If you watch a number of GoPro-type extreme sports videos, you’re probably deeply familiar with this track:
This tune is indelibly marked in my head as the “Le Web tune”, because as I sit in the main stage area, finishing liveblog posts, high-energy GoPro videos are often playing with that track in the background.
But, for most people, it’s the GoPro music, and James Trew has gone to great lengths to understand why it’s so used in those videos:
Professor Joydeep Bhattacharya lectures on the neuroscience of music and emotion at Goldsmith’s University, London. Unsurprisingly, he says it’s complicated. “When a musical piece is chosen to go along with a visual scene, what’s needed is the congruency of meaning across both dimensions — musical and visual,” he says. “The answer lies, in my view, not just in the music, but the various ways that meanings emerge out of the video.” The trouble being, that meaning is a deeply subjective thing.
It’s a fascinating look at how something so subjective can lead to remarkably uniform results.