Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Business of Animation Logo

The Importance Of Incorporating Animation Music

ben marvazi 2020

Make More Money as an Animator

Check out our FREE TRAINING on How Animators Can Make Over $10,000 Per Month

"Music in animation is like a story within a story. It can intensify emotion, accentuate action and give a sense of completion to the total narrative."

Richard Williams, Animator, Director & Animation Historian

The first movie was created in 1894 by Louis Lumière. It was called "The Horse in Motion" and showed a horse running at 12 frames per second (fps). The film didn't have any sound or animation music, but it did have very simple animation effects—the horse's body turned into a black-and-white line drawing when it ran across the screen, and then returned to full color once it stopped moving.

History of animation music: The Horse in Motion

Eadweard Muybridge Horse GIF By GIF IT UP via Giphy

The next few decades were filled with silent films that used similar techniques as "The Horse in Motion," but there were also some more creative innovations happening behind the scenes as well. Directors were experimenting with different ways to incorporate animation music into their films so that audiences would enjoy them more than previous movies had been able to do without any audio accompaniment at all!

The Golden Age of Animation Music

During the Golden Age of Animation (1930-1960), animated shorts frequently incorporated musical numbers. These were often used to help tell the story, setting a mood or tone for a particular scene. In addition, animation music was often played for comedic effect when characters sang into something as silly as a vacuum cleaner. 

Music was also used to convey expressions and emotions on characters’ faces; for example, in Disney's "The Band Concert," where Donald Duck puts on his clarinet and begins playing an upbeat tune while everyone around him looks bored or irritated by his antics.

Walt Disney was a musician. He wrote and performed his own music, using the pseudonym “The Sorcerer”. Many of the early animated shorts were accompanied by jazz music, provided by Disney's band called The New Orleans Dixieland Jazz Band. 

History of animation music: Walt Disney was a musician

Walt Disney GIF by ThisGuyFawkes via Tenor

In 1937, when he opened his studio in Burbank, California he included an on-site recording studio where he could record any melodies that were needed for future films in one place (The Walt Disney Studios).

Walt Disney's early works in animation and film showed an appreciation for music as part of the overall storytelling experience.

The Most Important Thing In Film Is Animation Music

Animation music plays a large role in all aspects of the film's quality. It can set the mood and tone of a scene, develop characters, and even help develop the plot. For example, in The Lion King, you see that Mufasa has this nice epic theme playing when he is on screen as king because he is a good king who wants peace for his people. 

The Lion King, Mufasa has good animation music because he is a good character. Mufasa and Simba watching sunset

The Lion King Disney GIF via Giphy

However, when Scar kills Mufasa, there is now this eerie quietness because Scar doesn't want peace for his people at all; instead, he wants to take over Pride Rock and run things however he sees fit (and we all know how well that goes). Music sets up how we should feel about certain characters or events happening in our films.

In the Lion King, Scar has eerie animation music because he is a bad character. Scar walking through green smoke

The Lion King Disney GIF via Giphy

Films That Have The Best Animation Music Pieces So Far

Some of your favorite animated films have incorporated animation music into their storylines in a way that helps advance their plots and enhance the action. The Incredibles, for example, used the great superhero theme song from 1966 to introduce us to Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) and his family before switching it up with a more modern version for when they come out of retirement as superheroes. The Lion King also has an iconic soundtrack—in fact, there’s so much greatness in this movie that we could do a whole article just on its music!

Animation music: the Incredibles with their family theme song

The Incredibles Pose GIF by DavidWilliams1111 via Tenor

While some animated films are better known for their songs than others, there are still plenty of musical moments throughout each one. 

Frozen's “Let It Go" is one such example: Elsa sings about how she can't control her powers anymore because she's hurt Anna with them (though we later learn that Anna isn't permanently hurt). 

Other movies like Tangled or Howl's Moving Castle use songs as plot devices: When Rapunzel sings “Tangled Up In You," it shows how much Flynn Rider means to her after they've gotten married; likewise, when Calcifer sings “I'm Not Human At All" during his climactic battle with Howl to prove he's not evil after all—this is why it makes sense for him not being human!

A Great Soundtrack Makes An Animated Film Successful

Animation music is a big part of any film, Cinderella and prince dancing

Gif by boomunderground via Giphy

Animation music is a big part of any film, whether it's used as a soundtrack or as an original score.

