Ladybridge Film Studies: Sound

Key terms for Sound in films

Terms in this set (...)

Ambient Sound
The background noise present in a scene e.g. traffic
Diegetic Sound
Sound within the film world that the characters & audience can hear; includes voices, sounds made by objects in the story, ambient sound, music coming from instruments in the story (a radio for example)
Non-diegetic Sound
Sound that only the audience can hear, NOT a part of the story world; includes narration, film score
Offscreen sound
Type of sound that is part of story but comes from an off-screen source
Foley sound
Means "created sound, manufactured sound"; an artist of this uses random objects to make sound effects for movies
Music specifically made for a film, usually non-diegetic, made by a composer, such as in "The Lord Of The Rings"
Pre-existing music put into a film, such as AC/DC in Iron Man 3
Sound perspective
Term used to describe how, when someone is far away, their voice is quieter, as opposed to when they are closer to the camera, their voice is louder
Parallel Sound
When the tone of the music matches the mood being shown on screen, e.g. uplifting music when the romantic couple finally kiss
Contrapuntal Sound
When the tone of the music does not match the mood being shown on screen, i.e. the music is 'counterpoint' to the images we are being shown. For example, a sound of a funfair and people laughing over a scene of a murderer stalking his victim would be contrapuntal
Sound bridge
Sound bridges are part of the continuity of a film: Often sound will continue from one scene to the next. The images may change but sound continues across frames. This creates a coherent world that is understandable to the viewer.
Aural Motif
A repeated sound that is associated with something, for example a character. Can be used in just one film or across many films in a series. It helps the audience recognise the genre.