Difference in Diegetic and Nondiegetic Sound

What is the difference in diegetic and nondiegetic sound, and what are their roles in the film? If you have the similar doubts revolving around your head, then it is a time to delve inside the following segments one after another.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!!

What Does Diegetic Sound Mean?

Let’s discuss both the sound types one after another. So, why not let’s start with the diegetic sound? Sounds great? If so, then stay tuned to the segment till the end.

So, according to the Film Sound, the diegetic sound refers to the one of whom the source could be seen on the screen. In other words, it is a type of sound whose source is entailed and presented in the film. It basically includes the following:

  1. The voice of the artist or the characters.
  2. Sounds that have been made by the different objects in the storyline.
  3. Moreover, it also adds on the music that has been represented from the different instruments in the story space.

Therefore, the diegetic sound is an originated sound that is pictured within the film. Along with this, you can say confront it as the actual sound of someone and something.

Additionally, the University of California Press discusses “The Effects of Diegetic and Nondiegetic Music on Viewers’ Interpretations of a Film Scene.”

Diegetic sound examples

Diegetic sound refers to sound that is present within the story world of a film or TV show, and is heard by the characters within the scene. Here are some examples of diegetic sound:

  1. Dialogue: The conversations between characters are an example of diegetic sound. The characters hear each other and respond to each other within the story world.
  2. Environmental sounds: Sounds such as footsteps, traffic, and birds chirping that are heard in the background of a scene are considered diegetic sound.
  3. Music: When characters within a scene hear music, such as a live performance or a radio playing, it is considered diegetic sound.
  4. Sound effects: Sounds that are produced by actions taking place within the story world, such as a car starting or a door closing, are considered diegetic sound.
  5. Foley sounds: Sounds that are created by objects and movements on the set, such as the sound of clothing rustling or a glass being set down on a table, are considered diegetic sound.
  6. Narration: When a character within the scene is speaking directly to the camera or another character, their voice is considered diegetic sound.


What Does Nondiegetic Sound Mean?

After looking at the diegetic sound, it is the perfect time to look at the nondiegetic sound. For that, stay tuned to the segment till the end.

On the other hand, according to Sidmartin Bio, the nondiegetic sound refers to the one whose source could not be found on the screen. Moreover, the sound is not involved and presented in the movie.

This sound includes the following:

  1. The commentary by the narrator.
  2. For the dramatic effect the usage or addition of the sound effects.
  3. Music that relates to the mood.

Furthermore, MV Organizing consists of different queries regarding the nondiegetic sound to provide a better grip over the concept.

What is non diegetic sound in film

Non-diegetic sound in film refers to any sound that is not part of the narrative world depicted onscreen. This can include musical scores, sound effects, voice-overs, and narration. Non-diegetic sound is typically used to create a specific mood or emotion, provide context or commentary, or guide the audience’s interpretation of a scene.

For example, if a movie features a suspenseful scene, the use of tense music may be used to heighten the tension and build anticipation in the audience. Alternatively, a film may use a voice-over or narration to provide backstory or explain a character’s thoughts and motivations, even if those thoughts are not directly expressed in the scene.

In contrast, diegetic sound refers to any sound that is part of the narrative world of the film, such as dialogue, ambient sounds, and sound effects that characters can hear. For example, the sound of a car engine or birds chirping would be considered diegetic sound, while a musical score playing in the background would be non-diegetic.

Non diegetic sound examples

Non-diegetic sound refers to sound that is not present within the story world of a film or TV show, but is added in during post-production to create mood, atmosphere or emotion. Here are some examples of non-diegetic sound:

  1. Film score: The music that plays in the background during a film is non-diegetic sound. It is added in after filming and is not heard by the characters within the story.
  2. Voice-over narration: When a character’s voice is heard narrating the story but is not present within the scene, it is considered non-diegetic sound.
  3. Sound effects: Sounds such as explosions, thunder or animal noises added in post-production for dramatic effect are examples of non-diegetic sound.
  4. Montage music: Music that plays over a montage sequence of scenes is non-diegetic sound. It is used to convey emotion and often sets the tone for the scene.
  5. Soundtrack songs: Songs that are played during a film or TV show that are not being heard by the characters within the story are non-diegetic sound.
  6. Sound design: Sound effects, music, and other audio elements that are added to a film or TV show to enhance the overall mood and tone of the scene are considered non-diegetic sound.

What is trans-diegetic sound

Trans-diegetic sound refers to sound that transitions between diegetic and non-diegetic sound. It is a sound that starts as diegetic sound but then transitions to non-diegetic sound, or vice versa.

For example, a character might be listening to music on a portable radio, which would be considered diegetic sound. But as the camera pans away from the character and the music becomes louder and more prominent, it transitions into non-diegetic sound.

Another example could be a character hearing a phone ring within the story world, which is diegetic sound, and then the sound of the phone ringing becomes part of the film’s soundtrack, which is non-diegetic sound.

Trans-diegetic sound can be used to create a sense of continuity between scenes or to heighten the emotional impact of a particular moment in the story. It can also be used to draw the audience’s attention to a particular sound or event that is important to the story, by making it more prominent in the soundtrack.

Summing Up

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Well, it offers the services and also assists the customers by providing different experts or professionals to an individual client.

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