Many people learn about the significance of holidays, including Halloween, as a child. Most of these holidays would be incomplete without music. Music drives people’s emotions and often sets the stage when it comes to expectations. And music on Halloween is no different.
Halloween is dedicated to things that go bump in the night. It’s only complete with scary costumes, creepy movies, and more candy than anyone can consume. But it’s also the sounds of Halloween that give us all a fright. The spooky laugh at the end of Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller. The piercing strings that make up Psycho‘s score. These sounds can instantly cause your neck hairs to stand on end. They are a part of what makes music so important to Halloween.
Music Sets the Ambiance of Halloween
Music is a marked way to set the ambiance for Halloween. It plays an essential role in creating a feeling or sentiment. Try imagining a party, a sports game, or a movie without music. Its’ hard! That’s how integral music is to set the tone.
In this manner, it is also impossible to imagine Halloween without spooky sounds. Everything becomes less scary when there isn’t any music in the background. For example, some people think if the music from the movie Psycho is removed, it could be viewed as a comedy. The reality is that the musical sounds of Halloween usher in the scare factor year after year.
Music Drives the Imagination
Of course, when it comes to the scary moments of Halloween, your imagination plays an important role. Imagination is largely driven by musical tones. That’s because people tend to associate sights and sounds. Hearing a creaky door, a cat’s meow, or a witch’s laugh will easily conjure the respective images in the mind’s eye.
Music Triggers Memories of Past Halloweens
Music is a trigger to memories. Just as it can spark your imagination, music can take you back in time. When people think about Halloween, their expectations are driven by prior celebrations. In this manner, music is good for setting the stage.
Top Halloween Songs
When looking at the top Halloween songs, there are a few characteristics that they all share. This includes:
• Dissonance, which is two notes that have a generally unsettling sound
• Instrumentation and Timbre, which have a spooky reputation
• Ostinato, which is a feeling of suspense that is often seen in scary movies
Keeping these characteristics in mind, several Halloween songs simply rise above the rest. To set the mood during this spooky season, some of the top songs include:
Thriller, Michael Jackson, 1982: One of the greatest songs of all time, it always makes an appearance on Halloween.
Somebody’s Watching Me, Rockwell, 1984: This song gave lyrics and melody to a very creepy feeling – the act of being watched.
Monster Mash, Bobby Pickett, 1962: What could be more Halloween than a song about monsters having a party in a graveyard?
Witch Doctor, David Seville, 1958: David Seville and The Chipmunks rock this classic. “The Chipmunks” on this track are really Seville’s voice sped up to reproduce a varied tone.
Ghostbusters, Ray Parker, Jr, 1985: A memorable theme song to a beloved movie with the same name.
Purple People Eaters, Sheb Wooley, 1958: A novelty song about a flying monster.
I Put A Spell On You, Bette Midler, 1993: From the movie Hocus Pocus; a great movie at any age.
Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon, 1978: This heavily nostalgic song is very inspiring as it tells a story within the music.
Time Warp, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975: A Halloween masterpiece of all time, one of the most fun musicals that will live from generation to generation.
Witch Queen of New Orleans, Redbone, 1971: The melody, the voices & the musicality of the song make it a truly memorable Halloween jam.
The Important Role of Music in Halloween
It is impossible to ignore the critical role that music plays in our emotions and memories. It sparks our imaginations and takes us to unbelievable places. That’s why Halloween without music is like pizza without cheese. Without the unsettling sounds and creepy songs, Halloween would be just another Fall day.
For information about music lessons, pianos, and band instruments, please contact us at B Natural Pianos and Music School in Rockaway, NJ.