other words, the music works in parallel with the visual content of the film. However, this is not always the case. In both A Clockwork Orange (1971) and GoodFellas, horrific acts of violence are accompanied by bright, happy, energetic music rather than the sinister, threatening incidental music we may expect. This is an example of contrapuntal sound. The sound works against what we see on the screen. In these particular cases the effect is to emphasize the characters' casual, sometimes gleeful attitude to violence while also shocking the viewer.

Film Making

Film Making

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Responses

  • Mirin
    What is an example of contrapuntal sound?
    7 years ago

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