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Horror music | When the background becomes a soundtrack “from fear”

Jul 23, 2021 by Vera Sorrentino - 0 Comments

Horror music | When the background becomes a soundtrack “from fear”

In a horror movie or video, the real star is the music. The visuals, editing, and special effects help create suspense in the viewer’s soul. But without the right soundtrack, they would not succeed in their intent: to disorient and “scare” the audience.
Horror music, however, follows very precise rules, which you need to know in order to make the most of its potential.

Horror music: how it works

Typical background music in horror films or video clips refers to two types of “fear”: instinctive fear and fear of the unknown.

Instinctive fear

The first one manifests itself as the most classic of surprise effects: one jumps in a completely natural way in front of an unexpected event, with the intent, in any case, to protect oneself from the immediate danger.
The most suitable horror music background for instinctive fear is Jumpscare: images that appear suddenly, accompanied by sound effects.

Fear of the unknown

Fear of the unknown, on the other hand, is a more complex mechanism. Everything is proceeding as expected. The plot moves forward linearly, following a definite logic. The viewer is confident in what they are seeing. It achieves a state of serenity and, at times, contentment.
Unexpectedly, something happens that was not in the plans. Like the wrong piece of a puzzle. Inexplicable. It’s the phase in which the state of disorientation prevails.
This is what horror music does: it interrupts the initial state of tranquility and certainty, to reveal hidden, and “terrifying” sides of characters and situations.

Horror music: composition and uses

Horror films are based on temporal alterations and changes of tone, closely linked to unexpected events and scenes of danger.
Background music that surprises, plunging the viewer into total confusion. Contributing to this are modulations ranging from a major to a minor, or even diminished key, creating an atmospheric and distressing atmosphere.
Or nursery rhymes and lullabies that can create a bridge between naivety and wickedness. Inevitable, then, the distorted effects, obtained with traditional instruments such as the violin or with electronic instruments.
Background music that doesn’t go overlooked. Far from it. It enters the mind of the viewer of the film or video clip, like an obsession. Some of the most common scenes here include chases of paranormal entities such as monsters or zombies.
There are directors and video makers, moreover, who manage to transform other musical genres into horror music, associating, for example, relaxing or joyful music with terrifying frames.

The effects on the viewer

The “non-linear sounds” characteristic of horror music inevitably touch the viewer’s unconscious. It’s as if they bring up the most primitive and hidden fears.
A sort of emotional manipulation that the horror background is able to activate in the viewer, with scientifically proven consequences also from the physical-chemical point of view.
It seems, in fact, that horror music triggers norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that causes blood vessels to constrict in case of perceived danger. In the dark this effect is amplified. That’s why in horror movies or videos, dimness takes center stage.
In order to get the most out of the editing of horror scenes, it is advisable to carefully choose the most appropriate background, which can enhance cuts and any special effects.
If you are making yet another work, or you are planning to give life to your first project, we invite you to visit our catalog of music for horror videos, full of tracks that can inspire you.

Piano solo | important background effect

Jun 25, 2021 by Vera Sorrentino - 0 Comments

Piano solo | why piano music is so important to create a striking background music

Why is piano solo so important? When it comes to video products, background music is an absolutely essential element because our brain is predisposed to interact with sounds. Softer music tends to relax us while higher-pitched sounds, for example, awaken our fears; this is the result of thousands of years of evolution. The piano is the instrument that best succeeds in bringing together several sounds. Just think, for example, that when cinema was silent, it was the keyboard of this instrument that determined the mood of the story.
We have realized that music made for solo piano is really effective in making a video content unforgettable. Its use can be very incisive, think for example of a documentary or a romantic film where the piano goes to create a sense of involvement really complete.
And speaking of romance, let’s note that lovers often use piano music to express their feelings; therefore, restaurants that cater to couples often have a pianist playing live sweet music to create the perfect atmosphere.

A bit of history

The time when the concept of background music was born is the Romantic period, roughly between 1890 and the early 1900s. From that moment on, music came out of the strict rules of classical music and approached other artistic forms.
It must be kept in mind that in that period there was a real explosion of fantasy! But we will have to wait a few more years to see the birth of the concept of soundtrack.

