Aaron Zigman: Main Title from The Notebook


Aaron Zigman composed the soundtrack for the 2004 romantic drama The Notebook. The film was directed by Nick Cassavetes and writing by Jeremy Leven. The film stars young lovers Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams whose story is told during the present day from a notebook read by an elderly man. 

The film won eight Teen Choice Awards, an MTV Movie Award and a Satellite Award. Although receiving mixed reviews, The Notebook has gained a cult following and is one of the most loved of its genre. 


The Music

The delicate score by Zigman is evident through the main title of the theme. Scored for a solo piano, Zigman utilises silences and poignant movements from the pianist. The atmosphere is nostalgic and the gentle flow of the accompanying hand supports the more ambiguous melody hand. The slow movement adds to the ideas of love and romance, with each note oozing meaning and presence within the bigger picture. 

The theme is played with some scenes of the start of the film with a man rowing a boat over a huge river to meet with a lady who watches him from afar. There are birds flying, still water and lots of trees as the man rows his boat. Nostalgia is a big theme throughout this film, and the atmosphere of this main title is no different. The notion of memories and remembering those who you love runs through to the beating heart of this piece. A quick reprise of the theme sees the main title close delicately, if with a tinge of sadness. 


Final Thoughts

The Main Title to The Notebook is a gentle journey through nostalgia, love and remembering those we love. The subtle variations in the melody and Zigman’s use of silence line the piece up to be tinged with a sense of sadness. This work sets the audience up with what we can perhaps discover in the film.


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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