News Reel & Blog


Written by Jack Hopkins on 16th November 2017

Music can make or break your mood, from brightening up a commute to putting a dampener on  an office party. In this blog entry we’re going to look at music across the media landscape, how it is used and the effect it has on the piece it’s accompanying.

To start with I thought we’d look at the influence of Rap music on film and television. Rap being one of most popular contemporary genres, it has had a huge influence on TV shows and films. Netflix’s The Get Down (whose lead composer, Elliot Wheeler, just won ‘Best Music for a Television Series’ at the Screen Music Awards) and FX’s Snowfall both use music as a major narrative technique, exposing a backdrop and a connection that goes deeper than what’s visually on display.

How often do we hear someone say “this song’s off that film!”? Sometimes it’s the longest lasting memory we have, making music choice a huge factor. A hugely popular film, The Untouchables, has been heavily criticised by some for it’s outdated music which has been deemed too cheesy, even for the late 80s. But films nowadays have distinctive unique soundtracks which work collaboratively with the film, like Daft Punk’s bespoke album for Tron Legacy  which sold over 600,000 copies.    

Films based on music are nearly always a success too. Two that stick in my mind are Taylor Hackford’s Ray and  Anton Corbijn’s Control, both depicting the dramatic lives of impactful musicians. Control and its soundtrack, which is pretty much a compilation of hits from Joy Division, David Bowie and The Velvet Underground, perfectly portrays what a musical biopic should be; the musician, the music and the effect they both had on society. The majority of critics also felt the same, rewarding it with high praise across the board.

Unfortunately, there’s been a recent demise of live music shows on British television. Jools Holland is still going strong but it’s been a long time since anything like Top of The Pops graced our screens. The BBC have recently launched Sounds Like Friday Night which received 2.2 million viewers on its first episode, proving to be a fairly successful attempt at rekindling that Friday night live music slot.

The London Palladium recently hosted an unprecedented night of orchestral music from Game of Thrones, Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, all of which have annoyingly catchy theme songs. The versatility and importance of music in films and television shows how it can help promote a brand across various platforms, utilising transmedia storytelling to enhance its popularity and exposure.

What’s a song that sticks in your mind from a film/tv show? Can you imagine it without it?

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