Music in Episode 1 of “Stranger Things”

The series “Stranger Things” reveals a small town in the outback of the United States, living a quiet and peaceful life. The events of history unfold in the 80s, which is noticeable not only in the general style but also in the music that emphasizes the mood of that era. One of the unique tools for presenting the narrative of the series is music. The frightening and intense ambient in the opening part of the first episode goes hand in hand with the viewer in his feelings. Iconic songs “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane and “Africa” by Toto give a sense of time within the narrative. The music in “Stranger Things” is one of the main tools in the hands of the director for conveying the story most wholly and richly.

Not only the application of music itself is exciting but also how exactly the director uses it. In the first episode, we observe the variability of the sound design methods of the series. It ranges from a simple background sound to emphasize the music to diegetics, i.e., using sound within the world of the show itself. Diegetics meets in a scene at a police station, where the viewer hears music from the radio in the same way as the main character of the scene, the sheriff, hears it. Such a technique acts on the immersive feeling of the viewer, allowing him to experience the narrative much more robust and more personally. But the ambient, well-known to the cinema, immerses the viewer in no way worse than the diegetic approach. In most cases, one hears synthwave stylized to resemble a range of electro-music genres popular in the 80s show. Thus, the series from the very beginning demonstrates an uncommon approach to music and its use, giving you a unique viewing experience.

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