Often overlooked by many filmmakers, sound is one of the most important parts of a cinema experience. These quotes will help you understand the importance of sound and music and the key points to consider for your next film project

The sound and music are 50% of the entertainment in a movie.

George Lucas

Almost every picture is improved by a good musical score. To start with, music is a quick way to reach people emotionally. Over the years, movie music has developed so many clichés of its own that the audience immediately absorbs the intention of the moment: the music tells them, sometimes even in advance. Generally, that would be the sign of a bad score, but even bad scores work.

Sidney Lumet

I changed my thinking about musical accompaniment from the time Hayasaka Fumio began working with me as composer of my film scores. Up until that time film music was nothing more than accom­paniment – for a sad scene there was always sad music. This is the way most people use music, and it is ineffective. But from Drunken Angel onward, I have used light music for some key sad scenes, and my way of using music has differed from the norm – I don’t put it in where most people do. Working with Hayasaka, I began to think in terms of the counterpoint of sound and image as opposed to the union of sound and image.

Akira Kurosawa

I always shoot my movies with score as certainly part of the dialogue. Music is dialogue. People don’t think about it that way, but music is actually dialogue. And sometimes music is the final, finished, additional dialogue. Music can be one of the final characters in the film.

Ridley Scott

When you manage to express something with a look and the music instead of saying it with words or having the character speak, I think it’s a more complete work.

Sergio Leone

I’ve always felt that music is more expressive than dialogue. I’ve always said that my best dialogue and screenwriter is Ennio Morricone. Because, many times, it is more important a note or an orchestration than a line said.

Sergio Leone

The basis of the cinema’s appeal is emotional. Music’s appeal is to a great extent emotional too. To neglect music, I think, is to surrender, wilfully or not, a chance of progress in filmmaking.

Alfred Hitchcock

Silence is often very effective and its effect is heightened by the proper handling of the music before and after.

Alfred Hitchcock

I’ve never used John Williams to tell people how to feel. I use John Williams to enhance my vision and my thoughts emotionally from scene to scene.

Steven Spielberg

For me, music enhances the film and sometimes is a lifesaver to a scene – without music, the scene doesn’t work; with music, it does. If you have a good picture and you put in good music, it’s like pushing a winning hand at Poker. It’s a good feeling. If you have a mediocre picture or bad picture and you put in good music, you can help yourself a little bit, but you can’t save a bad film just with music.

Woody Allen

Sometimes, scenes are great without any music at all.

Ridley Scott

The Exorcist is amazing because it recognizes that silences can be as powerful as sound effects.

Frank Darabont

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