Thursday, April 9, 2009

Where Have All The Theme Songs Gone? Just one anyway.

At a recent Sound Symposium at NYU, Steven Wurtzler presented a topic on sound design, particularly that of retail locations. Now, I am currently employed at one such retail location and I can tell you that Wurtzler is right. Music is an integral part of the experience. In fact, customers come into to the store and routinely sing along with classic tunes such as "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley or my personal favorite "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey. Besides merely providing some background entertainment and pleasure, it can help in the selling process.

For instance, a lot of the music is danceable and try as I might to resist, I can't help myself from getting my groove on. The music also creates the right environment. Sometimes a simple volume adjustment can make all the difference. Retailers wants positive energy and shoppers want to shop in a fun place. Louder music can help that.

Theme parks understand this as well. There is constant music playing evoking the ouvre of the particular land. Wurtzler adapted the idea of sound design to everyday life. An experience will be more memorable if there is ample sound design.

The same is true for television shows and their theme songs and nowhere is this more noticeable than on the DVD sets for "Dawson's Creek." Part of the enjoyment is Paula Cole's "I Don't' Want To Wait." She really belts it out. However, beginning on the third DVD set and continuing through to the end of the series, something changed. A different song replaced the great one, changing the entire complexion of the fictional town, Capeside. So irked by this change, I began to mute the television and play the song through my computer. It's not the same experience, but as close as I can get.

At times, some consumers grow tired of a theme song when campaigning through episode after episode. This specific example advises those consumers to appreciate a well-done and well-placed theme song. Appreciate the song!