Stylistic understanding

Understanding and being aware of a style of composition is just as important as finding the right tone for a scene. While certain things are musically perfectly plausible they might not neccessarily be what is stylistically appropriate. Film music is a highly and permanently changing genre. Just remember the brief but excessive phase of “Braams” from recent years. Of course, you can define doing something that currently is not quite in style in general as “your style” and therefore create a certain recognition value of your music but you cannot stretch this too far. At a certain point, your customer might just say “This doesn’t sound like current film music, I want to hire somebody else.” Try being very sensitive on style when you write and listen to music to get a very clear feeling for what is stylistically appropriate. Also, studying composer’s personal styles might be very helpful. Try to find out what makes Danny Elfman sound like him or why you always recognize John Williams. A thorough understanding and security in handling styles is highly neccessary for every film composer.

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