Music for videos

Ultimately, what makes music for videos important (whether they are intended for social media audiences, advertising videos, films or video games) is that it makes the proposed work stronger, more effective and unforgettable. Remember that the choice of an appropriate background music, can determine the success of an entire work.
Music is very important because it helps to create emotional connections with the target audience. And the piano is one of the solo instruments par excellence that is best suited for this purpose. In fact, there are a number of piano soundtracks that have made themselves truly unforgettable!
If you too are thinking of using a piano soundtrack just to make your work more complete, we invite you to browse our catalog and evaluate our Piano collection.

Music for children | simple structures and easy to remember melodies

Jun 12, 2021 by Vera Sorrentino - 0 Comments

Music for children | simple structures and easy to remember melodies

It is well known that music can make a video, a story, a game… more engaging, let alone when we are talking about entertainment for children! Music for children is a vector of fantasy, and makes young users more curious and full of expectations. Italy has great experience in creating music for children, just think of all the cartoon theme songs.
But children’s music is more than that, it represents a vast field that gathers a great number of styles, whose origins are lost in the dawn of civilization.

A bit of history

It must be kept in mind that music for children has always existed, just think of lullabies… Not infrequently, poems, nursery rhymes and traditional stories, which often had the purpose of passing on information and stories of their own culture, were in fact accompanied by simple and easy to memorize melodies or were sung directly.
These musics, which are spread all over the world, have developed common characteristics that include the simplicity of the composition and a strong importance of the melody.
We emphasize that this genre of music has mainly two goals:

Music for children to educate and entertain

Music for children often has an educational purpose and is intended to help children understand how they should interact with the outside world and learn to better understand their surroundings. Let’s think, for example, of the famous song “In the old farmhouse” which teaches children the names of animals and their respective verses…
This type of music, as mentioned above, should not be too complicated from a technical point of view but simply enveloping and fun, a nice entertainment, a sort of moment of leisure and play. It may seem like a small thing but it is really very important for children to feel relaxed and at ease. In fact, it is in that positive frame of mind that they will be best prepared to learn!
On our shine-library platform you can find a variety of songs for little ones. In addition we have created a themed collection: Royalty free songs for kids | “Music for Kids Collection”.
In this way you can create, for example, nice videos for children, or a suitable background music for parties or plays, or find the right soundtrack for a new cartoon, etc..

Chill-out | from decompression to pleasure for the senses

Jun 10, 2021 by Vera Sorrentino - 0 Comments

Chill-out | from decompression to pleasure for the senses

Music genres are many and constantly evolving. Sounds can create numerous moods and situations, to accompany every moment in life.
One particularly popular musical trend in recent times is chill out. What exactly do we mean when we use this term and say “from decompression to pleasure of the senses“?

Chill-out music

The chill out genre (also written as chillout or chill-out) has evolved a lot in recent years. It has also undergone numerous variations so that different nuances are often meant by the same term.
To better frame this music let’s think about how to define it: for simplicity, we could describe it as a modern style to be interpreted as easy listening, that is a catchy and pleasant melody for every listener. This means that the term chill-out is a rather wide umbrella, which can shelter downtempo, jazz, lounge, ambient and sometimes even dance sounds. This means that the term is often abused, as many use it but very few really know how to indicate its characteristics.

Lounge and chill-out, watch your mouth! 😉

Historical background

To highlight similarities and differences, let’s start with a brief history of the chill-out music genre. Its birth takes place in the United States, thanks to experiments that move from the most avant-garde environments within the new wave. The forerunners eliminated the natural and environmental sounds that made up that current to replace them with guitars, sung tracks and sounds that we could define Latin; in addition to this they accelerated the metronome, bringing the rhythm up to the canonical threshold of 120 bpm.
The origins of chill-out music are not exactly noble; it is in fact sounds born to help decompression, or the recovery of the people of the night and rave parties from evenings of exaggeration, during which we had abandoned many excesses. The very term chill-out (relax, decompress, cool down) is due precisely to this function that the sounds covered.
Chill-out also has a birthplace, Ibiza. Its inventor – or at least the main contributor to its invention – was the DJ Jose Padilla, who from the console of the Cafe Del Mar began the worldwide conquest of chill-out music. Nowadays this introspective sound and these relaxing beats are well known and appreciated everywhere, after the London explosion in the 80s.

