Image Music

Written by Michael Federico
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Image music is used on television and the Web in promos, bumpers, and utility tracks. It can also be part of a show's opening or closing credits. Any song, melody, or sound bite that identifies a specific product, service, or company can be considered image music.

Television networks have worked hard to develop image music that can be used alongside their visual logos. The three musical notes that accompany NBC's peacock have become as recognizable as the peacock, itself. Image music such as this creates a sense of familiarity in viewers. This supports the "we're part of the family" message that networks are always trying to convey.

The History of Image Music

The origins of image music could very well be traced back to ancient marketplaces where vendors played music to get the attention of the throngs of buyers in search of products. Often, people would simply sing the names of their items to get noticed. However, in its modern form, image music is closely linked to early commercial jingles. Music was seen as a quick way to advertise the product, and it was intended to be catchy enough to stick in people's minds.

Those basic principles are evident in the image music of today. However, now things must happen much faster than they did in the past. Most of the new image music that is produced lasts a few seconds at the most. The desired effect of this technique is instant product recognition among consumers, and most who employ the method have found it to be incredibly successful.


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