Music supervision stands at the center of two very powerful groups in the music industry: the creators of the music and the film and TV productions that rely on music to help tell and sell their story to the public. This course explores the ins and outs of music supervision, so that you will be able to function effectively on either side of a licensing transaction.
The course begins with an overview of the many aspects of a music supervisor's job and then delves into the history, theory, and application of combining music and media. It provides an overview of the tools and protocols used by production teams, the creative approaches, and licensing practices–essential information for artists who are interested in generating income from film or TV placements or students who want a career in music licensing.
The course contains exclusive interviews with music supervisors, sound and music editors, publishers, producers, engineers, and other music industry executives, including music supervisor Alex Patsavas, who has worked on over 60 films and television series (e.g., Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, and The O.C.), and Senior Vice President of Music for 20th Century Fox Television, Ward Hake (Glee, Modern Family, 24, The Simpsons, Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, Sons of Anarchy, and Bones). Exercises, discussions, and assignments will be "real world," using materials from feature films, TV, ads, radio, and video games.
You will learn how to work effectively on a production team, locate resources for licensable music, offer creative options, select and license appropriate music, combine music with a variety of media, and generate detailed license requests, agreements, and cue sheets. The goal of the course is to give you a thorough understanding of the elements that make a piece of music a "perfect fit" for a production, in addition to an understanding of the needs of both the project (directors and producers) and the rights holders (writers, publishers, and master owners). Whether you are a publisher, songwriter/composer, master owner, or executive producer, you will gain skills needed to effectively work with the creative and budgetary aspects of combining music and other media.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Analyze and satisfy the criteria for an effective music placement
- Understand rights holders' concerns
- Operate within a budget
- Pitch your vision effectively by combining music to picture
- Communicate with a production team
- Utilize standard protocols in production workflow
- Discover resources for licensing music
- Customize licenses and create cue sheets
- Discover unique opportunities for music supervisors
- Get started as a music supervisor
Lesson 1: The Wide World of Music Supervision
- What Does a Music Supervisor Do?
- History of Music Supervision
- US Copyright Law
- Resources for Finding Music
- Assignment 1: Research Music for a Given Scene
Lesson 2: Tech Week
- Capturing Audio
- Combining MX to PX
- Music Library/Song Catalog Resources
- Assignment 2: Choose a Video Clip – Then Add Audio
Lesson 3: Theory and Applications
- Merging Sound and Vision
- Types of Music Uses
- Sound Design and Location
- Dialogue Replacement
- Assignment 3: Critical Listening to all Audio Elements Contained in Media Types
Lesson 4: Communicate and Create
- Team Dynamics
- Who’s the Boss?
- Dos and Don'ts
- Music Libraries
- Assignment 4: Finding Songs in Music Libraries
Lesson 5: Tools of the Trade
- Audio and Video Production Tools
- Audio Formats
- Audio Editing Tools
- Data Transfer, Storage, and Ergonomics
- Assignment 5: Using Audio Editing Software
Lesson 6: Who Owns What?
- Master Owners
- US Copyright Website
- Assignment 6: Searching Songs
Lesson 7: May I See Your License?
- Master Use License
- Sync and Performance License
- Mechanical License
- Licensing Using Song Catalogs and Licensing Stores
- Defining Usage Types
- License Proposal Formats and Budgets
- Assignment 7: Create License Proposal
Lesson 8: Music Styles and Placement
- Expand Your World of Music
- Elements of Music
- Temp Tracks
- Spotting Session
- Assignment 8: Watch a Clip and Create Spotting Notes
Lesson 9: Cue Sheets and Royalties: A Direct Connection
- Cue Sheet Ingredients
- Submitting Cue Sheets
- Oops! I Made a Mistake
- Digital Analysis and Watermarking
- Assignment 9: Creating a Cue Sheet
Lesson 10: Starting the Final Project
- First Things First
- Email Blasts
- Deadlines and Game Changes
- Assignment 10: Assembling the Final Project
Lesson 11: Beyond Film/TV: Unique Music Supervision Opportunities
- Video Games
- Web Pages and Audio Books
- Business Music
- Assignment 11: Preparing Final Project
Lesson 12: Final Project Submission/Get Started
- Entry into the Field
- Defining Your Marketable Skills
- Opportunities for Practice and Gaining Experience
- When You Get the Job
- Assignment 12: Final Project Submission
Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements
Completion of Music Business Trends and Strategies, or equivalent knowledge and experience is required.
- Music Supervision: The Complete Guide to Selecting Music for Movies, TV, Games, & New Media (2nd Edition) by Ramsay Adams, David Hnatiuk, David Weiss, Schirmer Trade Books
- Hey, That's My Music by Brooke Wentz, MusicPro Guides/Hal Leonard
- Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury, Penguin Books
- Recording software that combines audio with QuickTime files (e.g., MixCraft, iMovie, GarageBand or Vegas Movie Studio HD for PC)
After enrolling, please check the Getting Started section of your course for potential deals on required materials. Our Deals page also features several discounts you can take advantage of as a current student. Please contact email@example.com for any questions.
General Course Requirements
Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in live chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course.
- Latest version of Google Chrome
- Zoom meeting software (available in the course when joining your first chat)
- Speakers or headphones
- External or internal Microphone
- Broadband Internet connection
Author & Instructor
Brad Hatfield is a Boston-based Emmy award-winning composer, keyboardist, arranger, orchestrator, and award-winning educator. Writing and producing songs in a variety of genres, Brad's works have been heard internationally through repeated placements in film (Borat, Iron Man 2, Analyze This, The Break Up), and TV shows/promos (Friends, CSI, NCIS, Saturday Night Live, American Horror Story, The Sopranos, GLEE, The Good Wife), just to name a few. Brad served as co-composer for the FX series Rescue Me, and is currently composing for the CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless, where he received Emmy nominations in 2015 and 2016.
As a keyboardist, Brad has performed and recorded regularly with the Grammy nominated Boston Pops since 1990 under John Williams and Keith Lockhart. He has accompanied artists including James Taylor, Bono, Martina McBride, Patti Austin, Guster, Audra McDonald, and Kenny Loggins. The Boston Pops has commissioned Brad to orchestrate for a variety of artists including Demi Lovato, Darlene Love, Kristin Chenoweth, and Susan Tedeschi.
Brad has also toured internationally with jazz artists performing at major festivals (North Sea, Montreal, Perugia) and well-known venues (The Blue Note, Birdland, Ronnie Scott's). Brad appears on dozens of recordings ranging from Jazz to Americana, and was the featured piano soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River soundtrack.
Brad received the 2012 UPCEA "Best Online Course" award for his Berklee Online Music Supervision course, and also won the 2014 UPCEA "Excellence in Teaching" award for his work at Berklee Online as a facilitator of his Music Supervision and Songwriting for Film and TV courses. Brad holds a graduate degree in Management from Cambridge College.
When taken for credit, Music Supervision can be applied towards these associated programs: