SOUND & MUSIC
To analyse use of sound & music in films.
To introduce terminology for sound & music.
• What is the difference between diegetic and nondiegetic sounds?
Types of sound
• Diegetic Sound is sound which is part of the
film world we are watching.
• Non-diegetic sound is sound which we do not
recognise as part of the film world.
• Sound where the source is visible on the screen or
where the source is implied to be present by the
action of the film.
1. voices of characters
2. sounds made by objects in the story (eg. door slam)
3. music represented as coming from instruments that are
visible or the radio, character’s headphones.
(Diegetic sound can be either on screen OR off screen
depending on whether its source is within the frame or
outside the frame.)
• Sound whose source is neither visible on the
screen nor has been implied to be present in the
• Non-diegetic sound comes from a source outside
the story space:
1. narrator's commentary
2. sound effects which is added for the dramatic
3. mood music
1. Make brief notes describing as many sounds
as possible that you can hear.
2. Choose 3 sounds and think about their effect
on the film clip
• Watch from 1:27 – first without sound, then
• What does sound add or take away from the
• A sound bridge is when sound from one scene
will often continue onto the next scene.
• This is known as a sound bridge and this
creates a smooth transition from one scene to
• Describe the sound bridge in this scene from
Parallel and Contrapuntal sound
• When we watch a film, the sound that we
hear usually complements the image that we
see on the cinema screen. This is parallel
• Contrapuntal sound is when the sound does
not fit with the image.
Theme and sting
• Sting – musical punctuation. Can highlight a
moment, add emphasis.
• Theme – A key passage of music linked to the
subject matter/style of the film. They help
create the mood. Often music of opening and
• Sound Motif – sound associated with a
• Incidental music is often "background"
music, and adds atmosphere to the action.
• It serves as a kind of establishing shot but for
sound, setting scene and showing transition.
• The use of music to punctuate a specific event
of action, or to provide a sound background.
• Ambient sound or ambient audio means the
background sounds which are present in a scene or
location. Common ambient sounds include
wind, water, birds, crowds, office noises, traffic, etc.
• Ambient sound is very important in video and film
work. It performs a number of functions including:
1. Providing audio continuity between shots.
2. Preventing an unnatural silence when no other
sound is present.
3. Establishing or reinforcing the mood.
Mode of Address
• The way in which the audience in addressed by
speech - this is a key factor in establishing the
mood and tone of a programme, for example, by
being friendly, authoritative and fun as
o Confiding or secretive
• What do we know? Match the cards.
What is the function of sound?
Considering these 8 aspects of sound, what is the
function of each?
• Incidental music
• Ambient sound
• Sound effects (FX)