Electronic Music And Mental Illness In Cinema.

Celluloid Wicker Man

This article contains narrative spoilers.

From its very earliest occurrences, electronic instrumentation and music has been used in cinema to signpost various aspects of mental health problems and issues within diegetic characters.  Alongside its uses in creating alien worlds, electronic instrumentation seems to, at least in the eyes of the films’ creators, have an ability to go deep within the human psyche as well as far out into space.  The overall idea seems to stem from a difference of origin between classical music and any other music; the overt, albeit contradictory, naturalism of classical instruments being too grounded in the natural harmony of life to really provide the aural anguish of mental illness in its various guises.  Something aesthetically manmade is required.

Perhaps even more ironically, the first handful of occurrences of electronic instrumentation happen around the time when Hollywood in particular had really defined its nondiegetic aural soundworlds through…

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