The lounge scene

In English lounge room means living room and the use of the term is due to the fact that this music had to be the background in elevators and supermarkets, to accompany the time spent standing or queuing.
Its impersonality, almost kitch, however, has ended up making this variation of chill-out a phenomenon of habit, a trend that the most fashionable clubs and the most alternative radio stations wanted to appropriate. The lounge has metrics that can reach up to 140 bpm and, often, is kept very low volume, to create atmosphere and never overlap the conversation.

Chill-out accompaniment

Similarly to what happens with ambient music, chill-out can be used to accompany moments of socializing, as well as to add value to photographic or animated images. Chill-out music can create the right background for many shots.
Whoever was thinking about the possibilities that this music can open to that particular project on which he is working, can visit our library on these pages, full of tips and suggestions: chill out and Lounge

Ambient music | ideal background for life

Jun 09, 2021 by Vera Sorrentino - 0 Comments

Ambient music | ideal background for life

Ambient music is the style of music we refer to whenever we talk about atmospheric music. It is characterized by natural sounds, or sounds that can be traced back to nature and largely atmospheric sounds, on which it is possible to relax or chat without the sounds disturbing in any way, on the contrary, they facilitate and accompany this operation, that’s why Ambient Music, ideal background for life.

Brian Eno, an important British musician and record producer, is considered the inventor of ambient music. In his book “Unthinkable Futures” he gives a very precise description of the musical style of which he is the founder: “An ambience is defined as an atmosphere, a surrounding influence or a hue. It is my intention to produce original pieces, overtly but not exclusively intended for particular moments and situations, as the project to build a small but versatile catalog of ambient music, suitable for a wide variety of moods and atmospheres.”
We too, like Eno, have constructed our own small but versatile catalog that we invite you to listen to.

To understand this music, one must enter into an order of ideas that is rather counterintuitive: rhythm and structure, so fundamental in pop music, are secondary when we speak of ambient. In fact, it is tone and atmosphere that take center stage in this kind of music. For this reason, pieces can be quite long and their sounds can repeat for several minutes. In fact, we are talking about an accompaniment music that leaves space for the listener to do something else, without invading his or her ears.

Historical notes

If we wanted to find a date of birth for ambient music we should go back in time, obviously well before the birth of Brian Eno. The first hints of ambient, in fact, date back to the beginning of the twentieth century, when some precursors began to experiment with a music that, at the time, they defined as semi-acoustic. Later, we find traces of ambient sounds in the art of Erik Satie, music impressionist (and we have dedicated one of our compositions “Satie Archi” to him, which you can listen to here), as well as in the concrete minimalism of Terry Riley and Philip Glass or in the jazz of Paul Horn. The latter performed two solo concerts inside the pyramid of Giza and the Taj Mahal, unleashing absolutely environmental improvisations. Only in more recent times, in those ’70s where he began to perform as a soloist after leaving Roxy Music, we have witnessed the advent of Brian Eno.
When, in the ’80s, ambient music had already established itself on the music scene, we witnessed ambient influences in pop, rock, techno and house and the birth of its direct descendant: chillout music, which we will discuss in the next article.

The Power of Ambient Music

This ability to act as background and accompaniment has made ambient music a very welcome companion for video editors. Movies and television shows of the last 50 years have drawn heavily from this kind of catalog. In fact, it is able to create nuances and soundscapes that are absolutely original, and often very evocative, in some cases capable of imprinting themselves in the memory just like the main scenes of the films they accompany. There are many soundtracks that take advantage of ambient music and do so to frame scenes of love, violence, death, action and humor. Although the ambient genre is not as memorable as some of the masterpieces in film soundtracks are, it is still able to properly characterize a specific passage in the film. As already mentioned, we are not talking about a music that takes the scene, but rather that accompanies it, framing and enriching it.

Curious? Here are our Ambient tracks

You might also be interested in the article on chill-out music