Modern Music Challenges

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The Challenges and Rewards of Modern Composition When one considers the word “musician”, the first image that often comes to mind is a performer on stage playing popular, rock, or classical music. However, what many do not realize is that there is a large range of mediums through which one can present music. Some of these methods include writing music to accompany a visual or interactive component such as television or video games. Despite the number of opportunities for original music, the art of writing music to picture is a arduous craft in itself. The challenges can sway composers from entering the field, but the rewards are enough to justify the extended work days and elevated amounts of stress. Garry Schyman, a mixed media composer, …show more content…
Each hired composer has an individual style, which sometimes makes matching styles to the lead composer’s difficult. “Mike Post wrote for an orchestra with pop influences,” describes Garry, “That style wasn’t my natural inclination. It served me very well to be able to quickly pick up on other styles. That’s part of what we do as composers in film and TV.” In addition, Garry had a tight schedule and fast turnaround for composing music for each show. Since new episodes premiered every week, the show’s composers would have little time to write and record the music for the upcoming episodes. “With films, you can get from six to twelve weeks to score the entire film and be done. TV is the tightest of all the schedules,” Garry explains, “You usually get one to two …show more content…
He believes that there are more people who want to score to picture than there are opportunities. Employers in the film, television, and video game worlds value the portfolio of a composer and their screen or game credits. These employers feel more confident hiring composers who have projects “under their belt” rather than those who have never scored the specific project before. Garry expands upon the subject: “Young composers forget that when someone hires you, especially when it’s a major project, their [the employer] butt is on the line and if you fail, then they look terrible. You’ll greatly benefit if you have a proven track record of scoring things and winning awards. It’s a Catch-22 situation; how do you get that experience?” Oftentimes, composers get their start from doing student projects when in school and low-budget films. Occasionally a composer with little experience will get the chance for a big project, but becoming an assistant for a well-established composer is much more

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