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What To Do When You Write Movie Themes But Not Underscore?

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Hello There:


This is my first time on this forum. I recently returned to composing / writing after literally not writing anything for quite a while. It started again due to a temporary hand injury requiring surgery, where I couldn't use the pinky finger of my left hand to play correctly. Thankfully, that has now been corrected, but during that time, I started writing again! Then I revisited recordings of my older compositions, and found out that they were actually a LOT better than I gave myself credit for at the time.


Anyway, at the time I wrote some pieces that were piano based (instrumental) as well as music intended to be set to lyrics. And I am continuing in the same vein now. For the songwriting aspect, I am joining a fantastic site that I have recently found called SONGTOWN. It's run by a couple of No 1 country songwriters. But, the site deals with other genres of music as well.


The instrumental pieces I'm doing now could seriously be mistaken for piano reductions of full fledged Movie Themes rather than just piano based pieces. Think Cinema Paradiso by Ennio Moricone. Pieces that can be reflective in nature, that may you feel certain emotions. However, I do not know the slightest thing about film underscoring and to be frank don't know if I would enjoy it.


So, after a three paragraph build-up, here's my question: What do you do when you write very strong melodies / themes that definitely would not be confused with instrumental background music (synch music) , but do not have knowledge of or possibly the desire to become a full fledged film composer.

I would love of course for these themes to be be featured in a television or movie production but do not have a clue about underscoring a full movie. And there are other composers that naturally gravitate or have a strong interest in that.


In saying that I realize that the most famous movie themes / songs are also woven into the underscoring. But can those responsibilities be worked on by two different composers?


I guess you could say that some ballads and songs although originally written for a particular motion picture, also had major success outside of the films there were composed for. All the way from Henry Mancini (Moon River) to Rocky (Love Theme From...) , With You I'm Born Again from Fast Break and of course the mega hit My Heart Will Go On from the late James Horner and Will Jennings. Or a perfect example if The Godfather theme. Not to mention many more songs that were written first and then chosen for inclusion in a film soundtrack. But these were full fledged songs written by songwriters with lyrics and music rather than just an instrumental piece composed by someone other than the films composer.


I was just curious about this..... let's say for example that that the composers responsible for instantly recognizable and famous themes such as those for Brian's Song, A Summer Place or Love Story were composers, but not necessarily film composers. Writing music that could be used in film but not necessarily composed

for that purpose? So if your a person like that, what avenues would you pursue for your instrumental compositions?


This is something I've been thinking about for awhile. Since I would really like to share my compositions with as many people as possible but also naturally would like to make a living as a composer and pianist / keyboardist etc.


Thanks for reading my post. Any responses would be very much appreciated.



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My friend Barry Coffing started this site/business. He worked in Hollywood placing music in film for many years, and decided to build it up from there. Check out the "Got Music" section and the links for more info.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck


"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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