The paraphrasing in film music is the kind of music whose character derives directly from the character of the image content.
The paraphrasing in the film music is a film music technique in which the music is tuned directly to the message of the image and their mood supports or even reinforced. That is, the character of the music derives directly from the character of the image. This technique was already used in the history of film music in the silent era and reached its peak in Mickey Mousing.
The musicologist Hans Jörg Pauli defines paraphrasing as follows:
“… a music whose character derives directly from the character of the pictures, from the picture content.”
The use of paraphrasing in film music gives the audience a clear message that directly matches the mood of the picture shown. Compared to the counterpointing technique, there is no room for interpretation for the viewer. The effect of the music is clear here. Thus, the statement of the music directs the viewer in an emotionally clear direction. The paraphrasing is thus synchronous in terms of tempo, as well as complementary or reinforcing to emotional statement of the image shown.
Example 1 – Dramatic
In the following scene from the fan movie Avengers: Crossed Worlds, enemies approach and there is a fierce fight for life and death. The music reflects the dramatic mood of the picture. Here you can hear fighting drums, choir and accented strings as well as winds.
Example 2 – Sad
In the next scene, also from the same film, the visual language clearly shows a temporary failure of the heroes. Everything runs in slow motion and we see pain-pained faces. The music supports this by slowing down a lot and listening to long and sad melodies.
Conclusion – paraphrasing film music
The film composer has various techniques for composing. One of them is paraphrasing. In paraphrasing, the mood of the music is in sync with the mood of the picture. Nowadays, many examples of this technique of composition can be found in commercial film productions as well as in advertising.