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The Curse of Music

johnriley1uk > johnriley1uk Blog > The Curse of Music
14/06/2012 - 1:01 PM



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Not music in itself, but music when competing with images. The same might well apply to titles.

What I have in mind here is on several levels. Firstly websites, where music does several things. It slows the site, it intrudes upon our attention and it predisposes us to a particular emotional response. Are we reacting to the images or the music? After all, incidental music in film and TV work sets the scene for us and tells us how we are expected to react to any particular situation. Chosen carefully, maybe it could work with websites, but I have a suspicion that most of us would just choose our favourite music of the moment, or not have available the perfect match.

As I see it, the music for Doctor Who, for example, is written to the script and flows with it. The music for, say, Star Trek: The Next Generation seems to me to just ramble on in the background with little connection to the actual flow of a scene. Which I think shows how careful we need to be to get music right.

Secondly, when we are preparing our images, some of us do it in concentrated silence, some with the favourite album blaring in the background, or something in between. This is a very personal thing, but i don't like distraction when working on images. I'm concentrating on the image, not on The Four Seasons or Paloma Faith. The music to me is worthy of my undivided attention at some other time. The images are worthy of my undivided attention right now.

Thirdly, titles. These too guide the viewer into an emotional repsonse that is deemed suitable, or as desired by the creator of the image. The Victorians knew how to do it, "She passes gracefully beyond woodland boughs, with innocent joy at the coming of spring", that's telling us, but it wreaks havoc with computer file names. In a simpler way, so we label a portrait "Melissa" or "The Innocent Dream" because both give different indicators to the picture. The first may be factual, the second suggests an emotion.

Then again, photography is all about emotional response, isn't it?
045-melissa-at-the-window.jpg
Melissa at the Window. Or:
The Soft Caress of Casement Light Smile

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