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Choosing a soundtrack “Instrumental vs. lyrical”

A carefully chosen soundtrack can have a dramatic impact on the entire story. Pacing, emotion, point, and dramatic question are all enhanced with appropriate music. Imagine Jaws with out its signature “du-dum.” Conversely, a poorly chosen soundtrack can be distracting and confusing. The question remains, “What makes a powerful soundtrack?” The first rule, is that lyrics during narration is usually ill-advised. However appropriate lyrics with no narration can be very powerful. Many editing software titles contain “packaged” music that can be easily dropped into the story. Often, however, students want to bring in their own favorite music, which is fine, as long as the tone is appropriate. A great place to download free and legal music is from FreePlayMusic. Movie soundtracks are excellent places to look. A word of caution: encourage students to select only one piece of music. Abrupt, frequent changes do little more than confuse the audience

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