Master of Music
Film Scoring Degree
The Master of Music in Film Scoring program will empower you with the skills and confidence to compose music to match any visual presentation that a filmmaker provides. You’ll develop your own unique compositional voice through a number of unique opportunities like working with live orchestras to bring your scores to life, and creating realistic-sounding MIDI sequences using professional-level sample libraries. By studying the works of a wide range of film composers, you’ll learn how to effectively incorporate music from different cultures and countries into feature films, television shows, or documentary film scores. The Master of Music in Film Scoring will help you become not only a more effective composer, but a more effective dramatist. You’ll build your business acumen, and learn how to make significant professional connections in the industry.
You’ll focus on maximizing your relationship with directors and producers, and work hands-on with student filmmakers to gain experience collaborating directly with clients. And, perhaps most importantly, through this program you’ll build your demo reel with recordings of exceedingly high production value, which will be suitable for use as promotional material.
You will also learn advanced techniques to create fresh and interesting electronic textures, configure a professional composer’s studio, land professional scoring opportunities, negotiate fees, and manage working relationships. You will also receive one-on-one instruction and mentorship in two of the courses designed to focus on your culminating experience for the program.
Film scoring is an industry driven by professional networks, and the instructors in this program, all of whom are working professionals, will be able to guide you in identifying pathways that will be helpful in building industry connections and finding and scoring film projects.
By the end of the program, you will be able to:
Analyze a given film score on multiple musical and dramatic levels
Articulate your own unique compositional voice
Compose in a wide variety of styles
Compose using a broad palette of advanced compositional techniques
Orchestrate your compositions with a deep understanding of orchestral best practices
Prepare record-ready Pro Tools sessions, scores, and parts
Produce a remote recording session with a professional orchestra
Mix your music at a high production level
Create exceedingly real-sounding orchestral mock-ups
Create intriguing and evocative electronic textures
Navigate the complexities of working in the film industry and strengthen your business acumen
Effectively collaborate with directors and others
Promote yourself as a professional composer
Required Online Courses (subject to change)
Complete the following requirements in the recommended order listed here:
- OCOMP-507Orchestral Mockups in Film Scoring
- OCOMP-525Film Score Analysis
- OCOMP-577Professional Film Scoring Skills 1: Collaboration and Communication
- OCOMP-588Mixing the Film Score
- OCOMP-599Composing the Orchestral Film Score
- OCOMP-590Compositional Voice Development in Film Scoring
- OCOMP-637Orchestrating the Film Score with Live Sessions
- OCOMP-650Professional Film Scoring Skills 2: Building Your Career
- OCOMP-662Stylistic Adaptations in Film Scoring
- OCOMP-677Synthesis, Sampling, and Sound Design in Film Scoring: Electronic and Textural Resources
- OCOMP-693Culminating Experience in Film Scoring 1
- OCOMP-695Culminating Experience in Film Scoring 2
How to Apply
- Fill out the online application (15 minutes - application opens May 13)
- Create a 500-750 word essay, or a 3-5 minute video essay
- Provide two examples of original compositions set to film
- Attach your official transcripts
- Ask for two letters of recommendation
Online graduate degree tuition vs. competitor's campus-based programs
Online graduate degree tuition is $33,120 for 36 credits. To get started, this degree program includes a $75 (non-refundable) application fee.
What makes good film music? It has to support the narrative, and it has to enhance the movie. It's really not about the notes, it's about the emotion. The notes are just a delivery vehicle, essentially, for the emotion. I can't think of anything else that can deliver emotion in the way that music can, without using words.
Film Scoring Chair for Berklee College of Music, orchestrator of several feature films for various composers, including Spider-Man 3, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, The Grudge, Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, and dozens more.
There’s a real need for composers to be able to deliver good mixes. And a good mix isn’t just something that sounds great: It’s something that works in the film and on the dub stage.
Mixer, programmer, composer on many feature films including Ronin, Stigmata, The Breadwinner, the first two Austin Powers movies, and many more
The principle job of an orchestrator is to honor the composer’s intent, so everything I do, I approach from that angle. There can be something artistic about the skill, but you always have to sublimate yourself a bit and realize you’re part of a larger team. So much of a successful film depends on a team effort.
Orchestrator and conductor with more than 100 major motion picture credits, including Black Panther, A Quiet Place, and all of the Hunger Games movies.
The technology and the idea of scoring sessions is what drew me to film scoring, but the collaboration is what keeps me there. There's something really special about being able to create something with other people that's really different than just doing it on your own.
Program Director for Berklee Online's Master of Music in Film Scoring degree, composer for documentaries and television commercials for clients including Animal Planet, National Geographic Channel, the History Channel, PBS, and more.