Sound terminology
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  • 1. SOUND AND MEANING Chrissie Bishop
  • 2. DIEGETIC Sound whose source is visible on the screen or whose source is implied to be present by the action of the film: • Voices of characters • Sounds made by objects in the story • Music represented as coming from instruments in the story space Diegetic sound is any sound presented as originated from source within the film's world
  • 3. NON-DIEGETIC Sound whose source is neither visible on the screen nor has been implied to be present in the action: • Narrator's commentary • Sound effects which is added for the dramatic effect • Mood music Non-diegetic sound is represented as coming from the a source outside story space
  • 4. SYNCHRONOUS Sound that appears to be matched to certain movements occurring in the scene, for example when footsteps correspond to feet walking in sync.
  • 5. ASYNCHRONOUS Are not matched with a visible source of the sound on screen. For example, the background sound of an ambulance's siren while the foreground sound and image portrays an arguing couple.
  • 6. SOUND EFFECTS A sound other than speech or music made artificially for use in a play, movie, or other broadcast production.
  • 7. SOUND MOTIF A sound effect or combination of sound effects that are associated with a particular character, setting, situation or idea through the film.
  • 8. SOUND BRIDGE When the scene begins with the carry-over sound from the previous scene before the new sound begins.
  • 9. DIALOGUE Conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, movie or TV series.
  • 10. VOICEOVER The voice of an unseen narrator, or of an onscreen character not seen speaking, in a movie or a television broadcast.
  • 11. MODE OF ADDRESS / DIRECT ADDRESS How the text speaks to the audience and involves them. It also involves how a text influences an audience to respond to a text in a certain way.
  • 12. SOUND PERSPECTIVE A sound’s position in space as perceived by the viewer given by volume, timbre, and pitch.
  • 13. SCORE / INCIDENTAL MUSIC Original music written specifically to accompany a film, often played in the background.
  • 14. THEMES AND STINGS Themes is music that always accompanies the particular TV show or even a particular character (eg James Bond) and suits its mood or themes. Stings are short bursts of music, originally used in TV and radio to bump together different sections and chapters of a show.
  • 15. AMBIENT SOUND Ambient sound means the background sounds which are present in a scene or location. Common ambient sounds include wind, water, birds, crowds, office noises, traffic, etc.