Music Used in Spirited Away Brings Emotions to the Audience

Vipavee Limsitthikul
Dr. Brett Farmer
Selected Cultural Studies I – Media Cultures
November 1, 2013

Music Used in Spirited Away Brings Emotions to the Audience
There are many elements in each film; however, music is one of most crucial elements in the film that helps us generate the feeling which makes us feel even more connected to the film as we are watching it (Pacific Cinematheque, 2). There are two types of sound in the music, diegetic and non-diegetic. Diegetic sound is the sound that is actually happening in the film such as dialogue and door slamming while non-diegetic is the opposite (Cohen, 253), (Pacific Cinematheque, 1). This essay will only focus on non-diegetic sound which is music. Spirited Away is one of the films that music is attached to many scenes, especially the music score that is played by only the musical instruments, which plays an important role to make the audience feel that connection towards the film.
In general, music in the opening credits is as an overture that intentionally provides us the theme of the film. During the film playing, the directors also put music in the scenes to suggest the upcoming events in the film both chronologically and non-chronogically as well as the information of the film such as the setting of a scene, progression of the plot, the characteristics of the protagonists and antagonists (Pacific Cinematheque, 1). Apart from the dialogues that the characters use in the film, music can also help the directors indicate the film’s genre by creating certain emotions through it. In other words, music is a significant source of emotion in the film (Cohen, 254). Furthermore, ethnic and cultural context of a film can be expressed by music (Pacific Cinematheque, 2).
All of the songs in Spirited Away are composed by Joe Hisaishi, one of the most renowned Japanese composers. Spirited Away’s music scores indicate the theme of love, loneliness, youth, and acceptance. Hisaishi states that “The Hollywood style of…

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