Creative Strategies in Film Scoring

"Buy Now" to view and securely purchase the available paperback / digital editions at our publishing partner Hal Leonard LLC.
featured featured-textbooks New Arrivals
  • Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
  • Format: Book with Online Media
  • Pages: 176
  • Dimensions: 9x12
  • Duration: 14+
  • Audio Tracks: 24
  • ISBN: 9781540000736
  • SKU: 00242911
  • Publication Date: February 01, 2020

Related Online Courses & Programs

Professional Composing and Orchestrating for Film and TV Certificate Program

This certificate program offers an in-depth education in composing and orchestrating the types of scores that will both compliment the visual and elicit emotions from viewers.

Music Composition for Film and TV 1

Learn how to write music in the style of Hollywood films and TV programs. The course begins with an overview of important considerations for composing music for visual media, including how to balance music and dialogue, how to influence the audience’s emotional response, and how to create music that elicits a location or time period.

Bachelor of Professional Studies: Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games

Gain the practical skills to compose, arrange, and orchestrate effective dramatic music for visual media, including film, television, and interactive media.

Professional Producing Music for Film and Television Certificate Program

Scoring for film or television demands a diverse set of skills. You must be able to write music on demand while working with click tracks and cues so that the music synchronizes with the picture and helps bring the story to life. In this certificate program, Berklee’s world-class instructors will teach you all of this and more to give you an advantage in this competitive field.

Audio Post Production for Film and TV

Become a more marketable and in-demand producer by mastering the tools and techniques necessary to complete a full audio post production project, including sound design, foley, dialogue, and music for a short film.

Orchestration 1

Learn to write and apply traditional orchestration techniques to both sampled performances and live orchestral performances.

Orchestration 2: Writing Techniques for Full Orchestra

Learn advanced orchestration strategies and approaches to writing for full orchestra, including both a live orchestra and sampled MIDI mockups.

Music Composition for Film and TV 2

Gain a thorough understanding of the compositional styles used in Hollywood projects. Learn to analyze specific genres of film and television music in terms of melody, harmony, counterpoint, tempo, rhythm, and orchestration, forming a template that you can then apply to your own writing.

Master Arranging and Orchestration Certificate Program

In this program, you’ll move from arranging for the rhythm section, horns, and strings to writing for the full orchestra—all while building your portfolio.

Create effective film scores! This book presents a framework for creative decision-making that will lead to producing the best music for a given scene. It supports artists working in film, television, video games, or other media. The framework encourages clarity of concept and facilitates productive communication between the composer and director, music supervisor, and others involved with the project. Two case studies, featuring audio and video, illustrate how different creative choices can control the expressive effect of the scene. Practical worksheets are included, which will help your team brainstorm, articulate, organize, and communicate your collective ideas and decisions. Whether you are creating music yourself or working with a composer, this book will help you develop the music that is optimized for storytelling.

You will learn to:

  • Use a discussion framework to help the creative team arrive at the best music to tell the story
  • Create music that supports the story, considering it from many angles including setting, dramatic function, character, narrative, and more
  • Analyze a scene in terms of what music will work best, and then ways to create music to match the scene
  • Consider the five key dimensions of a scene that must inform the music’s character
  • Prevent writer’s block or conflicting ideas from derailing music creation

“Creating music for film or TV is a team effort, and this book will guide your collaborative process to create the best possible music for your project. It will help you hone your collective creative vision to produce the best storytelling effect. Newhouse’s style is clear and engaging, and easily comprehensible by filmmakers at all levels of experience. His examples at the end give you a look behind the scenes at how effective music gets created. This process will bring your team into the professional world and greatly benefit your collective work. It will save you time and resources, empower everyone’s perspective and insights, help you generate effective ideas, and ultimately, lead you to a better movie.”


—Pinar Toprak, Composer (Captain Marvel, Krypton)




“Creative Strategies for Film Scoring is an indispensable guide for any film composer—from beginner to seasoned pro. Newhouse removes the mystery surrounding composing for film and reveals a replicable method that enables any composer the ability to write effectively and successfully for the screen. He breaks down the process of writing film music into bite-size techniques that are easily digestible, yet very powerful when employed in a movie. This unique scoring approach Newhouse unearths is timeless. It will be as relevant 25 years from now as it is today. He is very generous to share these insights with us!”

—Sean McMahon, Composer/Orchestrator (400 Days, Spider-man 3); Chair of the Film Scoring Department, Berklee College of Music

“This book presents a clear map for composers, producers, directors, and all the team involved in a film or TV production to navigate the often bumpy, confusing, and pitfall-filled path to successful score creation. Musical score creation for media can be a treacherous and intimidating experience for the unprepared. In this book, Professor Newhouse lays out a framework to guide the process from start to finish which makes an incredible amount of sense for everyone involved. His latest book presents a visionary approach to film scoring combining the emotional and stylistic elements of music creation with a sensible framework from the business world. This approach is sure to help the whole team involved in film and TV score creation.”

—Tim Aarons, Music Supervisor/Composer (Forensic Files, Ancient Aliens, Biography)

Educator and composer Ben Newhouse is ‘pulling back the covers’ and giving a behind the scenes look at the music scoring process through Creative Strategies In Film Scoring. Giving insight into his years of experience as a composer in Hollywood and educating countless students, Ben shares his knowledge and processes for effectively scoring music to picture. I have personally wondered about the creative process, where our ideas come from, and how to spark inspiration. Ben tackles these questions with his unique view of creativity, practical demonstrations of his approach to generating winning ideas, and insight into the organization skills necessary to succeed in scoring music for picture. Thank you Ben for continuing to generously share your wisdom and experience with your students and readers.” 

—Ryan Neill, Music Supervisor (The Terror, Modern Marvels); VP Music Production, Spirit Music Collective


Ben Newhouse

Ben Newhouse is a composer of  film and concert music. Newhouse’s commercial music has been used in over 3,000 episodes…