These Sounds Help to Define Science Fiction

When you think of an iconic science-fiction movie, you likely picture a specific scene. It might be the Death Star blowing up, the Enterprise engaging in battle with a Klingon ship, or a game of Quidditch.

What makes this genre iconic is the composers and sound engineers that have developed incredible soundtracks and audio experiences while watching films.

Although most people instantly recognize music from Star Wars or Star Trek, almost all sci-fi films have one thing in common. The composers use synths to create the sounds that we perceive as associated with the future.

The Theremin Delivered a Mighty Performance

Electronic music and audio delivered an incredible performance in 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still. Although the film is somewhat campy by today’s standards, Bernard Herrmann created a fantastic score where the theremin sits on top of a whole orchestral arrangement.

The ambitious composition was so successful that the use of different electronic instruments started representing otherworldly characters and concepts. By 1956, Forbidden Planet became the first film to take place in space entirely.

The soundtrack would also become the first to be made entirely of electronic sounds.

It was such a revolutionary concept that there wasn’t a category for it when the Oscar nominations came out that year. The score was officially considered a series of electronic tonalities.

Forbidden Planet Set the Stage for Modern Sci-Fi

If we didn’t have Forbidden Planet, there wouldn’t have been Star Trek, Buck Rogers, Star Wars, and other iconic franchises. Even then, the idea of electronic music fell out of favor in the 1960s – until the synthesizer started making its rounds.

The various soundwaves this instrument generate creates basic sonic forms that can get orchestrated in virtually any way.

From vocoders to compressed microphones, the sounds of the synthesizer define science fiction. Grab some popcorn, start your favorite film, and enjoy the soundtrack!