Can you name your favorite video? Why do you like it so much? Is it the suspense and tension you feel at the peak of a horror movie? Is it the entertaining qualities of a Mr.Beast YouTube video? Any answer is equally valid - although if your favorite isn’t the film ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’, your judgment is in question.
We love watching videos because of the way that they make us feel, and this feeling is generated from several visual sources - the gesticulation from those delivering their lines, the camera angles while they do so, the editing skills of the team in post-production - all crucial nuances created in the visual experience.
What if you were told, however, that what you listen to during the viewing experience is one of the most pivotal facets of film-making. While you might think this is obvious, the music in a video is undeniably underappreciated for just how impactful it is.
Music makes us feel. If you’re reading this, you or someone you know probably has playlists separated into different ‘moods’. No one listens to Lewis Capaldi to happily reminisce about their summer - they do it to accompany their bad news or bad mood with some fitting music. So it makes total sense that music can guide the way that we feel. A 2012 study asked participants to identify how a particular song made them perceive their emotional state, and these participants often recognised a lift in mood during happy songs, and vice versa (Bergland, 2012). Ahmad (2015) echoes this sentiment, suggesting that 83.6% of people noted a lift in mood when listening to music. It isn’t as black and white as ‘happy music makes you happy’; as Bergland notes, some people take comfort in sad songs, and some people find happy songs overwhelming. Ultimately, though, it is clear that music changes a listener’s mood.
From as early as the 1930s, music has been implemented in film-making for this very purpose but, for a more recent example, check out this clip from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’:
The music is filled with pride, passion and drama, and this is reflected in the gestures and actions of Johnny Depp, and the general visual content of the scene. The two go hand-in-hand to offer the viewer sufficient evidence that they should be feeling a certain way while watching this. The theme song from ‘POTC’ is widely regarded as instrumental (if you’ll pardon the pun) in itself. In some cases, music offers more value to the viewing experience than that is visual. Check out this video by ‘Loud Son’ on YouTube:
In the opening scene of ‘The Lion King’, it is ambiguous, without music, as to how we should feel while viewing. Every piece of music that ‘Loud Son’ offers to complement the scene brings with it a different feeling, and this is a clear indication of just how integral music can be to visual content, and how much of an impact it can make.
This doesn’t just apply to films, however; music is a pivotal facet of any piece of content. Whether it’s a marketing video, a montage of your summer holiday, or a product demo, music elevates the viewing experience of a piece of content. 81% of marketers say that music enhances video engagement (Sanghavi, 2022). So how do we decide which music to pick? After all, music is so subjective, right? Well, how about you let someone else do the work for you. Download ‘Studio’ by MatchTune, and watch as the magic of A.I. suggests the right music for your video content, and offers you music to match this feeling.