From Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries in Apocalypse Now, to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in The King’s Speech, the use of classical repertoire in film and television can create a powerful audio-visual effect. In fact, in many cases, it is the musical backing, specifically, that elevates some of Hollywood’s most memorable scenes to their iconic statuses.
But when so many scenes use the same works, the pieces lose significance, becoming formulaic and clichéd musical choices. And there’s no real need for this to be the case. The video above investigates this phenomenon of overusing classical music’s greatest hits, considering the role of the music supervisor and the value of using lesser-known works.