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Anthony Nguyen
Anthony Nguyen

Television Background-Sound Effect

Like film composers, television composers use the language of music to help tell stories. Whether working on a drama, comedy, sci-fi, documentary, or reality show, the composer's job is to write music that heightens the action playing out on screen and enhances the emotional experience for the viewer.

Television Background-Sound Effect

Besides the theme and the score, television composers might also create "source music," music that exists in the world of the show. Source music is much less common than background or themes, and often takes the form of original songs that characters hear played on the radio or performed by fictional bands.

Not all television music is written by a television composer; many productions opt to license themes and cues from music libraries, which are stocked with music in every style, written by freelance composers. In addition, music supervisors work independently to find and license pre-existing songs for use in their shows.

While the rise of streaming and explosion of cable and niche networks have created more demand for television music than ever before, the process for becoming a successful TV composer has remained mostly unchanged: work on lower budget series, demonstrate talent and professionalism, network, get a job on a slightly higher-budget show, and so on and so forth until one makes it to the mainstream.

Most TV composers do this job because they want to, not because they're aiming to advance to some other position. That being said, TV composers who do well can open up a number of new opportunities for themselves outside of television, including film gigs or even touring productions based on their work (Game of Thrones and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are recent examples of this).

At the beginning of the career, one should seek to build a portfolio through whatever means necessary. It's common to work for little or no compensation on student films, web series, or similar projects in order to get those initial credits and demonstrate experience with the medium. From there, it's all about chaining together opportunities to maintain momentum. Aspiring composers should aim to create a website with samples of their music; make audio and video demo reels to send to television producers, showrunners, studios, libraries, and music supervisors; and network vigorously.

Composing for television means being deeply attuned to story and character, and skilled enough to translate emotional and psychological nuances into effective musical soundtracks. In order to advance in the world of television, composers must be excellent networkers and self-marketers. Finally, it's important to be cool-headed, productive, and consistent under pressing deadlines. After all, even if the music doesn't always come easily, the show must go on.

One of the main benefits of composing for television rather than film is consistency. While a film composer might make a large one-time sum working on a major motion picture, that's no guarantee of future work. In comparison, if a television show does well, then its composer can expect to be employed for a number of years. The flip side is that television production cycles can be grueling; television composers who are composing for broadcast TV spend each season, which typically runs somewhere between 12 and 22 episodes, working very hard under tight, demanding deadlines.

Orchestrators play an important role in the film and television industries, where they create finished scores based on the sketches of composers in those industries. MIDI orchestrators, a distinct group, forgo traditional orchestration techniques, instead specializing in using samples to improve the quality of demos.

Noise, commonly known as static, white noise, static noise, or snow, in analog video and television, is a random dot pixel pattern of static displayed when no transmission signal is obtained by the antenna receiver of television sets and other display devices.

The random pixel pattern is superimposed on the picture or the television screen, being visible as a random flicker of "dots", "snow" or "fuzzy zig-zags" in some television sets, is the result of electronic noise and radiated electromagnetic noise accidentally picked up by the antenna like air or cable. This effect is most commonly seen with analog TV sets, blank VHS tapes, or other display devices.

Because analog television uses radio waves to carry information, some of the white noise is the television rendering microwaves from the Big Bang. NASA describes, "Turn your television to an 'in between' channel, and part of the static you will see is the afterglow of the big bang".[4][5] This is also true for radio. When it is adjusted to a frequency that is between stations, part of the sound heard is remnant radiation from the Big Bang from around 13.7 billion years ago.[6]

When you are exposed to loud noise over a long period of time, you may slowly start to lose your hearing. Because the damage from noise exposure is usually gradual, you might not notice it, or you might ignore the signs of hearing loss until they become more pronounced. Over time, sounds may become distorted or muffled, and you might find it difficult to understand other people when they talk or have to turn up the volume on the television. The damage from NIHL, combined with aging, can lead to hearing loss severe enough that you need hearing aids to magnify the sounds around you to help you hear, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities.

When a character in one of these shows is sad, certain music plays. When they made a mistake, there is familiar music playing as well. Hearing this music over and over again causes the audience to already know what is likely going to happen. This is a very powerful aspect of background music for television.

This show has a particular set of sound effects, and regular top hits that are played throughout their 4-hour morning program. However, there are also particular background songs that are played when the Topic Train segment airs, or the Phone Tap. In addition, there is particular background music associated with their news reports and trending topics.

The training DVD Supporting Derek (Watchman et al, 2010) shows the detrimental effect that low-level noise has on a resident with dementia called Derek. This DVD shows that background noise that staff find acceptable is actually overwhelming for Derek, and this leads him to become increasingly and unnecessarily agitated and confused.

Of all the senses, hearing is the one that has the most significant impact on people with dementia in terms of quality of life. This is because dementia can worsen the effects of sensory changes by altering how the person perceives external stimuli, such as noise and light. As hearing is linked to balance this also leads to a greater risk of falls either through loss of balance or through an increase in disorientation as a result of people trying to orientate themselves in an environment that is overstimulating and noisy.

If other senses are overloaded at the same time as hearing (such as sight, touch, smell and taste) the effect can be a dramatic change in the behaviour of a person with dementia. For this reason, care staff often identify mealtimes as being especially problematic. Research highlights the importance of appropriate background noise for maximum enjoyment at mealtimes, even for people who do not have dementia (Woods et al, 2011).

Within the dining area the noise from a television or radio that often is not listened to or watched, staff talking to each other and the clatter of dishes and cutlery all contribute to a sense of disorientation. Removing unnecessary noise can reduce the risk of behaviours such as aggression and frustration in response to an environment that is too noisy or inappropriately noisy, such as music played continually that is not enjoyed or recognised by the person (for more on this, see the feature on Kitchens and dining areasin this section).

You want every chance to generate income from your music, and while mechanical royalties (for sales of tangible product and digital downloads) have diminished, there are more opportunities than ever to have your music heard on television and in movies. In addition to the financial benefit, for songwriters who are also recording artists, prominent placements in TV shows and films can help expand your fan base, in addition to looking great on a resume.

Music libraries (sometimes referred to as production music libraries) are essentially music publishers, but instead of pitching songs to recording artists, they pitch and license songs and instrumental pieces for television shows, movies, commercials, and video games. The top music libraries have catalogs comprised of tens of thousands of songs and instrumental cues.

In addition to money earned from sync and master use licensing, after television shows air, the performing rights organizations pay a performance royalty to the publishers and songwriters. The amount of performance royalties earned when a song airs on TV is determined by factors including: the licensing fees paid by the station (with major networks paying the highest fees); the length of the music cue; how the song is used; whether it is vocal or instrumental; and the time of day that it airs.

Note that when songs included in movies play in theaters, performance royalties are paid only for screenings outside the U.S. However, if the movie subsequently airs on television, the songs and instrumental cues in its soundtrack do earn performance royalties.

Additionally, by reading trade publications such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter you can learn about upcoming television and film productions. This information can also be gleaned at the website IMDb (

Comparatively, my youngest, who has never had a television at home, is much more self-entertaining and has a much longer attention span than my older daughter, who (at every age) wants much higher degrees of novelty and faster pacing in all aspects of everyday life. 041b061a72


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