Barb’s Music Blog

Archive for the 'Film Scoring' Category

Over Here (Am I Invisible?)

Here’s a song I wrote for lesson 1 of Songwriting for Film and TV.  I’m sick following an exposure to fragrance so was unable to record the vocal; hence the piano melody.


Over here, can’t you see that I need help?
Over here, I can’t make it by myself.
Lift your head up, look around with open eyes;
Stop your talking long enough to hear my cries.

Time is racing through the glass,
Running out and I can’t last.
Am I invisible?

Over here, ev’ry breath is coming hard.
Over here, veins are full of icy shards.
Ev’ry second finds me sinking farther down;
Someone help me get my feet back on the ground.

Am I invisible… invisible?

This song is dedicated to all those suffering from mental illness.

icon for podpress  Over Here (Am I Invisible?): Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Composing Music for Film & TV

I am delighted to report that I successfully completed Composing Music for Film and TV–another course taught by Ben Newhouse at Berklee.  As expected, the course was a great deal of work–and worth every minute and penny spent on it.

Each week we studied a different kind of cue–romantic, action, adventure, and so forth–looking at portions of actual Hollywood scores and examining them from the standpoint of harmony, melody, tempo and rhythm, and orchestration.  Then we were given a cut scene from a commercial movie (Iron Man, Sense & Sensibility, Lady in the Water, etc.)  that called for the type of cue we’d studied that week.  Our assignment was to score and sequence the cue.  As you know from previous posts, this was a real challenge for me–but I did it!

Check the player on the right side of the screen to listen to the cues I wrote and orchestrated.  You can also listen to my 3-minute demo reel from the link in this post.  I’d love to hear what you think of these cues.  (I’ve got two more that need further work; when they are ready, I’ll add them to the player.)

Now…one final class to get my Master Orchestration for Film and TV certificate from Berklee.  I can hardly believe I’m nearly finished!

icon for podpress  Demo Reel 1 (3 min.): Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Berkleemusic Celebrity Online Scholarship


I received word at noon today that I’ve been awarded a Berkleemusic Celebrity Online Scholarship in the name of Michel Camilo (

This means I’ll be able to take another Berkleemusic online course, after all. I’ve been vacillating between grinning and weeping ever since I found out!  

Now I need to decide what to take next, which is going to be really tough.  I have so much yet to learn….

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I Got My A!

…and I’m thrilled with the feedback from my Film Scoring instructor, Jack Freeman:

Barb, this is very nice! (I don’t really notice that much difference in quality between the cues that are ‘properly sequenced’ and those that aren’t!) All your music would stand alone quite well apart from the film, I think. Your cues make good musical sense.

I’ve already made a few comments about the first cue in the previous assignment – it works very well under the narration and still follows the development of the film.

Nice musical transition to the second cue, good modulation also. Nice ‘working/industry’ feel with the strong pulse. Tempo works very well and helps to catch many visual events. The piece is interesting to listen to but doesn’t detract from our understanding of the film. Nice sort of deceptive resolution into the 3rd cue, very good contrasting feel. Brings out the ‘crystal’ aspect of the film for me, very delicate.

You definitely have used the overlap techniques well in this film. Very good recap to the first theme to tie everything together. Nice ending also. I think this is a good example of the techniques you’ve learned in the class. Bravo, great job!

(See why I’m thrilled?)

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It’s Official! I’ve Finished Film Scoring 101!

This is my final project for Film Scoring 101 from Berklee Music online.  The instructor said we could post our projects if we made it clear that this was an assignment, only, with our original music–and not the actual product.  So…this is a work print, only–not the actual, original product.  The music is mine.

The first two cues have been sequenced, but cues 3-5 are simply output from my notation software.  I plan to sequence them, as well, to give consistent sound throughout the documentary.

Even after all the calculations involved in order to sync music with the video, it still seems like magic to me!  I hope I never lose that sense of wonder….


Film Scoring 101…almost done!

I can’t believe I’ve finished the last week of my Berklee Film Scoring class.  I’ve learned a ton over the last three months!  Our final project is to score a minimum of two of the cues for a 5-minute documentary film on Waterford Crystal (Ireland).  I suspect that most of us are going to try to score overlapping cues for the whole thing; I know I am.  Fortunately, I have until January 4 to complete this.  My days off this week are certainly coming in handy!

As you can see, my son has been working on my website for me.   (How’s that for a fantastic Christmas gift?)  My videos now display and play properly, so you can finally watch “Butterflies”.  :)   Additionally, he has set up a player, where you can choose songs to listen to.

I just added another video, “The Attic” (working with footage from the TV show, Providence).  As with the Butterflies video, this footage was provided for our student assignments.  The “real” videos had different music and better video files (with no SMPTE code printed on it).

December has been a cold month in a lot of places, so I invite you to listen to “Summer at the Lake”.   If it’s cold where you are, as well, close your eyes, relax for a few minutes, and let the music invoke memories of the warm, lazy days of summer.

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The Attic

This is an assignment I did for Film Scoring 101 (Berklee Music online).  Note that this was an assignment, only, and the broadcast version (Providence) had different music!  This was my first film scoring project, and I was very excited to discover that the math prep I did actually had the music syncing properly to the video. (Imagine!)

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It’s hard to believe I’m finishing week 9 of Film Scoring 101. I’ve learned a lot…but am painfully aware of how much I don’t know and how terribly slow I am!

Nevertheless, here’s a little something to give you a peek at what I’ve been doing. (The music is also in my play list.) Note that the work print provided for this assignment is just a portion of the actual documentary. The “real” documentary also has higher-quality video, no embedded SMPTE time code, and different music. Our assignment was to write and arrange music that would complement and support the video, and sync to its movement.

Leave me a comment to let me know what you think!


P.S. Please accept my apologies for not checking on posts that had been submitted. I promise to do better!

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