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Topic: How to build up a Score?

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  1. #1

    How to build up a Score?

    So, i have a pre-edited movie.
    What steps should i follow to develop a score.
    I guess there should be some strategy.
    Any comments and tips are welcome.
    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Re: How to build up a Score?

    There is no secret.... just start composing

  3. #3

    Re: How to build up a Score?

    Well, I heard that there are even some books regarding this matter, but I never looked for one and I don't plan to use such thing. I'm shure they CAN be useful for some people, but personally I don't believe in "strategy" or any kind of "scientific" or academic approach when it comes to (writing) music. I always just compose. You could say that it 'just' happens, but it's not just like that. Everything must have its place and sense but to know what is good is up to you. It's a matter of, let's say, taste and I don't actually believe it can be learned, at least not in a theoritical way... Oh, and it's worth mentioning that my most favourite gurus are self-taught composers who didn't have any music education!

    Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: How to build up a Score?

    Watch and listen ...... let the action and the characters and the dialog write the music for you.

  5. #5

    Re: How to build up a Score?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanatsu
    Well, I heard that there are even some books regarding this matter, but I never looked for one and I don't plan to use such thing. I'm shure they CAN be useful for some people, but personally I don't believe in "strategy" or any kind of "scientific" or academic approach when it comes to (writing) music. I always just compose. You could say that it 'just' happens, but it's not just like that. Everything must have its place and sense but to know what is good is up to you. It's a matter of, let's say, taste and I don't actually believe it can be learned, at least not in a theoritical way... Oh, and it's worth mentioning that my most favourite gurus are self-taught composers who didn't have any music education!

    Good Luck!
    I am going to disagree. Film scoring is as much a craft as an art, and there are lots of things that one should know.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...9&Go.y=5&Go=Go

    The Karlin and Hagen books are a good place to start.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  6. #6

    Re: How to build up a Score?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashermusic
    I am going to disagree. Film scoring is as much a craft as an art, and there are lots of things that one should know.
    Yes, you're right about film-scoring (or scoring in general) being a craft, at least to some point. Or, to be precise, it CAN be a craft, it can be done that way and I agree with that. Some people make music that way, and some people make music in an "art" way (sorry for my poor english, you know what I mean - without the theoretical approach or craftsmanship), some other people combine the both etc. I guess there are almost as much approaches to making music as there are musicians and I only described how I personally work (more or less of course). I'm not saying that it's the only way to go, or even the "true" way. But on the other hand, I don't think one should know (be taught) this or that - in a meaning that without knowing this, making a great piece would be impossible. I think that's not true. As I mentioned earlier, some really great composers make really great music without any education and without any theoretical knowlege - so it IS possible. Those guys just have the gift of being able to compose great music "out of nowhere" and I don't think THAT can be learned. Yes, you can learn certain things from books, or at school or from whatever, but I believe that such music will never be more than just 'good' if one does not have this gift in the first place. Moreover, I think that when (if) you have this gift, then this theoretical knowlege is not only unnecesary, but can even be a burden. Because you automatically start using what you were taught, and that ends in making more "common" (or "casual") music... but this is all my personal opinion which is very subjective, as is the very music itself.

    Tom, you're absolutely right, filmscoring has some technical parts, some 'rights' that must be considered, even obeyed and there is a whole team of technicians, not to mention the orchestrators who make a hell of a job. But I believe that even those things can be self-taught. There are self-taught composers/producers that make incredible things all by themselves!

    So, summa summarum, I think that books, schools etc. can be handy, but are not essential, not indispensable. But again - it's only my humble opinion.

    Peace

  7. #7

    Re: How to build up a Score?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanatsu
    Yes, you're right about film-scoring (or scoring in general) being a craft, at least to some point. Or, to be precise, it CAN be a craft, it can be done that way and I agree with that. Some people make music that way, and some people make music in an "art" way (sorry for my poor english, you know what I mean - without the theoretical approach or craftsmanship), some other people combine the both etc. I guess there are almost as much approaches to making music as there are musicians and I only described how I personally work (more or less of course). I'm not saying that it's the only way to go, or even the "true" way. But on the other hand, I don't think one should know (be taught) this or that - in a meaning that without knowing this, making a great piece would be impossible. I think that's not true. As I mentioned earlier, some really great composers make really great music without any education and without any theoretical knowlege - so it IS possible. Those guys just have the gift of being able to compose great music "out of nowhere" and I don't think THAT can be learned. Yes, you can learn certain things from books, or at school or from whatever, but I believe that such music will never be more than just 'good' if one does not have this gift in the first place. Moreover, I think that when (if) you have this gift, then this theoretical knowlege is not only unnecesary, but can even be a burden. Because you automatically start using what you were taught, and that ends in making more "common" (or "casual") music... but this is all my personal opinion which is very subjective, as is the very music itself.

