Deep Beethoven: Film’s Love of Allegretto

By  · Published on September 12th, 2017

Film theory and music theory combine in an interesting and in-depth look at Beethoven and movies.

If pop soundtracks are time capsules, classical scores are time machines. The emotions and history pent up in the orchestral arrangements of the past seep through even the most modern films when used correctly. Some films might use them ironically, but even then it’s better than yet another cover of “Hallelujah.”

Beethoven is a particular favorite among filmmakers (which isn’t surprising considering his popularity among…well, everyone), his Symphony No. 7 in specific. In this, the second movement, Allegretto, is one of the most recognizable pieces of composition ever set to page. Movies jumped on this as soon as 1934, continuing until today.

Editor Zach Dennis explores the sounds and usages of the piece in his deep-diving video essay. The piece’s history, its arrangement, and its effect on screen are all explored in painstaking detail – perfect for those of us obsessed with film music (that may or may not have an embarrassing amount of film scores looped on Spotify).

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).