Study Guide

The Shining Music

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The score of The Shining is likely to be one of the creepiest pieces of music you'll ever hear. In fact, be sure to throw it on next time you throw a Halloween party and see how people react. (They'll run out the door screaming.) And the score isn't written by just one person, but is like a Greatest Hits album for all of the composers who were really great at creating fear with their music.

For a really great sense of how this movie uses music to create insane suspense, just watch the opening drive that Jack Torrance makes up to the Overlook. Now mute that scene and play some classic road trip music—like maybe something from the Easy Rider soundtrack. Suddenly, a trip through the Rocky Mountains sounds kind of carefree… instead of like a certain death sentence.

Unfortunately, it's tough to track down a copy of the movie's soundtrack because Kubrick had some issues with licensing a lot of the music for sale. But that's the beauty of YouTube, folks. You can almost always find what you're looking for.

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