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Thursday, November 14, 2013

"The Tell-Tale Heart" Soundtrack

Alex Foley
Blog Option 2

I chose to write this blog last because I do not consider myself particularly creative when it comes to choosing music. However, I have developed a soundtrack for Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Tell-tale Heart” based on instrumental songs from FX’s critically acclaimed show “American Horror Story”. These songs provide both creepy background music and a narrative inside the narrator’s head.

Song 1: Bucket of Blood (from :30)

“The Tell-tale Heart” begins with the narrator lamenting that “[the old man] had never wronged me. He had never given me insult (Poe).” The fact that the narrator immediately feels the need to justify himself shows his potential guilt and need to convince the reader that he is not crazy. This use of violins in this song provides an appropriate background for the narrator’s beginning.

Song 2: Twisted Nerve

The narrator continues his story by describing how he practiced entering the old man’s room “for seven long nights --every night just at midnight (Poe)”. This obsessive behavior and the prideful tone in which the narrator presents his story indicates that the narrator feels accomplished in his sneakiness. This song contains few instruments and is overpowered by a whistle. When listening to the song, it is easy to imaging the narrator stalking his prey.

Song 3: American Horror Story Theme

This song plays at the beginning of every episode of “American Horror Story”. This song is so jarring because it consists of a relatively stable melody interrupted by sudden and unexpected sharp sounds. When listening to this song, the reader can picture the narrator smothering the old man and making sure he is dead. This song also includes chainsaw-like noises throughout the song, which is appropriate for “The Tell-tale Heart” since the narrator “dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs (Poe).”

Song 4: For the Last Time We’ll Pray
Upon killing the old man, the narrator is approached by police officers. Feeling confident in his “work”, the narrator invites them to investigate his home. This song is mean to be played during the time the police are conducting their search. This song is less aggressive than the others, since at this time the narrator is calm and collected. 

Song 5: Haunted Music Box
Couldn't find a YouTube link but it's on iTunes

The climax of the story involves the narrator hearing the titular heart. He becomes quickly panicked, stating that “anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! (Poe)”. This song gets increasingly louder and more aggressive, mirroring the narrator’s mood as the sound of the heart gets louder and louder.

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