The problem of music in actuality television | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1751-4193
  • E-ISSN: 1751-4207


Incidental music, once largely confined to drama, is now a characteristic of documentaries as well as other factual programmes including even current affairs and sport. The young, at least, now seem to live in a culture where music is expected to be readily available, at any time and in almost any circumstances, and many programme makers seem persuaded that only if their programmes are sexed-up with music will they appeal to the widest audience. However, not everyone appreciates this trend and complaints to the broadcasters are at record levels. For many it is an irritation, but for the hearing-impaired incidental music can easily render accompanying speech unintelligible.

This article seeks to explore the historical and industrial determinants which have informed the use of, often inappropriate, incidental music and to offer suggestions for remedy. The focus of this paper is on programmes, which are generally of a factual nature, often called actuality programmes.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): actuality television; hearing-impaired viewers; music
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