Film Scoring 101

Berklee Online


Boston, MA


Jun 5 - Aug 27




Each summer, Berklee welcomes students across the globe to its campus in the heart of Boston. More than 3,000 students travel from over 70 countries to hone their craft, make global connections, and collaborate with other like-minded musicians, actors, and dancers.

Our faculty are Grammy-, Oscar-, and Tony-winning artists who are dedicated to helping you learn how to succeed in today’s performing arts and entertainment industries. In addition to our world-renowned undergraduate faculty, Berklee summer program participants learn from acclaimed visiting artists. Recent guests include Jacob Collier, Charlie Puth, Esperanza Spalding, and Ebony Williams.

After a quick overview of the media industry today, one will learn the technical and aesthetic challenges in this highly competitive field. Students will be able to analyze and spot a film score and become a better storyteller through various writing exercises.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • analyze the story in a film based on the common three-act structure
  • appreciate the art of filmmaking as a collaborative process of many different departments, music being just one of them
  • understand the historical and technical challenges in film and music synchronization
  • understand the creative process of writing to picture
  • set up your DAW with appropriate tempo and meter maps
  • ackle the most common challenges film composers come across, including:
  • use electronic synthesis as a creative tool
  • navigate the intricacies of the business, including:
  • Contracts and deals
  • publishing vs. writer’s share
  • self-promotion
  • career paths
  • import video and create an offset start point in your DAW for scoring purposes
  • create final audio mixes within a QuickTime movie

Completion of Music Theory 101, Music Theory and Composition 1, and Basic Ear Training or Ear Training 1 or equivalent knowledge and experience is required. Students should be comfortable with the features and workings of their DAW (digital audio workstation) of choice, be it Logic, Pro Tools, Digital Performer, or any of the other programs specifically listed. An existing competency in creating music, combined with a thoughtful awareness of drama and human emotion will be critical assets to draw upon from your own background.

Students undertaking the course should have the following prerequisite musical and technical skills:
Ability to read and create music
Ability to compose music and create scores (either from a notation program such as Finale [full version] or Sibelius) or handwritten and scanned
Some experience with MIDI sequencing and digital audio software for producing and finalizing musical mock-ups via sample libraries
Courses that may help you prepare for Film Scoring 101 include the following:
Pro Tools 101
Producing Music with Logic

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