Chapter 9

Sounds, Music and Sound Design

 A good sound track guides the viewer’s attention just as subtle as picture editing does, but its’ influence works on a more subconscious level. Quite often it is regarded as a natural accompaniment to the picture and not really thought about. This underestimates the possibilities of working with sound significantly.

For perceiving a story with all human senses, authenticity and the cohesion of all its parts, noises, atmospheric sounds, original sound bites and last but not least the music have great influence. Sound accentuates, structures and is able to connect different levels of time and space. A statement might be anticipated, supported, commented on or counter-acted by the sound used. Often sound creates continuity, but it can also surprise. But most of all sound provides the prevailing mood of a movie. A good sound design is able to achieve much more subtle suspense than a picture on its own can.

Narrative Functions

Sound can emphasize the simultaneousness of events and it can tie two events to each other by starting in the preceding sequence or by overlapping into the next.

In Tel Aviv someone is playing the piano in an apartment. The melancholic music still plays on in the next shot of a jeep driving through the snow. Our mind transfers the mood of the music as we see the hero deep in thought in his car. The thoughtfulness is ended abruptly by the threatening noise of an approaching helicopter.