|Royalty Free Music > Music News > How To Choose The Right Music For Your Project
July 6th, 2010
"I'll know it when I hear it." I have been hearing clients say that for the entire 30 years that I've been scoring music. While it can be difficult to articulate the right music for a project using words, you don't have to be musically literate to engage in this conversation. You need to ask yourself, 'How do I want the listener to feel? 'What am I trying to do? What mood do I want?' You want the music to help communicate on a very intangible and emotional level that is compelling and satisfying and causes people to respond in a really direct way.
A royalty free music library allows for easy experimentation in trying out "the right" production music for your project.
Remember the scene in The Godfather where Michael murders Sollozzo and McCluskey in the middle of the restaurant, sacrificing his own innocence for his father's safety? It's difficult to think of a more powerfully emotional moment in film. The use of music in this scene holds the key to powerful communication in a cynical, post-baby boomer age.
"…In the hands of another filmmaker there would be tension music percolating under the surface", said Walter Murch, the sound editor for The Godfather said, "But Francis [Ford Copolla] wanted to save everything for those big chords after Michael dropped the gun…so Michael shoots them, there's this moment of silence, he drops the gun, the gun hits the ground, and then the music finally comes in. It's a classic example of the correct use of music, which is to punctuate a previously stated emotion, rather than create an emotion…I think in the long run this approach generates emotions that are truer because they come out of your direct contact with the scene itself, and your own feelings about the scene - not feelings dictated by a certain kind of music."
In this case, the music was best used after the scene to channel and amplify a previously generated emotion - not to force or create emotion. Sometimes, the lack of music makes more impact. Silence can truly be golden. "Where" the music goes can be as relevant as "what" the music is.
Good stock music can contribute to the effectiveness of an advertisement merely by making it more attractive. Music serves to engage the listeners' attention and render the advertisement less of an unwanted intrusion. High quality production music can tie together a sequence of visual images or a series of dramatic episodes and narrative voice-overs to create a sense of continuity and smooth out sequences of discontinuous scene changes or edits.
Musical styles have long been identified with various social and demographic groups. Therefore, musical style can assist in targeting a specific market. The style may function as a socio-economic identifier -- a device for addressing a specific audience. The objective is to portray a particular style or image which elicits strong consumer allegiance, but which is also broadly based. It is comparatively easy to create a minority "cult" product, but this results in a small market. Thus, we may want royalty free music with a hip hop "feel," but not "real" hip hop, because that would limit the broad appeal. A production music hip hop feel that has no "rough" edges, even no vocals, will have a wider appeal.
Royalty free music is arguably the greatest tool advertisers have for portraying and distinguishing various styles. When doing an online search for buyout music, browse the many musical categories to get a fresh approach to your project. A music library may categorize a track as a Public Service Announcement, but if you need royalty free music for a PSA, check out other categories. Sometimes, music works well as a counter to the film style. A film scene may be fast paced, but the music may work better being slow. Download several preview files and try them in your project. It is amazing what stock music will make you feel in the context of a visual medium. Think outside the box.
By: Steve Shapiro