Have you ever watched a movie with the sound muted? It doesn’t really seem as impactful, even though the acting on screen is the same. It turns out that audio, and specifically music, plays a hugely important role in creating film as we know it today. But did you know that filmmakers are manipulating your emotions with movie music? Soundtracks are specially designed to impart emotional depth and make emotions easier to understand. And it turns out there’s some simple psychological effects and phenomena to explain it all.

Sources:
Newman, E. J., & Schwarz, N. (2018). Good Sound, Good Research: How Audio Quality Influences Perceptions of the Research and Researcher. Science Communication, 40(2), 246–257.
Baranowski, A. M., & Hecht, H. (2017). The Auditory Kuleshov Effect: Multisensory Integration in Movie Editing. Perception, 46(5), 624–631.
Mobbs, D., Weiskopf, N., Lau, H. C., Featherstone, E., Dolan, R. J., & Frith, C. D. (2006). The Kuleshov Effect: the influence of contextual framing on emotional attributions. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 1(2), 95–106.
Barratt, D., Rédei, A. C., Innes-Ker, Å., & van de Weijer, J. (2016). Does the Kuleshov Effect Really Exist? Revisiting a Classic Film Experiment on Facial Expressions and Emotional Contexts. Perception, 45(8), 847–874.
Zentner, M., Grandjean, D., & Scherer, K. R. (2008). Emotions evoked by the sound of music: Characterization, classification, and measurement. Emotion, 8(4), 494-521.

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***Credits***

Footage from the following media was used for educational purposes and falls under fair use:
28 Days Later
Happy by Pharrell
Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
Good As Hell by Lizzo
I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan
Australia’s Got Talent 2016 Promo
Singin’ In The Rain
Do It Again by The Chemical Brothers
Levels by Avicii
The Exorcist
Avengers: Infinity War
The Princess Bride
About Schmidt
Baby Driver
Stranger Than Fiction
A Trip to the Moon
Modern Times
Star Wars: A New Hope
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Matrix
The Pursuit of Happyness
Hot Fuzz
The Conjuring 2
Psycho
Kuleshov Effect
Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park Theme Song (Melodica Cover)

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