Music Composition for Film and Television

"Buy Now" to view and securely purchase the available paperback / digital editions at our publishing partner Hal Leonard LLC.
Berklee Textbook featured-textbooks
  • Suggested Retail Price: $34.99
  • Format: Book
  • Pages: 272
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-87639-122-6
  • SKU: 50449604
  • Publication Date: December 20, 2011

Related Online Courses & Programs

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.

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.

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.

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.

Learn film-scoring techniques from one of the great film/television composers of our time.

Lalo Schifrin shares his insights into the intimate relationship between music and drama. The book is illustrated with extended excerpts from his most iconic scores – such as Mission: ImpossibleCool Hand LukeBullitt and many others – and peppered with anecdotes from inside the Hollywood studios. Schifrin reveals the technical details of his own working approach, which has earned him six Oscar nominations, 21 GRAMMY® nominations (with four awards), and credits on hundreds of major productions. Includes the full score of Schifrin’s Fanfare for Screenplay and Orchestra, a treasure-trove of unfettered dramatic sound painting, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and a great thesis on the emblematic language of film music.

You will learn to:

  • Support a scene’s dramatic mood by matching appropriate musical constructs, such as intervals, instrumentation, and rhythm
  • Underscore standard genres effectively, such as action scenes, comedy, suspense, romance, and others
  • Compose music that supports dialogue and sound effects
  • Understand techniques and conventions of the scoring process, such as spotting, synchronization, ADR, and much more

Also included is the full score of Schifrin’s Fantasy for Screenplay and Orchestra, a treasure-trove of unfettered dramatic sound painting, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and a great thesis on the emblematic language of film music.


“Lalo Schifrin’s new study of film scoring makes an excellent addition to the available literature on the subject. As one of the acknowledged masters of the craft, he’s produced a detailed work that will be invaluable to students, and an intriguing read to anyone interested in what often can seem an elusive and ineffable art form.”

—John Williams

“I first met Lalo Schifrin back in the ’60s, when he did the music for several films I worked on (Coogan’s BluffKelly’s Hero’sThe Beguiled, the Dirty Harry films, Joe Kidd). I found him to have an extraordinary imagination and to be an outstanding film composer. He made the characters come alive. I was fascinated with his book Music Composition for Film and Television. It’s extremely educational and gives a wonderful insight into the film and television world through the eyes of one of the greats.”

—Clint Eastwood

“If I were to recommend one book to tell and teach all about music composition for film and television, I would recommend, without a doubt, Lalo Schifrin’s book of the same name.”

—Hal David


Lalo Schifrin

Lalo Schifrin has written more than one hundred scores for film and television and is recognized as being one of the…