9-1 Resolutions

9-1 Resolutions In practically any chord type and progression you can add very filmic sounding inner voices by relying on the 9-1 resolution. When you for example use a C major chord it will give you a colourful inner voice when some instrument (apart from the bass of...

Real Musicians and Rhythmic Complexity

Real Musicians and Rhythmic Complexity One of the most common reasons for slowdowns in recording sessions with real musicians are (unnecessarily) tricky rhythms. As a composer/orchestrator you should always be sure that real musicians are not sequencers that can play...

Melodic Target Notes

Melodic Target Notes Melodic target notes of a phrase should be avoided for as long as possible before reaching that target. For example, if your melodic phrase has a target note of a c, you should try to not use that c (if possible also in no other octave) in the...

Structuring Ostinatos

Structuring Ostinatos Ostinatos play a big role in current film scoring and while the principle of how they work is pretty clear, many learning composers struggle with their use. Due to their repetative character, ostinatos can become quite annoying and start feeling...

Melodic Steps and Leaps

Melodic Steps and Leaps One very old but also very useful rule for melodic writing is that a melodic leap in one direction should be followed by a melodic step in the other direction. Consecutive leaps in the same direction sound very dramatic and have the potential...

Reharmonisation Fundamentals

Reharmonisation Fundamentals Reharmonisation of a melody is a very attractive way for musical development and is constantly used in film music to shape a theme according to the mood that is needed. The possibilities are almost endless and you could reharmonize by just...