of a game – this is particularly the case for horror games like Silent Hill, in which atmospheric noises
are integral to the overall experience.
Sound is used to similar effect in films. There are many studies on the techniques filmmakers use to
influence a viewer’s emotions. For example, in Jaws, a two-sound motif is used to project a sense of
foreboding and anticipation just before the shark attack.
In the Star Wars franchise, sound effects and music composition are used to convey excitement,
danger, and drama. Many writers have argued that sound is one of the main reasons why the original
Star Wars trilogy (1977-1985) was so successful. Film is a visual form of entertainment. However,
filmmakers know the importance of sound and the best way to use it.
Given the power of sound when it comes to influencing people’s feelings, it’s unsurprising that we
see it used to great effect in marketing and brand building. The founder of Man Made Music, Joel
Buckerman, stated that sound influences mood and choice. Sound triggers emotions and memories
in people. Realizing this, many companies like HBO have made concentrated efforts to incorporate
sound meaningfully into their company logo. When people see and hear a company brand logo, they
will get positive emotions when they think about the brand.
Why is this the case?
Research proves sound influences mood and feeling. Sound activates large areas in the brain relating
to limbic, motor and auditory systems. Music triggers the release dopamine in the brain, the
hormone that elicits good feelings. Music is even known to trigger our memory in a way that other
mediums cannot. Whenever people hear a song, they will remember moments from their life. Music
triggers vivid memories because it stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain responsible for
Filmmakers and businesses focus on sound because it influences people’s moods. Similarly, event
planners must also give a lot of thought to sound because the right sound setup is a key part of
creating the right atmosphere for a successful event. An event can have great interior design and