It's pretty straightforward to transcribe all the dialogue in your video, but what if you've chosen background music? Should you include the lyrics? How should you describe the music?
Music and other "atmospherics" should be included into your captions if they are part of the story being told. It's up to you to decide what to include. Think about whether the music is part of your story or merely background noise. Is it portraying a mood that's important to describe?
1. Do you know the artist and song title?
Yes? Great! Both details can be included in the caption:
Typically these are written in all capitals with round brackets and single quotes around the song title. Of course, feel free to use your own style if you prefer (but be consistent).
Eg. ('IMAGINE' BY JOHN LENNON PLAYS)
2. Do you want to caption the lyrics?
The general rule of thumb with lyrics is to caption the lyrics, particularly when it adds context or emotion to your video. However, you get the final say as to whether to add lyrics to your captions. Just remember why that music was chosen. Captions should allow people watching your video without sound to be able to experience the same emotions.
You can indicate lyrics like this:
♪ IMAGINE ALL THE PEOPLE
# IMAGINE ALL THE PEOPLE
3. Is the music instrumental?
If the music is instrumental or you don't know the music used, you should use descriptive words to accurately convey the mood and tempo of music. Format these in all caps in round brackets.
Eg. (ACOUSTIC GUITAR BALLAD PLAYS)
TIP: Be creative! Here are some examples :
- (GRIM BATTLE MUSIC)
- (MILITARY MARCH PLAYS)
- (BURST OF DISCORDANT MUSIC)
- (SUDDEN SILENCE)
- (CHILDREN'S CHOIR JOINS IN CHORUS)
- (CYMBALS CRASH)
- (DRUMBEAT STARTS UP)
Here's one of our clips to help you along.