Wanna Write Music for TV? Here’s How
Before we begin, let's make it clear that this blog is directed towards music producers. The more you know about how things work, the better off your journey will be. Once you get a better idea of how this mechanism works, everything will fall into place. We’ll share 4 strategies to better prepare yourself to start writing music for TV.
One of my favorite shows was Hannibal. The way Mads Mikkelsen maintains his poise wouldn’t be as intense without the elegant symphonies and sometimes quirky background music that makes the scene almost grotesque.
Did you know that there are specific genres of music called Orchestral Tension and Dramedy? The next time you’re watching reality TV or listening to an instrumental piece, make sure not only do they have instruments in them but also some nice dramatic tension.
The type of music being played is an interesting question. It's clear from your description that the drums are what draw people in, but how does this change over time? Are there certain types you prefer over others or did their sound grow on us all at some point?
Wall to Wall
Once you start listening to a TV show, there is no stopping until the end. In fact, it could be hours later and all that will remain of your experience are those little pieces of music that make up for about 50 different cues throughout an hour-long program!
Hollywood has become a town of talk shows and reality TV. Month after month, new programs are being developed to air on the various networks that make up this industry--and sometimes those same studios will create an entire season's worth at once!
Reality TV shows have become an integral part of American culture. With new programs being developed every month, it’s hard to keep up with them all. You'll be able to learn about some interesting topics by reading this article on the term "wall-to-wall" and what it means.
Music is a vital part of the TV industry, and it's no secret that every episode requires music. There are simply too many cues for one composer to create within those tight production schedules or deadlines, but on the bright side- there always seems room in this crazy world for more composers!
Understanding the Hierarchy
The TV industry is a complex, fast-paced world that requires both time and patience to understand. It has its chain of command like most big productions do – but with an extra something special at each stage!
The executive producer or EP for short is the person who has all power in a TV show. They decide what goes on-screen and how it will look with their guidance from writers of course but also agents/managers etc., These EPs can come from any profession imaginable such as music supervisors selecting soundtracks that fit certain themes within shows - which might include films noir pieces during crime scenes.
The right music can help set the tone for any show. If you're looking to find out what kind of song will work best, consider taking a listen before deciding on anything! Is Tommy Shelby planning a strategy against his rivals or is he pouring his heart out in front of a waitress? Each scene requires a unique background sound that matches how people are feeling during those moments.
The music supervisor isn’t in charge of coming up with the score. He needs to reach out and find licensing/publishing companies who have access to musical gems for use on screen! These composers may be also employed by drama production companies but it would be near impossible to meet all demands made by one episode alone--especially considering how many different types there typically can be: classical vs pop; fast-paced contemporary numbers versus slower ballads, etc.
You are at the bottom of a long chain that starts with your composer. You need to compose as much music and make it high quality for your publisher to pitch it to the composer.
Master of all Trades
Music licensing can be a tough, competitive business. You need to do your research and make sure that you're up against the best of them if this is what interests you! Studying names like Hans Zimmer or Fergie may help you with understanding how to make a good income out of this.
Well, if you want to be a bedroom producer then that's great! You just need more skill than the average person to be something more. People who are above average also write other types or genres too; they're not only limited by what is considered "bedroom" stuff. It takes some talent and practice on your part - but it doesn't mean there isn’t room for innovation within those constraints either- so go ahead with whatever idea pops into your head next time around because no two musical creations will ever sound alike after all.
If you want to have your music heard, you should learn to mix and master it at an expert level. You can always outsource this part but the crazy deadlines in this field of work would hardly allow you that. Most have same-day deadlines. You also have to bear in mind the financial costs of outsourcing. All these constraints allow for one winner. A person who has mastered all of this.
You might think that music for TV is all fun and games, but it can also be stressful. You're trying to meet deadlines while working a full-time job as well! It's frustrating when you don't have enough creative freedom or specific guidelines on what kind of songs will work best with your show - especially since there are so many different types out there already waiting in line before being used by others.
Now I'm sure this isn’t an easy task considering how much more complicated things get once we add visuals into our mix; however, if anything else storytelling through sound should make these tasks easier (and sometimes even fun!)