Music Libraries in Film, Television and Advertising

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Course Number: MUCP101
Course Instructor: Daniel Wehr
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In addition to work on many international film scores, Wehr has an extensive background as an arranger and producer of pop, dance and rock. He also never lost track of his commissioned concert music. Daniel is CEO of AudioSpike, Musical Director of CineTronic Music and oversees his music labels in the US as well as in Europe.

Learn more about the instructor Daniel Wehr

Course Description

Library music (also known as stock music or production music) is the name given to recorded music that can be licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio and other media.

In this course the know how, ins and out of library music for reality TV, trailers, award shows and commercials are revealed. We will simulate real life situations, exploring and writing for diverse libraries.

Each lesson focuses on a different library form (from reality TV, trailers, trailer kits to advertisement songs) with lots of practical exercises. There will be plenty of time for feedback and to review material.

Each show has a particular sound. The briefs, pictures of the show, animatics, feedback from producers and reference tracks give great hints to finding, developing and pinpointing that sound. Be aware that usually the sound changes throughout the show, since the makers themselves often don’t know yet what they want.

Course Goal

The goal of the course is to give a comprehensive and broad overview of the different sounds and demands of various libraries. With lots of composing exercises the different writing approaches are practiced in the context of simulated shows. Putting on the music editor’s shoes will ultimately send the students cues to the test.

Modular writing will be at the heart, understanding of the structure with a reflective and analytical mind is goal. Knowledge about the Trailer world as well as Trailer Kits and musical sound design will prepare the students to write their own epic cue. Familiarized with up to date market trends in songs for advertisement, how the music can serve the different promotional goals and the 12 hot song categories leave the versatile students with priceless insight to commercial music. They are made aware of the power lyrics can have and how to choose the right ones.

Equipped with the ins and out of the business side and what to watch out for in contracts the student is ready to participate in the big market of library music.

Lesson 1 provides an overview of the different library concepts on the market and their requirements. V-Cues are explained and the first show tackled: Hands Up.

Lesson 2 is all about modular writing. The horizontal and vertical approach to this writing technique is explored. The 2nd show is tackled: Baking Angels. and the modular style put into practice.

Lesson 3 deals with Trailer libraries as well as sound design and trailer kits. Mastering, different compositional structures and the Etoll method gets covered. The students are prepared to write an epic trailer track and create musical sound design elements.

Lesson 4 is all about song libraries for advertisement. After introducing David Huron’s six primary categories to serve promotional goals (entertainment, structure and continuity, memorability, lyrical language, targeting and authority establishment) we will dive into 12 trending categories of ad songs.

Lesson 5  closes the course with a quick history on library music and an important look into the business side of things: income streams, various licensing models and what to watch out for in contracts are pointed out. We end the class with reviewing the final assignment which hopefully leads to a lively discussion.