Understanding the elements of sound and moving image
Elements of Sound
and Moving Image
Moving Image Production
A moving image production, could be classified as a film, television
programme, documentary, television advert, music video or any type of
production that involves a sequence of images moving along to make a full
production (similar to a flipbook). Every single year more than 323 new
releases in theatres every year, it is important that they are organised in
categories to suit every individual’s needs, these categories are called
‘Genres’. There are many different film genres including:
Slice of Life
Since the beginning of film, moving image productions have been
accompanied with music (soundtrack), soundtrack is made for the moving
image (film) as without the sound, a motion picture would quickly become
confusing, boring and pointless.
There are different kinds of sound used in film (moving image), and each
kind of sound had its own use:
Diegetic Sounds- Sounds from your location
Non-Diegetic Sounds – Music added through editing (usually to express
Foley Sounds- Pre-recorded natural sounds
Digital sounds- sounds made using computer (used in fantasy movies and
These mechanisms of sounds are constantly used in the production and
purpose of moving images. Soundtracks are usually added into the moving
image, during the editing process, this is done in order to get a more
accurate and high quality outcome. This means that the people who make
soundtracks to moving images must be skilled in certain areas:
Must be able to choose the correct equipment and use microphones
Must be able to mix and edit audio correctly
Must be able to prepare and create sound in a studio or filming location to
a professional standard
There are different types of sounds to be created, such as:
Analysis of Musical Ingredients
Composers can use a number of different musical element to achieve a
certain mood or emotion through a soundtrack, these can include:
The composition of the instruments used in a track.
Tempo is the speed an instrument or sequence should or is played in a
Dynamics is the contrast of the volume of instruments or vocals in a track.
a Sequence or flow of music through a certain duration
A melody is a sequence or a single note that is musically endearing
Texture is the feel of an instrument or vocal e.g. (whether it is rough or
The use of keys at the same time, a key sets the tone of the music
the basic layout or form of a track, like things that are repeated or
technology used to devise a track, like a keyboard
The Role of Music: The Underscore acts as an
'unspoken language' and can take many forms,
this is the kind of music that induces mood or experience e.g (fast up-tempo music for
an action scene).
This is music that has the power to evoke an emotion e.g (violins for sad scenes)
This is music that has been inspired or Interpreted by other artists or pieces e.g (Jason
Derulo 'Don’twant to go home')
Dramatic use to enhance tension
This can be an accumulation of a certain instrument, instrumentals or even vocals that
is played in a scene where tension is accumulating.
Comic Music Literal
Comic music is music that merges or contains elements that are comical to make a
piece that has some comedy (this can be done with use of dialogue or sound effects, it
is a popular strategy in musicals)
Music To Enhance Emotional Impact
This is music that adds on the emotional impact in an emotional scene.
The Use Of Lietmotifs
This is music that is specific to a character or theme, almost like a product with its logo
e.g. (Star wars, Dark Vador Music).
This is music that occurs in a certain type of scene.
To recording these sounds, composers use microphones, there are many
different types of microphones available for different uses.
Tie Clip (Lavier)
PZM (pressure zone microphone)
Polar Patterns –
Figure of 8