Just as a visual juxtaposition or a cutaway can introduce a new idea or a new interpretation, so too can sound. Chapter 20 discussed how the narration altered the meaning of the opening visuals in Memorandum (1966). Any of the elements of sound—music, sound effects, dialogue—can accomplish this. The juxtaposition of different sounds or the introduction of a sound "cutaway" can be as effective as a visual in introducing an idea. This concept is so important that this chapter is devoted to it.
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson provide a useful framework for the consideration of ideas and sound. Their article, "Fundamental Aesthetics of Sound in the Cinema," suggests how the characteristics of sound—loud-ness, pitch, timbre—affect how we receive and respond to sound as it is presented on the screen (synchronous dialogue, sound effects) and off the screen (music, narration). Their attention to rhythm, fidelity, sound space (the proximity or distance of sound in a film), and time provides a three-dimensional framework from which to consider changes in sound.1
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