For generations, music has been harnessed to create atmosphere, build suspense, convey excitement and express all manner of emotion. From the origins of physical media to the era of streaming, music provides the soundtrack to the biggest moments in our lives.
But it’s also utilized sparingly across entertainment media – and has been for generations. The classic opera performance can be traced back hundreds of years and represents perhaps the most prominent early example of how music can be used to enhance traditional storytelling.
In this article, we will examine some of the ways that the power of music has been harnessed in more recent years to bring visual entertainment to life.
Film and TV
Modern cinematography would be nowhere without its scores and soundtracks, and today many of the world’s biggest movies are released to audiences alongside equally impressive soundscapes.
The use of music in modern film is not confined to a particular genre. For example, in horror, a slow, foreboding track can build tension and dread, and alert the viewer to the prospect of something surprising around the corner.
Romantic comedies utilize soundtracks to set the scene, provide light relief or maximize the impact of a particularly poignant moment in the story. Imagine your favorite RomCom from the last 20 years, and consider how much less entertaining it’d be without the music!
Action films also rely heavily on the power of music to bring characters to life, conveying heroism and villainy at the right moments – there really is a genre and song for every comic book character you can imagine!
It’s a similar story on the smaller screen, with classic soap opera and modern Netflix hits all utilizing big soundtracks as part of the story-telling. And with viewers increasingly watching on smaller screens, such as their phone or tablet, a big audio backing is crucial.
In fact, many soundtracks from the world of Film and TV are as fondly remembered as the pictures themselves, with distinguished critics like Pitchfork dedicating plenty of column inches to pay homage to some of the greatest of all time.
Today, music is utilized in practically everything we consume, with major brands buying the rights to famous songs and undiscovered gems to help them advertise their products, while other growing industries also utilizing the power of audio.
One emerging industry that is increasingly reliant on music in its products is online gaming, as developers strive to deliver more immersive, high-end experiences to players. And alongside more vivid graphics and greater depth of gameplay, music is being utilized to convey a particular mood or theme. Brands like Boomcasino work closely with the top games developers and providers, who utilize music and sound effects as an integral part of their growing range of games. The addition of the percussive background music in Jammin’ Jars, for example, really adds to the game’s theme. It’s important to capture themes to the greatest possible extent, especially as platforms in the sector compete for players’ attention in highly competitive marketplace.
As we can see, music in storytelling and visual media is nothing new and it has helped directors, writers and producers tell their stories for generations. But its growing footprint across new entertainment sectors is – and will continue to be – fascinating to monitor.