On Music
“For an adult, the world is constantly trying to clamp down on itself. Routine, responsibility, decay of institutions, corruption: this is all the world closing in. Music, when it’s really great, pries that shit back open and lets people back in, it lets light in, and air in, and energy in.”
Bruce Springsteen

In Chapter Four we look at how music tends to work in short form content. Music is a powerful weapon for the short form content creator but with this power also comes some risk, as an obvious or manipulative cue can easily wreck a piece. In an attempt to understand how music most effectively functions for short form we begin by looking at the four main ways it tends to be used.

  • First, a good musical cue offers viewers access to what the characters are experiencing emotionally.
  • Second, a good musical cue doesn’t distract from the narrative.
  • Third, a good musical cue creates structure and signals change.
  • Fourth, a good musical cue offers viewers a sense of transcendence that draws them towards the product or content that is being advertised.


Chapter Four



“At the end of the day you’re trying to make your ad stand out as much as possible. It’s just like if you’re scrolling down a line of people and there’s one person who’s tall and, inevitably, that person stands out. So you want to stand out but obviously the song also has to be good. You have to get people to turn their head and then also, you know, reward that attention with, like, a good story or a good song.”

Gabe McDonough – Music and Branding Expert, MAS




From Concept to Color Correction

Copyright 2016 Bryan Cook. All Rights Reserved