The music used in porn(ographic) movies has walked a long and meandering path between early American pornography and today's experiences. Every kind of music has been featured in porn, from Classical to Techno, but the most-beloved of all is the funk.

At one time, that time being the 1970s, American video pornography featured some of the heaviest funk grooves ever laid down on wax. Serious fuzz and echo was embedded into your subconscious while breasts bounced and pricks spurted. This leads to the traditional a capella imitation of porn music: "BOWMP CHICKA BOWMP BOWMP (waka chika waka chika)." On the other hand, the alternate option was bad disco. (Is there any other kind? Yes. But it never seemed to make it into pornography.)

The porn of today is most likely to be backed by Techno or Rock and Roll. The quality is generally a lot better due to the digital revolution which has done as much (if not more) for making video production inexpensive as video did during the age of film. Video let anyone and their brother (or other relative) make porn; Digital lets them make quality porn. The music is no different, but remember, just because you can make quality product doesn't mean you will. The down side of easy digital music is that it's easy to make crap, too.

It's worth mentioning that there have been various pornographic musicals as well, including an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. The mind reels.

Probably the best-known song which originated in the soundtrack of a "pornographic movie" is Mahna Mahna, Piero Umiliani's contribution to the Swedish film, Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso, or Sweden: Heaven and Hell3. Its first appearance as a pure audio recording appears on the film's apparent soundtrack, also titled Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso.4

Occasionally, the catbox delivers information that must be added to a writeup. Such is Transitional Man's assertion that the film Emmanuelle utilized music from King Crimson. Looking this up on the IMDB, I find the following passage:

Some of this film's score stole King Crimson's tune called "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part 2", which was composed by the band's leader Robert Fripp. A lawsuit ensued and was settled out of court.1

In addition, an interview2 turned up the following morsel from Fripp himself:

Interestingly, both graffiti and pornography began roughly at the same time. As I understand it they both began in the early '70s. Both would be an expression of freedom, nominally, but terribly off course. Funny, "Emmanuelle," which was one of the first so-called acceptable soft-core films stole music from "Larks Tongues In Aspic." Which became a nice out-of-court settlement (laughs).

Most porn music borrows heavily from existing music, and is frequently notable only for its lack of imagination, not for wandering off with complete songs.

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