The Importance of Sound and Music

  Today, it has been a certain trend and fact that most films, animations, and TV in these days provide audiences with not only dynamic 3D visions but also realistic stereophonic sounds. In particular, dolby 7.1 surround sound which is added 2 channels up on to the existing 5 channels is used in a lot of films. So, it is feasible to give audiences even more upgraded extensity and the clear quality of sound which is optimised to 3D vision. In addition, it provides far and near of sound. Once <Avata> became a prelude of 3D films as well as <Toy Story 3> became a prelude of dolby 7.1 surround sound, these features are obvious trend in field of films. In relation to this, Most of computers coming out nowadays in the market contain such a nice sound card which can support not only of 5.1 audio but also 7.1 audio. So that people are able to enjoy watching films with a good sound system even at home easily.

  It can be expected that more and more good equipment of sound is coming out for people as time goes by. Because, most people think that sound is quite important element to watch a film. Sound is on a par with video in terms of the most significant element to able to manipulate and control during production and post-production. Too often filmmakers focus their all attention on video footage and ignore the quality of their sound. Interestingly enough, audience seems to be more annoyed by poor sound quality than by poor cinematography. That is why people are very eager to prefer good sound system and right sound. The importance of sound in your production is paramount. Cheap sounds pull your audience out of the realism of the experience. This is why high quality sounds should be collected at any price.1

  Music guides our emotions in a film. Think of movies like Psycho, Indiana Jones, Super Fly, and Lost. The music in those films serve as a powerful guide as to how you should feel about what is happening on the screen. It has its own language that can signal a certain theme, a mood, a quality in a particular character in a film. Certain kinds of instruments can be used to create this effect. The instruments can evoke a certain era or time period, culture, country.

  Music in film is also about the imagery. Intimate drawing rooms, beer parties, a coronation, sweeping landscape vistas, a foggy road – all of these scenes will require the music to adapt and fit what the audience sees on screen and to help tell the story.2

  Music and sound are an integral part of film and TV production. It helps tell the story, guide the audience and evoke mood. It has a profound impact on film and TV. It is used to enhance drama and to help illustrate the emotional content in the story. It is also used to manipulate the feelings and sentiments of viewers.


  1. Lights Film School. (2011). How to Create Professional “Sounding” Films. Available: Last accessed 9th Dec 2011.
  2. Victoria Jeffrey . (2008). The role of sound, music and sound effect in the film industry . Available: Last accessed 9th Dec 2011          



Sound & Noise

  The concept of noise sound or noise music is no longer difficult to understand but, listening to noise music is still difficult due to most people are used to popular music. Mostly, we can keep time with music as well as our body will be able to be in rhythm easily. However, music which consists of noise sound is hard to be synchronized with people. But even so, the reason why noise sound is attractive is that it enables people to explore new sound and exceeds the limit of musical instruments. A turning point of perceiving noise as sound is not at public performance. When people take an interest in origination of sound, it can be more individual and direct. 1      

  I would like to talk about a film “Sound of Noise” as an instance. An accident happens, as soon as this film starts. Sanna and Magnus scorched off on a ben with a car accident. There is harmonious and unique music, when Magnus plays the drum in the back of ben and Sanna drives very roughly with little and diverse sounds such as the sound of changing gears, vibrating of handle and car, the sound of friction between a car tyre and road surface. Music for them is different from music what we usually listen. They call themselves that they are music terrorists. Because, they think that noise and sound which is ignored by people can be good music and sound.  

  They present music what they want to play with various sounds generated from things and drum sound in this film. Being music they try to let the world hear presents events which are going to happen and enjoyment of hearing. Sanna and Magnus call together other colleagues and plan what they are carrying out with a big scenario which is based on music what they want in this film.

  The reason why they are called “terrorists” is that they are not fear to play the drum anywhere and carry out grandly in this film. In an operation room, they beat celebrity’s belly with diverse sound of medical equipment. It makes unique sound. They break into the bank for the second performance. They use the sound of stamp, calculations, and money which is chopped by paper shredder to perform for customers who became hostages. They break concrete road through using construction equipment in front of the orchestra auditorium for the third performance. There is a climax, when they break into a power plant. They show their own performance on the power pole.

  What the most impressive about this film is that the sound which is regarded as noise can be amazing music. When working with props, record extra performances that can later be combined to create sounds that are bigger, longer, or more complex than the original sound. Be sure to vary the performance of each sound. The idea here is that each sound is unique by itself but, when combined with other unique sounds, can create something spectacular. 2        


  1. Kim Jong Hyuk. (2010). Powerfull Noise Sound. Available: Last accessed 04th Dec 2011
  2. Ric Viers. (2008). Source Material. In: Ric Viers The Sound Effects Bible. The United States of America: Michael Wiese Productions. p74

Sound Design

  The word of sound design could be quite strange. Design is the process, planning, and making detailed drawings of something. The combination between design and sound gives synesthetic meanings to us. Sound design makes this kind of synesthesia be linked with diverse media mediums.

  The actual term “sound design” was introduced by Murch as well as to describe his innovative sound work on Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 film about the Vietnam War, Apocalypse Now. 1 From then on, sound design has been used in various fields of media such as TV, commercial films, and films. For instance, sound design helps the image of broadcasting station in the field of TV. Through using diverse music such as title music, background music, and effective music so on, it plays an important role in developing the image from news to most programme. Moreover, even though individual sounds are integrated in to one sound, audience are prone to accept entire sound. So that the role of sound in films is quite significant in terms of making the flow of story goes well.     

  I read a book which name is “Sound Design” written by David Sonnenschein. Before reading the book, I had a personal bias that sound design is only for musicians due to the term of sound design sounded unfamiliar and being expert to me. However, once I finished reading phases of sound design which are described in detail in this book, I think that anyone can be a sound designer even they do not know how to make the quarter note. The reason is that sound design is referred to put music on the right places rather than compose music. Namely, it adjusts difference of views between a director and composer.

  However, sound design is often put aside by audiences and producers. When audiences watch TV and films, they do not tend to think of sound. Even though sound is able to double effects from image, it is quite hard that this fact can be perceived by audiences. Also, some producers take on a sound designer at the point that video and music has already been made so as to save money for designing sound. In this case, there might be discord between music which was already made and video. In addition, it is not feasible to demand creative sounds and insert on to images. Despite being in this adverse circumstance, sound designer do their best to double image’s effects.      

  I thought sound design only acts as complement for video. To illustrate, if we use original sound which was recorded firstly, the quality of image could be lower when we make films or motion pictures. However, video consist of image and sound. Even though image is excellent, a perfect video cannot be made as long as sound does not support it. The book “Sound Design” made me rethink about sound and perceive a potential of sound.         

  I always felt that sound was as important as image, not only from an expressive point of view as the artist, but also from the audience’s point of view of having a complete multi-sensory experience. 2


  1. William Whittington. (2007). Sound Design: Origins and Influences. In: William Whittington Sound Design & Science Fiction. The United States of America: The University of Texax Press. p21
  2. Miguel Isaza. (2010). David Sonnenschein Present “Sound Design for Prod”, New Webinar Series [Exclusive Q&A]. Available:    Last accessed 29th Nov 2011.