Will AI replace human composers?

robot playing piano

Cover Photo by Possessed Photo This post was written by Jay Lee, the author of Behind the Score series. “I held an unwavering conviction that the essence of “good music”—the ability to evoke emotions and resonate with human feelings—was something computers could never grasp.” As an avid amateur Go enthusiast, when news broke about AlphaGo’s … Read more

Revisiting James Horner

James Horner

Cover Photo by De’Andre Bush A Journey Through Melody and Emotion James Horner (1953-2015) was a titan of film music composition. His soaring melodies, epic orchestrations, and innovative use of electronic elements have left a permanent mark on cinema. From the sweeping romance of “Titanic” to the heart-pounding action of “Aliens,” Horner’s music had the … Read more

Music of Elmer Bernstein: A Maestro of Movie Music

Tony_Curtis_and_Debbie_Reynolds_in_'The_Rat_Race',_1960

Few composers have shaped the soundscape of cinema quite like Elmer Bernstein. Across a prolific career spanning five decades, he left an indelible mark on Hollywood, crafting scores that became integral to the films they served. From the iconic Western twang of “The Magnificent Seven” to the emotional depth of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Bernstein’s … Read more

Harmony, Rhythm, Orchestration: Books for Film Composers, Pt.2

a piece of paper with a picture of a man on it

Cover Photo by Anna Zakharova Recently, we published an article titled ‘Recommended Books for Film Composers.” In that article, our primary focus was on introducing books that are very specific to film music. The books we featured provided analyses of film scores, explained essential film scoring terminologies, or explored into orchestration for film music. This … Read more

Exploring rhythm in John Williams’ music (pt.1)

This post was brought to you in collaboration with our partner site Behind the Score. Discover the Harmony Secrets of Modern Film and Video Games. Exploring rhythm in John Williams’ music (pt.1 – Switching time signatures) Throughout this website, we have primarily focused on discussing harmonic concepts in music composition. While a solid understanding of … Read more

Recommended Books for film composers

Please note that the selection of books provided solely focuses on the theoretical aspects of music composition. Books specifically addressing the technical aspects of film scoring, such as spotting, synchronization, and other related topics, have not been included in this list. Introduction In an era flooded with information on the internet, books may appear to … Read more

Hollywood Chords – The most popular film music composition technique

white wooden fence on green grass field

This is an excerpt lesson from the [STUDY PACK] TWO CHORD STRUCTURE – 3RDS APART & PRACTICAL APPLICATION 2. Complete editions of video lessons, music scores (PDF), score analysis (PDF), and HD music examples used in this lesson can be viewed here. HOLLYWOOD CHORDS – INTRODUCTION Here, we explore creating evocative music by moving back … Read more

What is “Ostinato?” – Pt. 1

Ostinato

What is “Ostinato?” An Ostinato is a musical phrase repeated in succession in a composition. Ostinatos usually display melodic and rhythmic qualities. They appear in a variety of musical genres, usually as a leading or supporting device. When writing music for media, an ostinato can be a valuable tool for creating a piece with a … Read more

CREATING MELODIC LINES WITH CHORD ARPEGGIOS

Chord Arpeggios

Using Chord Arpeggios for a Melodic Idea Many composers create melodies using arpeggios. Some famous examples of arpeggio-driven melodies include the cello in Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony No. 3 (Movement 1), the brass in “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)” by John Williams, and sax in “Giant Steps” by John Coltrane. In more recent TV and … Read more