Composing : Composing music for movies. by Robert Franklin

Composing music for movies.

Hi Guys! HNY! Are rock bands used to compose music for movies, or is the work done by other musicians? Sorry if this is a dumb question. Thx!

Allen Lynch

Rock bands/musicians can be used to compose music for films. Just depends on the type of score that you are looking for. Most film composers come from a variety of backgrounds and have some additional musical training (composition, etc).

Robert Franklin


Ellen Golden

If you go to different licensed music sites - many, many rock bands have their tracks in these sites that will possibly get picked up and used in a film. These sites have different qualities of music and some definitely carry more rock music. A few sites I have looked at in the past are:


Matchless Music



Song Freedom


Music Vine




Matchless Music



Song Freedom



Joel Irwin

Robert, here is one more which I know of which has placed music in Oscar nominated and winning films. It is called "". When a completed commercial piece of music is placed in a film (that is a piece of music normally not specifically intended for the film), the person handling that placement and licensing requirements is referred to as a "Music Supervisor". Sometimes films consist wholly of multiple tracks from the same artist. Two great examples are "Mama Mia!" (using ABBA music) and "The Graduate" (using Simon and Garfunkel music). In other films, perhaps 20 or 30 tracks are used from many different artists.

Some directors/filmmakers, don't work with a composer at all but use just commercially licensed music. A great example is "Woody Allen". His recent film, "Wonder Wheel" used period music from the 1940/50s most notably by an early well known R&B / Pop singing trio called "The Mills Brothers".

Another great opportunity for rock groups is to create music that 'sounds like' another track that the director/filmmaker has deemed too expensive to license.

There are also many films targeted at under 30 or females (which we call 'chick flicks') which often are heavily based in rock music tracks.

One of things to be keenly aware of is that musicians (especially those who are members of the AFM - American Federation Of Musicians union) tend to 'freelance' outside of their established live 'gigs' at both recording studios and film sound stages so it may be possible that the musicians of a rock band and those performing live on a film soundtrack could be one and the same even if not the rock band itself.

Robert Franklin


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