Film Music

I chose to review an articleThe Aesthetics of Film Musicby Roy A. Prendergast because he takes a detailed look at five broad areas about what music contributes to a film. In this article Mr. Prendergast looks at ways music creates atmosphere which adds color in a musical sense, the colors of the film are created by the use of different instruments and genres of music that gives the film it’s atmosphere, using it’s locale like “Alfred Newman used street songs and hurdy-gurdy music in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” is one way music is used to create color and add a dramatic effect to the film.

Throughout this article Mr. Prendergast makes reference to the many stylistic integrations used by composers in set pieces to add color such as using folk songs, street cries and the such to join stylistically with the overall music in the film. Using stylistic parody is a coloristic device that is somewhat cultivated in film music, only a few composers are capable of doing stylistic parody. It seems that most film composers stay away from using complex line and structure to avoid competing with the dramatic action. Mr. Prendergast states Music can be used to underline or create psychological refinements–the unspoken thoughts of a character or the unseen implications of a situation.” Meaning that music can show the psychological element better than dialogue can, and play on the emotions of the audience which composers are given little chance to use.

It was pointed out that the composer Leonard Rosenman said that ”film music has the power to change naturalism [in films] into reality”, that music creates a supra-reality of which the “elements of literary naturalism are altered giving the audience different insight into the motivations and behaviors. Also the background music is there to fill the empty spots and underneath the dialogue. Music can also develop a sense of continuity in a film and tie the film together, when used right music can build the dramatic effects and intensity to make scenes stronger, but music can also be inappropriate in some films.


Revenue Streams For Music Creators


In this changing music landscape people who create need to learn about the multiple ways to capitalize on the talent, and what revenue streams are available for them to do so. Because if you want to earn an income from your music you need to treat it as a business, there are four types of royalties that you can earn from. There are Mechanical Royalties that the Copyright Act allows the owner of a copyright of a song the right to create copies of the song to be played on a mechanical device, and even though these devices have changed over the years the rights have not

The Copyright Act allows for anyone to record the song, but must pay the owner of the song for the right to record it, and through the use of the song or composition there could be other artists who make records of one song and these recordings will yield royalties to the original copyright owner as Mechanical Royalties.


As a copyright owner of a composition you have the right to allow other artists to perform your song, and collect performance royalties for its use in their performance. The performance income from a copyright works is licensed through the performance rights organization (PRO) ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC that can include

  • Any performance of a song or composition – live, recorded or broadcast in TV or Film;
  • Any live performance by any musician in a Bar or Club;
  • Any performance by any musician through a recording on physical media;
  • Performance through the playing of recorded music;
  • Any music performed over the internet (digital transmissions

These organizations issue what is called a Blanket license to media outlets and music users for a fee that the composer and publisher will receive royalties for there is no payment to performance artist. A television show, commercial, or film can generates performance income from the license that is called Synchronization income, and it is paid for the use of background music, songs sung in a movie or over the credits, These licenses are negotiated on the needs of the buyer and seller.

Strategies for Mixing Music

What is Mixing

Process by which multiple recorded sounds are combined into one or more channels, most commonly 2-channel stereo. In the process, the source signals’ level, frequency content, dynamics, and panoramic position are manipulated and effects such as reverb may be added. This practical, aesthetic, or otherwise creative treatment is done in order to produce a mix that is more appealing to listeners.



Styles of Mixing

New York (all styles)

LA (all styles)

Nashville (Rock, Pop, CCM)

South (Rap, Hip-hop)

Mixing Objectives:

Identify the musical nuances, Identify mix milestones and roadblocks

Balancing levels and frequencies to Create depth.

Proper Monitoring

  • Setting up the speakers and room
  • Headphone mixing
  • What level should you monitor
  • Multiple listening environments


  • Gain Structure
  • Distortion and Harmonics
  • EQ’ing
  • Dynamic Processing and its usage
  • Time Based Processing and its usage
  • Panning
  • Phase

Where to start

  • Mix layout and organization
  • Height, Width and Depth Perception
  • Referencing the mix
  • Finalizing The Mix
  • Bouncing Stems

Interview with the President of Rayo Entertainment

In this post I interviewed my long time friend David Ogden who changed his career focus from Real Estate to the Music Business and started Rayo Entertainment, a Record Label & Music Group that has offices in New York and Lima, Peru, he plans to take his company worldwide. Rayo Entertainment has four divisions, which offer Management, Publishing, a Record Label and opportunities to perform on Stage. David has used his negotiating skills to grow a international company that caters to artists and the music community, he has a long history in negotiating and making deals from his background in Real Estate.

Here are the questions I put to him.

1) How do you separate the people from the problem when you are Negotiating? What tips do you have for new negotiators who are trying to do this?

When negotiating, it important to clearly know what you want in the negotiations. Once you establish what you want, I find it best to try to detach and stick to principles. It’s hard to negotiate with emotion.

2) How do you handle positional bargaining tactics?

Again, I think it’s clear to know what you want and what you are willing to concede before negotiations.

3) Can you give me an example of how you worked toward mutual benefit when you were negotiating a deal?

Its important to listen in negotiations, sometimes the other party wants less than you anticipated. If you know what you are willing to give, giving a little back might seem like you are meeting them. Because ultimately you want the deal to close, you don’t want the

person to kill the deal after an agreement. This is important, there is no deal until it’s closed.

4) How do you handle dirty tricks when negotiating?

Acceptance, there will be always dirty tricks, its negotiating. There are no rules.

5) When you are negotiating how do you view interests vs. positions?

Separate them; you have to be as detached as possible. In order to negotiate, you have to pay attention, and you must know your value.

6) Do you think self-confidence plays a major role when negotiating?

Yes, but more than that is self worth or what your value is to the deal.

