The Power of Music According to IKEA

Posted on May 18, 2009 at 12:01 am, by Ben

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In the early days of cinema, film pioneers discovered that the potential of the moving picture to evoke emotion and feeling could be dramatically increased by the inclusion of music. But they also discovered something else:

Whenever music and images are combined to tell a story, the audience will always follow the emotional direction of the music over that of the film, because when paired, music creates an emotional grid through which the viewer interprets the events of the film. In other words, music doesn’t merely enhance the mood of the film: it determines the mood of the film.

If you understand this fact, you can use it to your advantage in strengthening the story of your film… or in persuading your audience to follow an utterly bogus storyline.


  • That video is a wonderful example… as well as being amusing. 🙂
    It would be fun to compose happier music for it, and then play it for people – some people with the old music, and some with the new one, and compare their thoughts after the video finished.

    – Kyleigh

    Posted by Kyleigh on May 20th, 2009 at 5:38 am
  • Kyleigh,

    I actually did just that in a lecture on film music at the San Antonio Christian Filmmakers Academy a few years back. The contrast between the two version was powerful and accentuated my point that music determines the mood of the film quite effectively.

    Posted by admin on May 20th, 2009 at 10:59 am
  • Wow!

    A friend just referenced me to your website… Sounds great and keep up the good work! I especially love “Escape” and “End of an Empire”. As an aspiring composer myself, I was wondering what program you use to compose and/or playback your scores… or is it a real orchestral recording? I look forward to staying current on your site!

    Posted by Benjamin Coder on May 20th, 2009 at 2:20 pm
  • Benjamin,

    I am using a number of different pieces of software by Steinberg, VSL, Eastwest, Garritan and others to create the music you hear. There is more information on those companies and their products in the “Software Developers” link category on my blog sidebar. None of the music in my playlist at the moment was recorded by a real orchestra, all of it is sequenced with samples in MIDI.

    Thank you for you kind comments and for staying current!

    Posted by admin on May 21st, 2009 at 1:04 pm
  • That’s quite interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a furniture commercial quite like that. The Ikea in our area just opened up. It’s like a mini Disneyworld. Anyway, I was almost sorry for the little lamp. The end definately surprised me. I kind of felt silly. Music is certainly influential in a person’s thought process. That’s why we should be careful what we listen to. Anyway, cool video!
    ~Kay Morris

    Posted by Kay Morris on May 21st, 2009 at 1:49 pm
  • Wow…that is so amusing/amazing. Thinking over scenes in films that I was scared of as a child, 95% of the time it had to do with the music in the scene. Music is so powerful.

    Posted by Alexandra on May 21st, 2009 at 3:46 pm
  • Thanks! I’m gonna have a good look at those programs. Another question, Is there a way that can we buy your songs either on CD or as mp3 tracks? I’d really like to be able to get these!

    In Christ,

    Ben C

    Posted by Benjamin Coder on May 23rd, 2009 at 6:05 pm
  • Most of the tracks on my playlist are not for sale at the moment, but you can purchase the soundtrack I wrote for “The Return of the Daughters” here: and you can download my musical tribute to Michael Billing free at

    Posted by admin on May 26th, 2009 at 12:44 pm