Think back to the last blockbuster film you saw.
I’ll bet you remember the film’s soundtrack as much as the plot. And it’s certain that the soundtrack and background music used in that film did as much to convey mood and emotion as the lighting, acting and the script did.
Indeed, as this article in The Guardian points out, when you remember a favourite film the chances are that its soundtrack will run in your head at the same time.
The writer suggests that it’s nigh on impossible to think of ‘Gone with the Wind’ without hearing Max Steiner’s sweeping score. Now, if you’re thinking ‘Gone with the what?’ then consider Star Wars and its music score penned by John Williams and you’ll get the picture.
Even so – the background music matters.
Background music in videos is powerful. It drives the narrative of your video forward and it creates emotion around your message.
If you want your learning or business video to stand out from the crowd, then here are our top 5 ideas to help you choose the right background music.
1.Think about the emotion
What do you want your audience to feel?
Do you want them to feel inspired? Shocked? Or do you want them to laugh out loud at the video’s razor sharp wit?
There are styles of music that will go a long way to evoke all these emotions.
2. Create atmosphere or ambiance
In the same way that music can make you feel things it can also make you see things. In fact, emotion and atmosphere go hand in hand.
Depending on the choice of music, a scene of, say, a man approaching a house can be seen as being either benign or sinister. To return to the Guardian article: ‘Spielberg’s long shots of
‘Spielberg’s long shots of empty ocean in ‘Jaws’ would have lacked bite without John Williams’ two-note announcement that something nasty is heading this way.’
3. Know your audience
Who is your video aimed at? If it’s for families then you might need a light-hearted tune as opposed to a driving rock anthem.
4. Think about what your company values are
If you provide professional services you’ll want something that reflects that. A digital media business could be better represented with an electronic piece.In other words: the background music should have some link with the subject or the business.
It’s a good idea though to avoid any piece of music which has become well known. So, should you find yourself drawn to a piece of music associated with a brand of coffee – avoid it.
You want your audience to take on board your company values and your message and not be thinking of a well-known coffee ad.
5. What role in the video do you want the music to take?
You might want it to be there as a support to the information your video is conveying. Or you might instead want it to form an integral part of getting your message across.
Should you be conveying, for example, detailed information then you’d be best served by a piece of music that is unobtrusive.
But if broad concepts are what you want your video to convey then emotion-invoking foreground music is what you need.
This blog from Vidyard features a couple of video clips that demonstrate each of these concepts well.
If you’re wondering if music in learning and business videos is even necessary. Then remember, where you have a voiceover narration in your videos, then adding background music to the video makes an unobtrusive filler between voiceover pauses.
And, of course if you’re choosing not to have voiceover narration in your video, then you’ll definitely need music to create emotion, ambience and engage your audience.
Where can I go for inspiration?
Unless your music library is HUGE the best thing you can do is look at music libraries like Getty Images.
Like a regular library, this site organises the music and audio clips on its virtual shelves by either genre: rock, electronic, pop etc. Or alternatively by categories such as High Energy, Business, Piano, Orchestral and so forth.
Example in action
Visit this page of our website here to see a sample of an animated video and see for yourself how it all works.
Where is Background music most useful?
Find out more about our Animated explainer video
Over to you
Do you have a particular piece of music that best represents your business? Add a link to it on our Facebook page and tell us why you feel it works for you? We’d love to hear it!