I was thinking of going to music school to compose movies but is it right for me?
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Topic: I was thinking of going to music school to compose movies but is it right for me?

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    Default I was thinking of going to music school to compose movies but is it right for me?

    After working with composers on my last few film projects, I discovered that I really like it, and thought maybe I would just compose my own movies like some filmmakers do, such as say John Carpenter or Robert Rodriguez cause it's fun.

    I don't really know how to write symphonies though, so I thought I would go to music school and learn. However, the music schools in my area, seem to teach instruments a lot more, rather than composing only, where as I am pretty much just interested in learning how to compose only.

    So therefore, would music school be write for me then, if that is my interest. I am interested in making movies, so I devote most of my time to that, but I do want to learn to compose as well if I can. So do you think it's right for me then?

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    Hi ironpony, it seems like you are asking about attending a local music teaching studio and not a college type program, correct? I would say sign up for piano lessons locally if you don't already play an instrument. Then find a private composition tutor/instructor to work with you separately. You'll probably start with music theory basics before getting into composition techniques. Scales, intervals, chord construction and etc.

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    Oh okay. However, let's say I have a lot of instruments in mind. Can I write down a composition and just my imagination playing the instrument as I write, or do I have to actually have someone play that instrument out in order to write it?

    Last edited by ironpony; 11-26-2018 at 05:06 PM.

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    There's a lot of different approaches. You can write for any instrument once you understand its range, clef and transposition so you don't write something unplayable. Maybe start your private composition lessons and explain to the teacher exactly what it is you want to accomplish. He or she will guide you and eventually you'll figure out if learning an instrument is necessary for you.

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    Okay thanks. One question I have is, say a director wants a composer to write a composition. Does the composer write a draft, then send to someone to play it out, and then the director reports back to see what he/she likes, and what can be improved or is it mostly preferred for the composer to play it out for the director most of the time?

    As for instruments, my gf has an old synthesizer it turns out, so I might learn on that for now.


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    The composer creates an audio "mock up" using his or her tools; computer, virtual instruments and etc. In the high end world, the approved mock up is recorded by real instruments paid for by the production company. In the real world, it's a "package deal". Composer is responsible for creating the final score usually creating a convincing and realistic sound, again using his or her tools.

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    Member   I was thinking of going to music school to compose movies but is it right for me? I was thinking of going to music school to compose movies but is it right for me? CJM Sandman's Avatar
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    Greetings~

    The art of film scoring is incredibly complex...if you are simply writing the score by yourself, there's much to consider. A good starting point would be to make a general pass over music composition, music theory, and orchestration/arrangement techniques. Topics like rhythm, duration, timbre, melody, harmony, articulation, etc. If you have a solid understanding of these all ready, read into how they play into scoring for film.

    Investing in a good midi controller (keyboard mostly) as that would be the base tool that will basically serve as your primary device for composition. Virtual libraries, sampled instruments, anything you can get you hands on and download will serve as your instrument base, and essentially your orchestra.

    I would recommend listening to as many scores as possible, from as many eras as possible. This is good as it serves to avoid being redundant with theme or inadvertently plagiarizing music you're not aware of. This also trains your ear to recognize how real performance artists manipulate and play their instruments, so when you begin to compose and record your own material, the expressive transitive nature of what you do mimics live performers. This takes.....years to learn....at least thats just my opinion~

    Theres a great book out there call "The Complete Guide to Film Scoring". Its a pretty solid exposition and points you in some good directions. I read it years ago and sometimes make a reference back to a chapter for assistance as it covers the entire gamut of film scoring.

    If you ever want some names of some trusty software/hardware or pointers on anything, shoot me a message~!


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