Many outstanding movies have been greatly enhanced by outstanding music. Famous film scores by composers like John Willams, Enno Morrikone and John Barry have deservedly won a much wider audiences among listeners around the world.
And, as I've noted before, even political speeches can occasionally be enhanced by suitable background music (e.g. HERE).
But what do we hear from our television screens these days? Is there more music than there used to be? Is it louder, less appropriate and more poorly chosen than it used to be?
The recent BBC drama serialisation of Birdsong has already prompted me to complain (again) about 'the open-mouthed school of acting' (HERE). But just as irritating (to me at least) were the repetitive few bars of plinky-plonk piano music in the background (which you can sampleHERE for a few more days).
Music in factual and documentary films?
It got me wondering whether I'm alone in finding background music an annoying and unnecessary distraction to whatever it is we're trying to watch?
Nor is not just to be heard in dramas, as it now seems to be infecting more and more BBC factual programmes.
For example, viewers of Countryfile on BBC1 have to put up with it week after week, as in the following examples from a discussion of proposed badger-culling. :
And, as if viewers of the Frozen Planet might otherwise have objected to David Attenborough's commentary on the brilliant film footage, the producers apparently thought it necessary to impose the continual distraction of irrelevant and more or less continuous backgound music - as in this sequence on polar bear mating behaviour:
Or do the makers of these programmes really believe that irrelevant music adds significantly to our enjoyment and appreciation of the films?
If so, I'd very much like to know why and to see what evidence (if any) they have to support their case...
P.S. Aurorora borealis au musak
I'm very grateful to Keenan Malilk (@kenanmalik) for posting a link to this video on Twitter earlier today, along with a comment - "..annoying music but astounding video all the same" - that suggests I may not be alone in my dislike of pointless musical backgrounds to otherwise impressive film-footage: