Sound matters

  • Voice. Vocal deliveries not only include the words being said, but how they are spoken as well. The tone, accent and emphasis of the vocal delivery can affect the meaning of the story. In a sense, the delivery itself holds meaning in the storytelling. There are several qualities that can carry meaning supporting the main story, such as tension, roughness, loudness, and pitch. The voice has a very intimate relationship with the words as they support each other in order to tell the story. Recently, technology advancement has given us with more possibilities to manipulate voice in order to effectively get the message across.
  • Music. Music is largely used to establish the mood and atmosphere, as the music we listen to shape our perception. McKee talks about how we can listen to music on three planes of music: sensuous, expressive and sheerly musical. When we are listening to music on the sensuous plane, we focus on the medium of the music produced, the quality, and the dynamics or intensity of the sound. While listening to music on the expressive plane, we relate to the music and determine the feelings the music evokes in us. While listening to music on sheerly musical plane, we look at the technicality of the music, focusing on details like rhythm and melody. These planes are helpful in choosing what music to use for your storytelling.
  • Sound effects. Sound effects can do many things, such as provide background for the story, serve as a transition, help in inducing a mood, and act as emotional stimulus. Acting as emotional stimulus was something I have never thought about but sound effects used as emotional stimulus can be very effective.
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