In my opinion, a good soundtrack is very important for a TV show, as it signals the tone of the scene and creates the right atmosphere, such as increasing tension or making the audience feel emotional. Whilst soundtrack can improve a moment, it can also ruin it when the music is inappropriate, too loud, or unnecessary.
Personally, I have found that a lot of South Korean dramas have very good soundtracks as they really fit the tone of the drama. I often genuinely enjoy listening to them, and end up playing them endlessly, both whilst the drama is airing, and after. In fact, there have been shows that I haven’t properly watched but still love the soundtrack because the songs are just so good, for example, the soundtracks from It’s Okay, It’s Love.
I often genuinely enjoy listening to South Korean drama soundtracks, and end up playing them endlessly, both whilst the drama is airing, and after
One example of a great soundtrack from a Korean drama is ‘Feeling,’ by the K-Pop group, April. This is from the drama Extraordinary You, which is about a student who discovers that she is a character in a comic book. ‘Feeling’ is a great upbeat track that really fitted the bright and confident personality of the main character. Another great soundtrack is ‘Flower’, from Crash Landing on You, by Yoon Mirae, who has sung soundtracks for other Korean dramas too. This soundtrack is perfect for all the sad but sweet moments of the drama. Finally, ‘Once Again,’ by Mad Clown and Kim Na Young, is a cool soundtrack from Descendants of the Sun, which I think really suits the second male and female lead, who are both in the army.
Korean dramas have definitely influenced my music taste, as after I started watching them, a good proportion of the songs that I listen to are from Korean drama. Whilst soundtracks help a drama, there have also been dramas that have led me to like a soundtrack that I wouldn’t usually like the style of. For example, the song ‘Let Me Out,’ by Nu’Est, is too noisy for my usual liking. However, I think it fits the drama, A Korean Odyssey, because it reminds me of the protagonist, as he is locked up at the beginning of the drama (and metaphorically continues to be locked, throughout it). There are also a lot of Korean drama soundtracks that include rapping, which I rarely listen to otherwise.
‘Feeling’ is a great upbeat track that really fitted the bright and confident personality of the main character
Sometimes, I only grow to appreciate soundtracks after re-listening to them, after watching the drama. For example, initially, I didn’t think much of the song ‘First Love’, from Extraordinary You. However, over time, I grew to really like the song, and searching up the lyrics, I felt it really suited the characters. I also liked how they used two versions of the song; the original is by Epitone Project and feels more suited to the second lead (who I won’t reveal!), and the version by Sondia feels happier and more suited to the main couple.
Although I enjoy the soundtracks of Korean dramas, sometimes they are well-suited to a drama, but they are not my favourite, because the music is not suited to my personal taste. For example, most of the songs from Reply 1988 I wouldn’t really listen to, unless I wanted to reminisce about the drama. However, the soundtrack was perfect for the drama because it included remakes of old songs, to fit the era that the show was set in. This helped to create a feeling of nostalgia, making it an effective soundtrack.
All the best soundtracks take me back to the drama and bring specific scenes to mind
I have also discovered soundtracks from Chinese dramas that have really suited the show, for example, the theme song for the drama Over Run Over, which is called ‘True Lovers’. The lyrics link to the drama because the singer wonders who they’ll meet if they return to the past, and the drama is about time travelling. At the same time, the lyrics are universal, as we all find ourselves imagining the different pathways that we could’ve taken.
There really are some amazing soundtracks out there, so it would be impossible for me to say which drama’s soundtrack is my favourite. Soundtracks from the same drama are also not all equally as good, sometimes. However, all the best ones take me back to the drama and bring specific scenes to mind.