Thanks to my class on Negotiation & Deal-Making I am able to reconnect with David and get his take on Negotiation and Deal-Making, I thought his answers were to the point and insightful. David has the skills for Negotiation from his days as a Real Estate broker and now with his passion for music he is applying those skills in the music industry.


David Ogden

Lima, Peru

Product and artist management

Today I would like to revisit a post I did for my class Product and artist management in my Masters Degree program.

I am reviewing Artist and Product Management by Japheth Campell from the website 360 digital artist. In this article Mr. Campell discusses the differences between Artist and product management and how they rely on each other for the success of the artist career. How it is the manager’s responsibility to integrate the artist and products on behalf of the artist. It is also important that a manager designs a career plan for the artist before any sources of revenue are attempted, this way the artist had connected with his/her fan base building awareness for the brand before trying to turn them into customers.


According to the article taking a creative inventory will help identify the artist abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and see if the artist has an appealing appearance that is marketable; are they the total image package? After the creative inventory a manager can start to map out the career path and seek to develop and market the artist by having an online presence to retain current fans and make new ones. It is also important that a good manager knows how to manage a product and understands the target audience, and to talk to the fans to find out what they want.

In Ian’s article he make mention of a few good resources for the aspiring artist and product manager, The Product Manager’s Field Guide: Practical Tools, Exercises, and Resources for Improved Product Management and This Business of Artist Management by Jr. Xavier M. Frascogna, H. Lee Hetherington both very good resources for anyone interested in artist and product management. I have found this article to be of great importance to me in my efforts to become a very good manager in the music industry and the resources are a mainstay on my bookshelf and I read them to help me be a better manager.



Artists Prepare To Be Managed

As an artist you must think about either managing yourself or finding the right manager for your career, if you decide to manage your career then you will have to invest your time into the business side of being an artist. If you record for your own label and are looking for regional recognition you can earn a modest income through selling merchandise and touring without the services of a manager even though one would definitely be helpful, but if you want national or international recognition it is a must that you have an manager to advocate and promote for your career.


In the music business today an artist should pursue management when you are ready to become a commercial artist, have the knowledge that many deals involves multiple rights or 360 contracts. Most artists at major labels will be offered contracts that the artists will have to share income streams so it is important that you have a manager to guide you in this process. You may feel that this is your shot and this is a chance at a major recording contract and end up giving away some of your rights that might result in you making less money.

So if you are an artist I would suggest that you investigate getting a manager to help guide you in your career.


Advanced Achievement Award

I was so proud to hear that the faculty at Full Sail University’s Masters of Entertainment Business selected me to be the Advanced Achievement Award winner of my graduating class. This is the highest award given to graduates, and I am honored to be receiving this award. Here is how the Full Sail Student Manual describes it:

“The Advanced Achievement Award is given to only one student in each graduating class. The award recognizes outstanding achievement throughout the whole program, acknowledging such things as effort, dedication, energy, sacrifice, skill, and leadership. Full Sail recognizes that the Advanced Achievement Award is one of its most prestigious awards and is usually indicative of a student who is most likely to succeed.”

I am forever grateful to all the incredible instructors that I have had at Full Sail, for all the knowledge they have taught me, the skills they helped me to develop, and for their willingness to educate. They are more than educators. They were my mentors, counselors and guides to my Masters degree and to my classmates you have been an inspiration to me along this journey.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart

Artists: Do You Need A Manager?

Sometime in your career there will be a moment when you feel that you need to step your game up to meet your goals and hit the big time. You might think that you can try and manage your own career and save on the 15% commission that a manager will want, but if you are looking for regional recognition you will need to get a manager to advocate for you and promote the growth of your career. In the music business today an artist should seek out a manager once the artist decides that they are ready to go commercial.

Most commercial artist are asked to sign deals like 360 recording contracts and these deal calls for the artist to share income streams in the range of 5% and 30% depending on the contract, so the artist must resist any temptation to sign a recording contract without first getting the guidance of a manager or attorney. Don’t think that you will never get another chance at a major recording contract because more opportunities will come again and having a manager will be to your benefit. Being a commercial artist is not selling out because you choose a career in the music business.

Here are some tips for you to consider>

  • Know who you are artistically
  • Get Experience
  • Build your network
  • Be professional
  • Be Prepared

You should make a plan and stick to it, know what your goals are and what will fulfill you as a creator of music, do you have any experience writing songs and recording, how often do you perform and do you enjoy performing? What will be the key to your success as an artist in the new music business?

If you are an artist be it a Rapper or Vocalist make sure that you hone your craft and seek out management to help guide you through the web that is the music business.Artists: Do You Need A Manager?

Reflections On My Masters Degree!

This is my reflection back on my on in Entertainment Business at Full Sail University. Reflecting back on my journey to earn my Masters degree in Entertainment Business I learned the concept of mastery. Gained an understanding of what mastery means, how to utilize the concept of professional leadership skills and personal development. I learned research methodologies, tools, and processes to apply to the course learning activities. I created narrated video presentations. I have been able to have a place where I can draw inspiration from to keep me on my path to success, and help me avoid the many pitfalls that will try and block my progress and with this  Reflections On My Masters Degree I am proud of the work I’ve done.  

While learning about the qualities necessary to be an effective leader in today’s entertainment industry, the understanding of the industry’s leadership styles and traits, explored effective decision-making processes, leading organizational change, negotiation skills, and investing in and managing relationships to achieve business goals these beneficial skill for business succeFinal-Logo2ss, and the concepts has help me in becoming a better leader.

I learned about effective storytelling methods of business leaders’ and the use of the story to effect change and researched industry trends to develop market research skills for entertainment brands. I discovered brand-management concepts and brand-development strategies in order to create a distinguished product and service in the current marketplace. This is Reflections On My Masters Degree.