What do I need to study to become a film score composer, or a composer in general?

Page 1 of 2
#1
Hey! I listen much to Hans Zimmer's work along with Two Steps From Hell, Immediate Music and Audiomachine, and I wonder what do I have to study to be a composer like these? Is it something in schools calles composing focusing on this or what?

Thanks in advance!
#2
>Wants to be a composer

*looks at username*

Quote by GLP_Arclite
Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


I've got a handle on the fiction.

I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.
#5
Just get a music degree... preferably at a conservatoire and specialise in composition. Google is your friend.
#6
You don't need to study anything; you need a strong portfolio of work (whether commissioned or not) and to make the right connections amongst industry folk. That and being very, very lucky to be noticed ahead of the thousands upon thousands of other hopefuls.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#9
You don't need any real schooling, but knowing music theory like the back of your hand will help. You just need to be imaginative, and good enough for people to want to play your songs.
Quote by JD Close
Piano dick had some good parts, but should have said "As the business man slowly gets boned", would have accented the whole dick feeling of the album
#10
If you can't be assed with all the hard work - learn 3 chords and become a commercial composer?
#13
Quote by jenentonik
You don't need to study anything; you need a strong portfolio of work (whether commissioned or not) and to make the right connections amongst industry folk. img*dodgy image*/img



Why do the adbots always quote me?
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Feb 29, 2012,
#14
a miracle
ಠ_ಠ
<|>
/ω\



Tell me what nation on this earth, was not born of tragedy-Primordial
#15
Quote by L2112Lif
Composition, NOT theory, is what you're looking for. Theory will give you the background to analyze music, Comp will take that analysis and give you the tools to tweak the rules and help you create a style.

so surely he wants to learn both, rather than choosing one or the other?
ts, do a music degree where you will be able to focus on composition at a later date, rather than just a composition degree. you will learn a lot more.
#16
Rather than arguing over what he needs to know about, I feel it's still pretty important to point out (again) that it isn't just about what you know and having a degree - most of the top industry professionals did not go and get a degree in the subject(s), but instead simply managed to put together a great portfolio and work their way up while making connections. A lot of it involves luck, and a lot of it is about effort outside simply studying the technical aspects of a subject, and I wish I'd realised this before studying my degree (BSc Sound Engineering & Production) because the market is so saturated with graduates in music-related areas these days that many pro's of the industry don't even care about the degree and just want an apprentice/intern/partner who shows great potential in their portfolio and has the right work ethic.

You could have the greatest education in the world regarding your chosen area of music, but education is about facts, whereas the quality of practical work is partly based on opinion and preference.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#17
Quote by jani92jani
HE will need how to read music properly, how to orchestrate properly etc... So he needs some theory lessons.

i'm not sure if you're trying to disagree with me here... that's what i was saying
Quote by DisarmGoliath
but education is about facts, whereas the quality of practical work is partly based on opinion and preference.

i can see why you might think that having done a sound engineering course, but that's definitely not the case with a (good) music degree. the idea of writing film scores without having studied symphonic analysis first is just mind boggling to me. being a composer is not the same thing as being a songwriter.
Last edited by korinaflyingv at Feb 29, 2012,
#20
Pretty sure Sir Paul did some film scores and orchestration, Devin Townsend orchestrated for Deconstruction, neither of them have had any formal training. At a clinic I went to some asked Devin what scale a particular solo was in, he said he has NO idea what scale any of his solos are in.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#21
Practice writing. Theory is for people who have no talent to write music.

If you didn't waste time to learn useless theory you can write a masterful tune like this

Listen to that composition. The technicality and how the key and time signature changes flow perfectly with the dynamics.
2013 #5 Uger
2012 #7 Uger

Quote by jetfuel495
Jesus, Horsedick, you are my hero

Quote by JayT44
don't worry guys his girlfriend is black, she said it was okay for him to say that.



Stalk Me

Shitty Covers

Original Music

Lastfm
#22
Quote by korinaflyingv
so surely he wants to learn both, rather than choosing one or the other?
ts, do a music degree where you will be able to focus on composition at a later date, rather than just a composition degree. you will learn a lot more.



You get theory classes in comp, it just isn't the focus.
#23
I love how you've just decided you're gonna be a composer

You need to build up a portfolio. Also, becoming an actual composer is bloody hard, You've probably got a better chance of being an orchestrater, or an editer.
#24
Quote by Tanglewoodguit
I love how you've just decided you're gonna be a composer

You need to build up a portfolio. Also, becoming an actual composer is bloody hard, You've probably got a better chance of being an orchestrater, or an editer.



Or an Arbiter.




Its Editor, by the way Tangle.
#27
Quote by WantsLesPaul
Study Cannibal Corpse


...until you can cum blood on demand.

Ask Xiaoxi though. That's what he goes to school for. But he'll probably give you bad advice and tell you to listen to Bach. Or something like that.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#28
I can say from experience that composing a soundtrack is bloody, horribly difficult work. I tried composing a soundtrack for an animation film for our project last semester, and I nearly slapped one of my friends because she was being a complete bitch about the music and wasn't making any sense. Working with non-musicians to create music is going to be one of the hardest parts of the job, I can tell you that much.

EDIT: you can see the result here if you want, but skip forward to 0:28, because for some reason uploading the video created a bunch of silence before it
Last edited by CoreysMonster at Feb 29, 2012,
#29
Quote by CoreysMonster
Working with non-musicians to create music is going to be one of the hardest parts of the job, I can tell you that much.


It's really like trying to get directions in some foreign country from someone who doesn't speak a word of English (or any other language you speak, I guess).
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#30
i-bIV

staccato strings fucking about in the minor scale

repeat forever, gradually introducing more and more percussion

go home and roll about in a big pile of money
#31
Im in uni for music and Im hoping to major in comp. Its pretty good for doin stuff like that.
Interesting actually we have an avant-garde improv ensemble here which is improving a film score in a couple weeks. They're doin some 1920's horror movie.
#32
Quote by whalepudding
i-bIV

staccato strings fucking about in the minor scale

repeat forever, gradually introducing more and more percussion

go home and roll about in a big pile of money


This man knows what he is talking about.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#33
Write something as epic as the Simpsons or Indiana Jones theme. Go ahead, try it
#34
Danny Elfman played in a rock band for a bit and got noticed by Tim Burton, and now he's one of the most well known scorers.
#35
Quote by andyscoot
Danny Elfman played in a rock band for a bit and got noticed by Tim Burton, and now he's one of the most well known scorers.

The only good things Danny Elfman has done are the Simpsons intro and the 90's Batman theme.
#36
Hans Zimmer's not the only composer out there. You also shouldn't limit yourself to just film composers, listen to some of the classics.


And you will need to have a solid background in theory before you go to any music uni. So, study up. This helped me out a little when I was starting learning theory.
Last edited by ali.guitarkid7 at Feb 29, 2012,
#40
Quote by CoreysMonster
The only good things Danny Elfman has done are the Simpsons intro and the 90's Batman theme.


The Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands soundtracks are brilliant. And uh...he's a composer, not an orchestrator.
Page 1 of 2