OST’s and the magic of music

Every k-drama fan is familiar with the term OST, which is short for ‘Original Soundtrack’ and used to refer to the soundtrack of Korean dramas. Like in any other field of the film entertainment industry, Music plays a big roll in the overall wonderful experience that is a K-drama. 

Music is endless magic. It’s the international language of love. Time and again music has proven to be this powerful thing that can evoke a wide range of emotions. It can make us feel peaceful, happy or exited. It makes our hearts beat faster in anticipation or suspense and also can have a calming effect. Have you ever muted a show or movie at a particular part? I do this all the time with scary scenes. It’s amazing how all of a sudden the scene only has about half the suspense or scary effect on me compared to with the music on. The same goes for any scene that pulls on our heartstrings. And this is no accident. Music for every film project is carefully chosen to enhance scenes emotionally. I feel like Korean drama soundtracks take this to a whole other level yet by having songs written and recorded specifically for each drama. The lyrics often depict the struggles or situations our characters are facing, as well as the emotional turmoil they are going through. How and by who the song is interpreted can also make all the difference in giving the song the right feel. Baek Ji Young, Gummy, Ali, 4Men, 2AM, Davichi, K.Will, Junsu, 2BiC are just some of my favorite singers or groups when it comes to OST interpretations.

Usually by episode 1 or 2 of any drama, we have associated its music with certain situations or with the interactions between certain characters within the drama without even realizing it. These moments or scenes will stay in our memory, only to be replayed time and again afterwards by simply listening to the soundtrack or snippets of a song from it. Music pulls us in and makes us feel like we are part of the drama. We may even imagine ourselves going to a ‘Noraebang’ – Korean Karaoke room that can be rented by the hour – like many of our favorite characters and belt out songs from our favorite dramas. And knowing that we would sound just as out of tune as many of them do will not deter us in the least bit. 

This is the beauty and magic of music. To make us dream and feel. To take us places, even if it’s just in our imagination. And last but not least, to give us strength, encouragement and comfort in everyday situations.

-DW

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