Zach Attacks: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

Zach Delfs

Almost anyone can hear the Star Wars theme blaring in their head at the slightest mention or indication of the franchise, I find it annoyingly impressive how my brain -- a marvelous wonder of Humankind -- can memorise the entire Star Wars theme song, but can’t remember what I just told someone less than five minutes ago. This may be largely to repetition and a shameless love for each and every Star Wars film, but it’s also a testament to simply how amazing music is in everything we do.
Music sets the tone for everything it’s involved in: Movies, TV shows, video games, literally anything. The way that music touches your soul is amazing. Because it doesn’t just touch it. It slaps it into submission and makes you feel a certain way about a certain thing. Music is better at communicating emotions and ideas better than I am.
The way a song is incorporated into a work of media -- be it a video game or a movie -- is essentially the movie or game telling us how we’re supposed to feel about the character or situation. Remember the Imperial March tramping about with more bass than Meghan Trainor? Darth Vader is clearly the bad guy (until RotJ and the Prequels, where he’s just a misunderstood angsty man), and we’re told to be scared of all of the men in identical white plastic armor, which does essentially nothing anyway considering sentient teddy bears prove the, “sticks and stones may break my bones,” theory.
Music takes this amazing and impressive nature one step further: It makes you see images all on its own. You don’t even need a movie in front of you to see it -- my favorite example is Moscow, 1941 composed by Brian Balmages. The piece uses Russian folk songs and march-style compositions to create a sense of not only despair, but almost total hopelessness coupled with patriotism. Indicated by the title, the piece is written about the Russian capital city of Moscow during 1941, the height of World War II. I recommend listening to it for yourself to form your own images of the time through just the music itself.

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