A great soundtrack can make your movie memorable and set the tone for audiences. A bad soundtrack can ruin your movie's chances of success. Just think about how many films you've seen where the music was too loud or out-of-place, or even worse: nonexistent!

If you want to make sure that your animated film has its own unique style, incorporating original music into the animation process is essential. In addition to creating memorable soundscapes, incorporating original music into animations allows animators more creative freedom when filming scenes and characters because they have access to multiple types of sounds which they could not normally use while filming live-action films (such as screeching tires).

A Memorable Theme Song Will Keep Viewers Engaged

Animation music a memorable theme song will keep viewers engaged, The Jungle Book

Walt Disney Dancing GIF By Turner Classic Movies via Giphy

One way to keep viewers engaged is through the use of a memorable theme song. A theme song can be instrumental or vocal, but either way, it should be short and catchy.

The most important thing about a theme song is that it helps you set the mood for your film and define its overall tone. The animation music should reflect the emotions that you want viewers to feel during each scene so that there's consistency throughout your video.

A good example of this would be an action sequence where one character performs an amazing feat while another watches from a distance. You could have upbeat music playing in the background as they perform their feats because then when there's silence after they're done, it makes sense for them not to speak at first (since they're out of breath). 

Conversely, if there was no music playing at all—or worse yet just silence—then things wouldn't make sense since they'd both be standing around breathing normally instead of having trouble breathing like how real people would after something like that happened!

Things To Consider When Creating Animation Music

The importance of animation music. Cats dancing to music

GIF By Pusheen via Giphy

The importance of animation music. This includes the different types of music used in animation and how they can be used to tell a story or add layers of meaning.

The tools used to create the tracks and what makes them unique from other forms of art or media.

The different genres that use this form of expression and why it works so well for each one (e.g., an animated horror film).

How you can incorporate these elements into your own work as an artist/musician/animator!

Step 1: Identify Your Genre

identify your genre with your animation music, music record spinning

Black And White Vintage GIF via Giphy

The first step to incorporating animation music into your work is to identify the genre of your project. A musical genre is a type of music that can be defined as a style or category of music. A genre can be further divided into subgenres. For example, country music has many subgenres, such as bluegrass and honky-tonk. It’s important to understand these different types of genres so that you know what kind of animation music you should use for each project.

Step 2: Determine The Mood And Emotion You Want to Convey

animation music mood, dog playing sad songs on the piano

Sad Basset Hound GIF By Martina Scott via Giphy

Animation music can be used to create a sense of wonder and awe. It can also be used to enhance the emotional impact of a scene. Incorporating animation music is an art form, and it's important to remember that music isn't just "background noise." Music can be used to set the mood for your project or even for particular scenes in your projects.

Step 3: Examine Your Visuals and Themes In Greater Detail

animation music , Sponge Bob listening to music with head phones

Headphones Jamming GIF By SpongeBob SquarePants via Giphy

You've got a lot of things to consider when putting together an animation. Not only do you have to think about the plot, characters, and storyline but also how animation music can enhance the overall experience.

You should start by examining your visuals and themes in greater detail. Many different approaches can be taken with animation music, depending on what type of project you're working on.

Step 4: Find A Matching Track That Will Enhance Your Image

Animation music, playing the piano

Sad Piano GIF By Freddy Arenas via Giphy

Once you have your animation scene edited and ready, it's time to choose a matching track. This is the part where you'll want to find a song that will enhance your image even more! A good musical choice can help make your animation more emotional, set the tone of a scene, and even create a sense of urgency.

Animation Music Is an Essential Element For Success

So, if you’re going to make an animated film, then be sure that you take the time to consider how music can enhance your movie. Music adds emotion and helps set the tone for your story. The last thing you want is for your audience to feel bored because there isn’t any good animation music in your film!

For more info about animation music, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass, and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!

rocket for boa

Lacking Business Skills as an Animator?

Transform your animation skills into a profitable business with our expert-led free training.
Business of Animation Footer Logo
Helping Animators Succeed

Feeling Stuck in Your Animation Career? Learn How to Break the $10,000 Per Month Barrier!

crossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram