Sound: Jaws

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The movie I chose to examine with sound is the film "Jaws". I chose this film because it has one of the most famous sounds in it and this sound is produced by only two notes. The "duh-nuh" sound that is played when the shark is coming towards the boat or swimmers is a non-diegetic sound. It is not produced by something in the scene but is music that is played to trigger an emotion of fear. As the shark gets closer and closer the sound increases in speed and in intensity, forcing the audiences emotions to run faster and faster. The sound also becomes non literal because we don't see the instruments play in our minds with the music; the sound causes us to visualize danger coming and the shark, showing the importance of context in every scene. The outer orientation of this sound is indicating a specific situation; there is a shark in the water and it is coming closer and closer, or that danger is coming. Finally, the movie shows predictive sound as the music gets louder and louder when the shark gets closer and closer, you can assume something bad is about to happen just from the music.

The clip from Jaws I chose to show was one of the very first scenes when the girl goes swimming in the ocean and the shark comes. When she is first swimming the sound is very light and soft, but then as the shark slowly gets closer to her the sound gets more heavy and speeds up letting you know there is danger.

4 Comments

I really like this post and feel that it was a very good example to write about sound with. The Jaws tune is by far one of the most recognizable in film. Touching up on how predictive this tune actually is, a YouTube commenter for this actual video humorously states, "That's what you get for swimming when you clearly hear the music." Here, we have a complete stranger who's not in our class indirectly talking about how the music made the scene predictable. To me, that's pretty clear evidence that sound can help foreshadow upcoming events for viewers.

I agree with Jake, I really like your example choice of sound. It is such a prominent sound and almost everyone knows the sound/music of Jaws. It gives the audience an eerie feeling, and then when it intensifies, it makes it even more frightening and plays with both of the audience’s feelings and emotions. The song is the theme song so we know that the sound means something bad, the Shark, is coming, like the original poster said, predictive. I actually get really freaked out when I hear it; I probably watched the movie when I was way too young!

Where is the shark??? This is the first question in my mind when I watch this scene. I really like your example of sound choices. At the beginning,I would think this is a romantic movie if I didn't see the description.In 00:25,this is the music transition. I can tell that the girl is in danger while the music starts playing. Although we can't see the shark in this clip, but the sound does give us a hint: the shark is coming.And also I want to mention about the lighting choice even though it is not related to sound topic, but combination of those two component (dark and scare music) do a great job of scaring audience. I won't feel fear about watching this scene if the time is daytime, even though they have excellent sound choices.

This is a great example of choice of sound. The music/sound effect really gives the feeling that something is about to happen or there is about to be a shark attack. The level of anxiety raises and the action builds up because of the sounds. But, there are other ways to do this even without sounds. An example of that would be like the Paranormal Activity movies. In them whenever something is about to happen it gets really quiet, which is also a good technique to make people jump.

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This page contains a single entry by weere007 published on February 11, 2013 11:07 PM.

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