How to write a horror film score

Posted on January 9, at 3: My career is starting to take off, so I feel that I can actually share my thoughts on this subject with some certainty and hopefully help those who read it.

How to write a horror film score

How to write horror music By Wil Forbis www. Folks, if you're looking for royalty free music for videos, presentations, games etc, check out my Pond5 Music collection.

Watch: How to Build Suspenseful Music Into Your Soundtracks

Or just go there to hear cool tunes. Recently I decided to stretch my creative muscles and write a musical composition in the style of the great horror themes of cinema such as John Carpenter's "Halloween" or Charles Bernstein's "Nightmare on Elm Street.

how to write a horror film score

Thus educated, I decided to collect my observations on the process into this article. First, because I will refer to it throughout the article, let me present my horror theme: Though it's quite prominently used in film, television and video games, you don't see a lot of discussion or analysis of its composition.

And when one is talking about the mediocrities of the genre these charges are doubtless true. But during horror music's best moments say, the work of Bernard Herrmann or Goblinit can reach the heights of any other style of music.

From a composer's viewpoint, there's an undeniable challenge to writing horror music. Since so many of the instruments, harmonies, melodies and structures used in horror stand apart from those used in "conventional" music, writing in the style gives one a chance to try new things and break out of the box.

How to Make a Horror Film (with Pictures) - wikiHow

Horror music, almost by definition, should not sound normal; it should defy many of the rules followed in standard musicmaking.

I considered a number of ideas and concepts while writing my horror theme.

how to write a horror film score

I've grouped these into two sections: Indeed, one could argue they've become predictable. Symphonic and classical instruments and choral voices are hallmarks of horror soundtracks; perhaps they ascribe a timeless nature to the monstrous evil which is causing zombies to rise from the earth or vampires to hunger for virgin blood.

Tips for Getting Into Film Scoring | Getting the Score

The notes were too low to hear, but could play havoc with the human nervous system. I'm dubious about the concept, but it's fun to think about. The wavering theremin, almost upon its invention, became synonymous with either eerie science-fiction monsters or ectoplasmic ghosts shimmering in the darkness.

Less used instrument like the musical saw or wood blocks can find a home in a horror score. If you're composing your music on a keyboard synthesizer, now is a good time to explore the less utilized tones and patches in your collection.

One interesting idea is to contrast an esoteric instrument such as the theremin against a more traditional collection of instruments such as a symphony or chamber group. The foreign, oddball nature of the this arrangement helps instill a sense of "something's not right here" that's idiomatic of horror.

Often a childlike melody is played on these instruments and is then contrasted against a symphonic pad or drone which might be in a different key, causing dissonance.Aug 16,  · Whilst putting together the documentary 'A Brief History of Horror Film Music' I took a couple of minutes to make a quick track in the style of John Carpenter.

Recently I decided to stretch my creative muscles and write a musical composition in the style of the great horror themes of cinema such as John Carpenter's "Halloween" or Charles Bernstein's "Nightmare on Elm Street.".

The Craft and Business of Music for Film

I’m referring more to original scores composed specifically to accompany the film. Soundtracks like the ones below. [Disclaimer: Two of the albums on this list belong to television shows, but "10 Film and Television Soundtracks to Listen to While Writing” is a bit too long of a title.

Oct 17,  · Villains are not the only way to make a horror movie unique, but you need a good villain or the movie will fail, every time. 2 Understand the plot of horror movies when writing the script%(7).

Great horror movie music doesn’t often win Oscars, but it does stay with us long after the lights have gone up. There’s an art to using suspense music to create terror, dread, and fear. Here’s how some of your filmmakers and composers create horror music by balancing two key elements: horror and revulsion. Oct 31,  · In this Halloween special video we write some horror music! -- Watch live at urbanagricultureinitiative.com Aug 16,  · Whilst putting together the documentary 'A Brief History of Horror Film Music' I took a couple of minutes to make a quick track in the style of John Carpenter.

Jun 18,  · Find the core idea -- a villain, setting, or gimmick-- that will make your film unique. Horror films are largely formulaic when it comes to structure, but the best horror movies have an element that sets it apart from the rest%(47). Jun 19,  · Blumstein first explored the link between such nonlinear noise and scary music in a study of movie soundtracks.

He discovered that horror scores made heavy use of such sounds, and, in films like The Shining, even used recordings of animal screams, Discovery News reports.

6 Lessons in 6 Film Scores, by Michael Giacchino -- Vulture