Explain how the music used in Titanic contributed to the understanding of the audience.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Horner's score of Cameron's film helps to enhance the understanding of the audience in a couple of ways.  The first is that the musical score is decidedly optimistic, filled with major chords and triumphant tones throughout the opening section of the film.  In representation of the perception of the boat and those on it, the film score embodies the optimism and sense of exuberance of the voyage.  The audience is also able to fully grasp how something seen through the lens of history in the worst of ways actually possessed such an optimistic beginning.  The presence of the iceberg helps to change both the timbre of the film as well as change the presence of the film's score, which pivots to a decidedly more dark and somber tone.  This helps to bring about the audience's understanding of how things will immediately change.  Horner's score seen in "Hard to Starboard" is a great representation of this, as the cadence of the song helps to bring about the brutal inevitability of seeing the iceberg in front of the boat and not being able to do anything about it.  This painful and yet horrific inevitability is a part of what makes the score a vehicle to contribute to the understanding of the audience.  The iconic song of "My Heart Will Go On" is another example of how the score enhances the understanding of the audience, a note of conclusion to the film that resonates well beyond that fateful night while being tethered to it.  In this, the score helps to increase the understanding of how the film can be viewed.