Here is a series of lessons in film scoring for anyone who wants to create music for motion pictures but is not a musician. If you are a musician or have any musical skill, go to Film Scoring For Musicians.
This course is only for filmmakers who want to add music to their motion pictures. Filmmakers should send me a sample scene that they have created before they begin this course.
MOTU Symphonic Instruments works with GarageBand but I do not recommend it. This package is awkward to use with GarageBand. Unless you have a special reason, do not buy this package to use with GarageBand. Even MOTU does not promote this package for use with GarageBand. Only the Guitar Center promotes this package for use with GarageBand which I feel is a mistake.
No acoustic loops
Note: In this course, we do NOT use acoustic loops. Loops are wonderful for documentaries, corporate video, event video and multimedia but never for narrative motion pictures. Midi loops are OK but with acoustic loops, you cannot modify (simplify or change notes) the music which makes is useless for dramatic scenes.
Ideal student for this course
Musical sound effects - The ideal student for these lessons is a filmmaker who likes to make sound effects on the piano which match the action of the movie.
Computer nerd - This course uses a lot of software so it helps to be a bit of a computer nerd.
Summary of the entire course for people in a hurry!
The theory course in a nutshell
Here is the entire course abbreviated:
Film scoring for filmmakers (the theory)
Filmmakers can simply create moods for their movies. They do not need a complete film score. This course shows you the shortcuts.
The sources of music
There are five sources of music in a scene:
The melody in the actors' spoken words
Sound effects (because they have pitch and rhythm)
Narrative music which tells a story
Background music to enhance the mood of the scene
Your music is important
Actors in modern (more realistic) motion pictures do not have melodic speaking voices. A song has only one mood. Therefore, you must rely on narrative music and background music to create the mood and help tell the story.
Music by filmmakers
Filmmakers can create the moods for their movies by using:
Individual notes or chords
Delicate rhythms (think tiny bells)
Filmmakers who are not musician can get all of these elements from the MIDI files of classical music created before 1923. By taking fragments from the classics, you get excellent sounding music that will create the moods for your motion pictures.
The lessons in this course
Here is a summary of all the lessons of this course:
Note: Narrative music often requires special film editing so the narrative music and the dialog will not overlap. The film editor must add gaps between the dialog for the narrative music. You don't have to do this for soft background music but you must do it for narrative music because it is so loud.
Musical effects can be created with just single note. As a sample exercise, you need to learn to create a mood of fear with a single musicial note (or a single chord) by using GarageBand with one of the many violin trills from Jam Pack:Symphony Orchestra or with the Boldt Starp Strings from Boldt 24 Pack.
Once you have created this sound of fear from a single note or chord, please send me your project file or your audio file for this sound. (10 points)
Musical effects can be created by delicate rhythms (but not drums.) As a sample exercise, I want you to use tiny bells or a harp to create a fast, repeating rhythm that sounds extremely happy. This is the sound of joy.
Once you have created this sound of joy from a rapid rhythm of tiny bells or harp, please send me your project file or your audio file. (10 points)
For filmmakers, the greatest source of musical sounds is midi files. But extracting notes from midi files of music created before 1923, you can get the masters to create the three kinds of musical sound effects you need for your motion pictures.
Once you have created a very dramatic mood using a melody, please send me your project file or your audio file. (10 points)
Finally, use the points you have earned to purchase the disk called "Blindman's Production" from the Star Movie Shop. Then use the music you have created in steps 1, 2 and 3 as the film score for this scene. You will be surprised how well this works!
You will need the sound of fear (when the blind man trips over the box), the sound of joy when the man and woman hold hands and dramatic melodies to explain that the man is blind.
Send me your project file or your audio file or your complete movie of the scene when you are done with this assignment. (20 points)
Go ahead and begin. You don't have to read the lessons to begin. If you have problems, go to the individual lessons for more detail. These are the Theory of film scoring, the sound of Fear, the sound of Joy, the sound of Drama and the Film scoring workshop. Otherwise, once you have completed the steps above, you are finished with this course.