Music theory explored in award-winning TV series

By Jackie Bocanegra/reporter

Edwardo Perez, professor of English, music theorist and philosopher, dove into the relationship between music and narrative in the HBO television series “Game of Thrones,” a medieval fantasy about powerful people and their quest for supremacy, April 9 on NE Campus for the International Festival.

“When we hear the theme song of the ‘Game of Thrones’ everybody that watches the show understands it is the beginning of an episode or something big is about to happen,” Perez said. “When it comes to music, everybody assigns different feelings to different sounds.”

He said there are three theories to why we feel a certain way when it comes to music: the expression theory, arousal theory and association theory. All the theories explain how we feel music through emotion.

“No matter what language you speak, music impacts everybody through the sounds and rhymes we hear throughout our day,” NE student Spencer Static said.

It doesn’t matter what music people listen to, everybody has listened to music and songs that bring back memories, Perez said. Whether it’s a theme song or a song that is played on the radio, music brings different meanings to everybody.

The theme song is important to the show said NE student Shelby Dickinson, who is a fan of the show.

“One of the things I find fascinating about the relationship between music and narrative, especially for epic stories like ‘Game of Thrones,’ is how music often becomes its own character,” Perez said. “Like ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Lord of the Rings’, the themes in ‘Game of Thrones’ are iconic and when you hear them, you’re instantly transported to the narrative world.”