The Importance of Music to Your Video (Part 2 of 2)

In this part, we’ll actually break down a typical family “tribute” and look at the kinds of music we might use for each part of the project. Let’s look at a typical life story. What kind of music is appropriate? In this case, the subject is an 80 year old celebrating a milestone birthday.

Introduction: a sequence of the ancestors of the honoree

—warm, nostalgic, early 20th-century sound

Sequence of the birth of honoree and various pictures with parents as a baby and young child

—childlike or nursery rhyme-type sounding music; perhaps featuring toy piano, or other nursery rhyme-type sounds

Subject is growing up

—grade school through high school music, such as 40’s,50s, 60s, 70s— whatever was the pop sound of the time. Here you might use one of their favorite songs as a punch line.

College life, or late teen years

—something a little more raucous and “cool”

Employment years

—use something more industrial and progressive


—music shifts to more romantic sound


—music fades to couple’s favorite song

Wrap up and reprise

—restate a theme you used earlier in the show, or find a finale “stand-alone” theme that is stately, impressive, important, and, most importantly, when tied with the visuals, creates a very emotional feel

Your mileage may vary. There are lots of ways to tell a story. Add interviews, start with the ending, insert humorous videos from their families’ collections, etc. But the main lesson here is to use use music appropriate for the segment. There are plenty of music libraries out there, but one I recommend for variety and decent pricing is TUNEPOCKET. Go to their site for pricing as low as $8.25 /mo for unlimited downloads.

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