    Tom, you're absolutely right, filmscoring has some technical parts, some 'rights' that must be considered, even obeyed and there is a whole team of technicians, not to mention the orchestrators who make a hell of a job. But I believe that even those things can be self-taught. There are self-taught composers/producers that make incredible things all by themselves!

    So, summa summarum, I think that books, schools etc. can be handy, but are not essential, not indispensable. But again - it's only my humble opinion.

    Peace
    Respectfully, how many films/tv shows have you actually scored?

    I am assuming that the OP is talking about learning to do commercial films, not just little art house films. If I am wrong in this assumption then the following comments may not apply (although they should.)

    1. Music for film is about serving the picture first and foremost, not about creating "great music." When you can do both fine but playing the picture is the main task.

    2. Some of the cues I have written that sound the least impressive worked like gangbusters with the picture and vice-versa. Sometimes I have achieved both.

    To the OP, my advice is to learn your craft and those books can help.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  8. #8

    Re: How to build up a Score?

    "Just little art house films." ?

    (for the sake of friendly argument)

    Are you implying a "mainstream" soundtrack takes more effort? I might argue that "little art house films" often blow expensive generic mainstream productions out of the water from an artistic standpoint.

    I direct and score "little art house" projects all the time and I am plenty proud of the work I've done for them. Sorry if they aren't multi-million dollar consumer CG spectacles.

    I know that's probably not what you meant Jay.

    Don't get me wrong, show me the money and I'll give them whatever they want. Craft, indeed. You're absolutely right.

    I suppose my original answer to this thread stems from the fact that I am extremely prolific, and I can't comprehend the idea of sitting around looking for someone to tell me how to compose when there is a deadline... I would just get to work and hammer out the cues immediately.


    "1. Music for film is about serving the picture first and foremost, not about creating "great music." When you can do both fine but playing the picture is the main task."

    Most of the time, when music isn't a big factor in the film, I like silence/environment sounds... I wish more directors would have the guts to use silence nowadays. I'm getting very tired of movies with endless drones blanketing the whole thing. The most irritating for me is when every single nook and cranny between dialog is filled with some bland pop song.

  9. #9

    Re: How to build up a Score?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_Karl
    Watch and listen ...... let the action and the characters and the dialog write the music for you.

    ...great suggestion...there are no rules...look people like thomas newman..he has a very personal style and approach to the movie but the result is brilliant....! sorry 4 my english hope u understand....and more than books i think watching movies is the better way to learn

  10. #10

    Re: How to build up a Score?

    Quote Originally Posted by Von Richter
    "Just little art house films." ?

    (for the sake of friendly argument)

    Are you implying a "mainstream" soundtrack takes more effort? I might argue that "little art house films" often blow expensive generic mainstream productions out of the water from an artistic standpoint.

    I direct and score "little art house" projects all the time and I am plenty proud of the work I've done for them. Sorry if they aren't multi-million dollar consumer CG spectacles.

    I know that's probably not what you meant Jay.

    Don't get me wrong, show me the money and I'll give them whatever they want. Craft, indeed. You're absolutely right.

    I suppose my original answer to this thread stems from the fact that I am extremely prolific, and I can't comprehend the idea of sitting around looking for someone to tell me how to compose when there is a deadline... I would just get to work and hammer out the cues immediately.


    "1. Music for film is about serving the picture first and foremost, not about creating "great music." When you can do both fine but playing the picture is the main task."

    Most of the time, when music isn't a big factor in the film, I like silence/environment sounds... I wish more directors would have the guts to use silence nowadays. I'm getting very tired of movies with endless drones blanketing the whole thing. The most irritating for me is when every single nook and cranny between dialog is filled with some bland pop song.
    Indeed that is not what I meant.

    What I meant is that art house films tend to want the music to be, well, artsy, and may be more concerned with that. Also, they don't generally have all these action evvents where knowing how to precisely plot hits etc. is critical.

    From a purely technical standpoint i.e. it is a lot easier to score a film like "March of the Penguins" than "Die Hard."


    And I agree with youer last statement partly. Take i.e. the great Hitchcock film "North By Northwest". The climactic chasse around Mt. Rushmore has NO FX, no rock slide sounds, no wind whipping around, just Herrmann's wonderful score and it is riveting.

    That would never happen today when dirctors and producers have fallen in love with FX and it is a shame IMHO.
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

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