January 18, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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AS Media Studies: TV Drama Sound: Micro Elements

Sound in TV Drama • Sound has the power to create certain moods, to create character and can signal events that are about to happen. • The power of music to manipulate audiences emotions has always been acknowledge in television and film.

Sound in TV Drama The entire sound track is comprised of three essential ingredients: • the human voice /dialogue • sound effects • music • In TV drama these create a balance between the realism of the world of the text/programme and drama that is created by the use of sound (in the real world dialogue is less polished and music/ soundtracks don’t appear!)

Types of Sound The world of the TV programme we see on screen is called the DIEGESIS. •

There are two main types of sound in TV drama…





Both are used in TV drama to create VERISIMILITUDE – realism.

VERISIMILITUDE = the believable logic of the texts world (which appears real)

Diegetic Sound • DIEGETIC SOUND is any sound or music that happens inside the world of the story This sound is part of the programme’s world (diegesis) and can be dialogue/speech, footsteps and sound effects with a source. • For example if the drama portrays a character playing the piano, the sounds of the piano are projected. • DIEGETIC sounds contribute to the realism of the programme and also help to create a particular atmosphere.

Diegetic Sound or Actual sound • Sound whose source is visible on the screen or whose source is implied to be present by the action of the film: • voices of characters • sounds made by objects in the story • music represented as coming from instruments in the story space ( = source music) • Diegetic sound is any sound presented as originated from source within the film's world • Digetic sound can be either on screen or off screen depending on whatever its source is within the frame or outside the frame. • Another term for diegetic sound is actual sound • Diegesis is a Greek word for "recounted story" The film's diegesis is the total world of the story action

Diegetic Sound •

The “click” of a door being opened may simply serve to convince the audience that the image portrayed is real, and the audience-may only subconsciously note the expected sound.

However, if the “click” of an opening door is part of an ominous action such as a burglary, the sound mixer may call attention to the “click” with an increase in volume; this helps to engage the audience in a moment of suspense.

Non-Diegetic Sound • Non-diegetic sound is sound that which takes place outside the world of the story. It is usually placed on later in the post-production process e.g. music and soundtrack. Such sounds are included so as to provide an appropriate emotion or mood and they may also add to the realism of the drama.

Non-Diegetic sound or commentary sound. • Sound whose source is neither visible on the screen nor has been implied to be present in the action: • narrator's commentary • sound effects which are added for the dramatic effect. • mood music. • Non-diegetic sound is represented as coming from the a source outside story space.

Diegetic and Non- Diegetic sounds

Task: In pairs, watch the opening sequence of Life on Mars and identify as many examples of diegetic sound and non-diegetic sound as you can.

Dialogue - modes of address Voice Over • The use of voice over is generally used in TV drama as a narrative device • This is first person narration. • The voice over can also allow us information about the central character and build his/her representation • They can also allow privileged information – so sometimes we will know more than the other characters on screen- which creates drama!

Narrative Devices = Elements that help explain the narrative (story/plot) e.g. voice over, captions and extended dialogue

Task: Watch the opening of Life on Mars – what do we learn in the first two minutes about the narrative?

Dialogue/Speech: Modes of Address Direct Address • Direct address = when the characters on screen directly address the audience. • It is an alternative to the voice over.

• This is rare in TV drama but when used can create humour or can act as a narrative device , giving us more information about the narrative. • It tends the break the verisimilitude of the drama and stops the action taking place. (Breaking the 4th wall.)

The Importance of Music in TV Drama • The soundtrack/score in TV drama is often used to tell the audience how we should be feeling, whether this is sad, happy, scare or amused. • This use of music is a convention of TV drama. Task: Watch the sequence from Jeckyll – what emotions do you feel in this sequence and how do the programme makers achieve it through the use of music?

Incidental music • This Incidental music is used to add emotion and rhythm to a drama. Usually not meant to be noticeable. •

it often provides a tone or an emotional attitude toward the story and/or the characters depicted.

• In addition, background music often foreshadows a change in mood. For example, dissonant music may be used in film to indicate an approaching (but not yet visible) menace or disaster. • Incidental music may aid viewer understanding by linking scenes. For example, a particular musical theme or sound motif associated with an individual character or situation may be repeated at various points in a text in order to remind the audience of ideas (think the Bond theme in Bond films or Indiana Jones films.)

• Sound is comprised of conventions and innovations. • We have come to expect an acceleration of music during car chases and creaky doors in horror dramas. • Yet, it is important to note as well that sound is often brilliantly conceived. The effects of sound are often largely subtle and often are noted by only our subconscious minds

Parallel and Contrapuntal Sound •

Sound can be used in one of two ways…


Parallel sound = when we watch a TV drama the sound we hear usually compliments and follows what we see on screen. For example fast paced, loud music in chase scenes or action sequences.

2) Contrapuntal sound = is sound that does not fit the images we see on screen. Usually done to create an effect e.g. classical music over violent scenes etc…

Stings • A Sting = either a brief crescendo stab of music used to enhance the drama of the current situation just before a change of scene (called a "dramatic sting" when used this way) • or a brief comical stab on music to enhance a punch line at the end of a scene (most famously, the so-called "rimshot" -- badum-bum-ching). • "Sting 'em and sling 'em" is a phrase used to describe this kind of break.

• When used for a cheap shock, the sting becomes a scare chord. E.g the end of an episode of Eastenders

Ambient Sound • Ambient sound, also known as natural sound = The sound occurring in the area where they shoot the drama. It is often used or created in dramas to create verisimilitude (realism)

Theme Tunes • Theme tunes are used over the opening titles of TV dramas. • They are a recognisable piece of music that the audience will associate with the drama. • The purpose of the music is to establish a mood for the show and to provide an audible cue that a particular show is beginning. • These are a ‘call to action’ for audiences so they will sit down to watch the programme.

Theme Tunes • Little Britain Extract

• Name your favourite TV theme tunes…

Theme Tunes Task • In groups watch and listen to the opening sequences of… • Coronation Street • Hustle • Dr. Who • Casualty =0

Does the theme tune fit the mood and themes of the drama?

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