The Auditory Hierarchy

The auditory hierarchy of sound effects, dialogue and music has the power to change a behavioral message and make it more learner centered, simply by changing the arrangement of sound in the message. The appropriate sounds at the appropriate time can have a strong impact on the comprehension level of your narrative and increase emotional impact. It may not always have your intended impact on the viewer of the message, because individuals will have their own perceptions and cognitive conditioning from life, but if the designer is at least aware of the concept of the audio hierarchy, then there is a good chance of altering the message for maximum learner impact. If you can get to the underlying theories of how sound can help shape the psychological impact of instructional messages on an audience, you have a great chance of making a positive impact.

– John

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