The Elements of Radio by Rubén Bermejo is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
THE ELEMENTS OF RADIO
The main set of elements involved in the
creation of a radio script are:
1. Human voice
3. Sound effects
Voice is a crucial element in radio. It can
provoke different reactions on the listener
depending on its characteristics.
If we do not take care of our voice and
the way we speak, we will not make it
easy for the listener to understand our
• Speak slowly. We are not in a hurry!
• Move your mouth as much as you can while
• Do not laugh! (if not on script) There are
people listening to you.
Music is very important. Its main aim is to
generate the appropriate atmosphere so as to
make language work on the listener and with
the desired objective.
Music does not transmit ideas or concrete
realities, instead it works on emotions. The
listener would understand and feel different
emotions depending on the images and
feelings generated by the music. It is one of
the most meaningful elements of the radio
• Grammatical: it joins different spaces and
identifies different contents and sections of
• Descriptive: when the music is part of the
• As content: in musical programmes.
Silence is a very useful resource to put
emphasis and atmosphere to the radio
message. However, there is usually not much
place for silence in radio scripts. Silence can
provide a message with tension, emotion and
very deep feelings.
• Expressive: to represent emotional states.
• Interactive: when doing interviews, the
interviewer does not speak to stimulate the
• Narrative: to represent a gap in time.
Sound effects are sounds produced by a
human voice or by other things (e.g. animals,
objects) which are neither words nor music.
Noises and effects provoke the listener to
imagine, thus they are very important in a
• Descriptive: effects are crucial in the process
of building a sound landscape.
THE ELEMENTS OF RADIO
Human voice, music, sound effects and silence
combine altogether and create
Radio listeners create images in their minds
with the help of these sound elements. A
radio piece makes your listeners imagine.