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Could someone point me in the direction to some good books on composing for TV/film? I have looked on Amazon. Quite a few out there but it would be helpful if someone would care to make a recomendation?
Originally posted by Dave Martin For the scoring end, I'd also look for the orchestration books by Neslon Riddle, Don Sebesky and Henry Mancini.
I've got all three of those. The Mancini is my favorite, in part because of the included CD. I like the Riddle book, too.
The Sebesky book... I dunno. I've definitely learned things from it--I actually bought it in high school, on advice from a teacher. But Sebesky's style hasn't aged too well to my ears. The 'CTI Sound' almost seems like kitsch to me these days.
Dave, what do you find most useful about that book? I haven't looked at it in a while, so perhaps I'm due to revisit it...
There's a Focal Press book I haven't been able to find that's the best explanation of how to do the math I've ever seen. The thing to understand about scoring is that it's always done in a panic at the last minute.
My old film buddies tell me that most contemporary scoring really sucks because it's "ear candy" that conflicts too much with the dialog. Underscoring needs to have much thicker harmonies than a stand-alone instrumental composition would have. In fact most of the classic "sound track" albums were rewritten to sound better without dialog since the musicians' union was going to make the labels pay for another session anyways.