Tool Time

Composers have different ways of creating. Some will sit down with an instrument, write a score or play software instruments in a digital recording program. I use all three methods depending on time constraints or the genre of music. For groove oriented music picking up the bass guitar can get ideas going, and playing the piano can surely bring about a chord progression quickly. For orchestral music I’ll typically play some rough ideas into Logic, my recording/sequencing program, then notate them onto a score for detailed orchestration. Instrument samples can help to get a sense of musical color and direction. For instance, the sound of a solo oboe can inspire the formation of another musical idea. Some film scorers prefer to start from the score pad, either digital or paper. A skilled eye can instantly assess the density and weight of a particular passage just by looking at what’s on the staves and hearing it internally or by playing it back if using a notation program. For some film composers this can be a faster means to an end.