The history of music is as old as humanity itself. Archaeologists have found primitive flutes made of bone and ivory dating back as far as 43,000 years old. It’s likely that the first musical instrument was the voice, which can reproduce a vast array of sounds, but we may never know exactly when did us humans started organising piece of sounds and calling it music. Although, we may already know why it has started in the first place, and it still the same reason as why we have been making music since nowadays.
The film industry often uses music to intentionally bend their viewers to emotional responses through its scenes. It takes only a semitone to switch from a dark and mysterious minor chord with major seventh ( e.g : Dm7 ) to a major seventh chord ( e.g : D7 ) full of joy and hope.
Hans Zimmer, famous for his work on Pirates of Caribbean, Batman: The Dark Knight, The Lion king, and many other critically acclaimed film scores, manipulates these feelings marvellously well. You don’t even notice how he subtlety leads you to a roller coaster of emotions through its orchestral grandness at Interstellar (2014).
But be aware that such manipulative power is subjected to the use of either beneficial or malicious forms. In the medieval era, music and poetry was commonly used as medium to pass histories and thoughts over the masses. Such practice was proving to be an promising way to spread any type of idea, thus, kings and clergies started paying artists to change the public opinion on someone or something towards their benefit. Obviously, the fact that most of the people didn’t had education back then, led to an easier thought control. Even though, nowadays the history repeats itself trough all media systems in more elaborated ways and for diverse purposes.
There is a reason why pop music is only getting dumber thru time: with all the information at the tip of our fingers we may believe that the world has never looked as bad. Even though, data shows that the world is actually getting better, and we’ve never had such low amount of wars happening at the same in quite some time. Still, anxiety and depression became the disease of the modernity. People want a refuge, a cosy and warm place where they can rest their thoughts and relief the pressure caused by their daily basis. Pop music, with its short intros, uplifting beats, predictable melodic lines and self-help lyrics, leads the public to that exact safe heaven that they’ve been unconsciously looking for. And, wether we like this genre or not, it still serves the most important reason why we all have been making music so far: reach people’s feelings.