The Secret Behind the (Bland) Music in Marvel Movies

I’m sitting in the Sands Theatre at the sprawling Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore at the All That Matters Conference. On stage is Dave Jordan, CEO of Format Entertainment, the company that does music supervision for TV and movies. He’s talking about the challenges that come with trying to get the right song in a film.

I’m being bad. Instead of giving him my undivided attention, I’m sitting at the back the theatre with my laptop, looking for material to post on the website. But at the exact second Dave mentions a deal his company struck with Marvel Studios, I alighted on this article from The AV Club entitled “Why Marvel Movies Have Such Bland, Forgettable Music.”

[W]hat about the highest-grossing movie franchise of them all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a series encompassing Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor, Captain America,and more? Where’s the catchy music there? Just try whistling something from a recent Marvel movie. Can’t do it? That shouldn’t be surprising. Marvel’s movies are a study in how to use music in ways that are memorably forgettable. The YouTube channel Every Frame A Painting discusses the reasons behind this in an intriguing mini-documentary called “The Marvel Symphonic Universe.”

Read the entire article here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I should really get back to the conference.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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