While I’ve been on the topic of scary stuff–it is Halloween month, after all–I realize that most of my focus has been on books, games and movies. I haven’t talked much about scary music. To be honest, that’s because I don’t know of much.
Probably the most unsettling music I ever heard was the main theme to–you guessed it–The Omen. (I know I keep citing it, but there’s a reason it’s my favorite horror movie.)
I can think of many frightening musical motifs from the Star Wars franchise, both movies and games, and there are some pieces of classical music that are quite effective at evoking fear. Of course, except in the last case, all the pieces I can think of are associated with some frightening character or scene, which makes it more difficult to assess how effective they are on their own.
I wonder: can a piece of music be really frightening by itself, or does it need to complement something else?