Scary Music

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    Jan 17, 2011 12:28 AM GMT
    There's always discussion of scary movies, scary books, and even scary pictures or art. But rarely do you find people talking about scary music.

    Scary music is one of the (many) things that fascinate me. Music is such an expressive art, moreso that almost another type of art, IMHO, because it can be almost purely emotional or cerebral, detached from anything resembling the real world.

    People love talking about music that makes them happy or sad, but rarely do they talk about music that scares them.

    So, knowing that this topic, like most of the other threads I start, will get just a couple posts before disappearing into the void, I thought I'd see if anyone else out there loves scary music. If you do, post examples if you can find them.

    And by scary, I mean it literally gives you goosebumps and churns your stomach kinda scary.

    Here's a few examples of my favorite scary music -- these should usually be listened to as loud as possible:









    As for the scores from scary films, one might think that's a big source of scary music, but that's not exactly true. Movie music has to do so much more than scare -- even in a scary movie. And often, music from scary movies is too cliche to be scary to me. I'm reminded of a line a comedian once used: "A movie so scary... it only has low notes."

    That said, I think the Close Encounters score by Johnny Williams is one of the scariest, even tho Close Encounters isn't primarily a scary movie.



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    Jan 17, 2011 3:43 AM GMT
    Good call on Godspeed. Also, you're generally correct about horror movie music not being scary. I think Ennio Morricone's work on John Carpenter's "The Thing" is a glaring exception though:



    I'm unironically a huge fan of Carpenter's scores too, although most aren't necessarily "scary." Zombi (yes like the Fulci movie) is a great modern-day two-piece influenced by the likes of Carpenter and Goblin, but like both, fails to bring the true creepy factor.

    The truly "scary" music that first comes to my mind comes from the industrial music progenitors. This stuff reaches the tipping point of insanity and is seething with emotional discomfort. The music could go anywhere and is completely anxiety-inducing. It's bizarre, but influential.

    I most immediately think of Minimal Man's "The Shroud Of" and really most anything by Throbbing Gristle.



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    Jan 17, 2011 3:53 AM GMT
    True. That is an uncanny omission. The only stuff that comes to mind immediately is Classical (Gorecki in particular,) as well as some tracks from Pink Floyd. Video game ambient soundtracks would be a good place to dig up some stuff, maybe some Nobuo Uematsu. Funny you should reference Godspeed--like Tool, I usually find their epic-length tracks strangely uplifting.
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    Jan 17, 2011 3:54 AM GMT
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    Jan 17, 2011 3:56 AM GMT
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    Jan 17, 2011 4:06 AM GMT
    I'd have to say the Saw movie theme song:

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    Jan 17, 2011 4:11 AM GMT
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    Jan 17, 2011 4:53 AM GMT
    A lot of stuff from Aphex Twin is pretty scary.



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    Jan 17, 2011 5:07 AM GMT
    Hearing this song, makes me sad to begin with, but then, also listening to the music, and feeling isolation, civilization falling, survival of the fittest, that to me, is scary.

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    Jan 17, 2011 5:08 AM GMT
    IsmeIvan said


    BIG THUMBS UP TO YOU!!!
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    Jan 17, 2011 5:15 AM GMT
    OH man. What a great topic.

    I'll pick two....for an old, but very classic movie..."The Thing..From Another World". This a classic score...by Dmitri Tiomkin. It still engenders chills up and down my spine. This is the trailer from the movie, but you''ll hear some of the music in it.

    The second is James Newton Howard's score from the movie "Signs". It is odd, spooky, yet has a grandeur as in "something else is going on and we don't understand it..."



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    Jan 17, 2011 6:26 AM GMT
    scary music videos?
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    Jan 18, 2011 5:55 AM GMT
    Ooers (as Tanky would say), I'd assumed this thread would die instantly, but instead got some great responses! Thanks everyone! And extra thanks to Vancouverite for the Aphex Twin heads up -- they're new to me -- and very creepy.
  • jperfit

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    Jan 18, 2011 6:11 AM GMT






    i cant believe no one picked the Excorcist theme song


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    Jan 18, 2011 6:14 AM GMT
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    Jan 18, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
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    Jan 18, 2011 6:29 AM GMT












    i could probably spend all day doing this, but here are a few of my favorites.
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    Jan 18, 2011 6:29 AM GMT
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    Jan 18, 2011 6:32 AM GMT


    best movie score of all time. Francis Ford Copolla's interpretation of Bram Stoker's Dracula was surreal. Beautiful and haunting.
  • jperfit

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    Jan 18, 2011 6:41 AM GMT
    And lets not forget about Mary Shaw


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    Jan 18, 2011 6:47 AM GMT
    the whole thing with scary music to me is that it brings me to a place where i want to do terrible things. like it turns me into a scary person. i cant listen to movie scores and feel that way but i can listen to like di6 or coil or whatever and really feel like...fucking dark as fuck. i can get caught up in immortal and darkthrone and really feel like it brings out something in me that i find to be scary. thats just me, though. i mostly listen to hip hop nowadays anyways, but i used to be fuckin cloaked in darkness. velvet blocking out the windows of my room in my parents house. fuh real! ha. i still think that shit is cool though, im just not that wack.
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    Jan 18, 2011 6:49 AM GMT
    Richie Hawtin (Plastikman) is a master of noise.

    This one is actually a very beautiful video.




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    Jan 18, 2011 6:51 AM GMT
    The requiem for a dream soundtrack always freaks me out.. very morbid!

  • jperfit

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    Jan 18, 2011 6:54 AM GMT
    And this of course this the best chant you could ever hear


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    Jan 18, 2011 6:57 AM GMT
    Jettx22 saidThe requiem for a dream soundtrack always freaks me out.. very morbid!



    excellent choice, I just watched this again the other nite. brilliant soundtrack.


    thank you to the OP for addressing this topic, I love all the music posted.