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This 52 message thread spans 4 pages: [1]  2   3   4  > >  
  I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Musicman2202 at 06:21 on 26 April 2008

My name is Ben I am new here. I write alot of music ranging from intricate piano melodies to simple guitar riffs. What i love about music is the ability to catch peoples attention and make them smile. To keep it short I will say I am looking to send out a small demo cd to certain people and what i want to know or to get an idea about is.

1. If i am writng tv music such as. theme tunes jingles or radio ads. who do i send them to.

2. If i do send out a cd how much music should be on them.
3. my recording ability is improving and very good now but it is not studio quality does this matter for a demonstration of my abilities.
4. My passion for music is deep and my ability is constantly improving, my mind is realistic and i feel this is where i could excel myself.

any response is much appreciated. if i have got the wrong idea about this forum please let me know. thanks for reading.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 15:07 on 26 April 2008

As a lot of people have said you can and should write what you want.

That is easy to say, but it is not always easy to put into practice. What do you really want? You cannot know until you have listened - and I mean really listened creatively - to a lot of music and until you have developed a thirst to explore what you have leaned to the end and beyond.

That is not the aim of composition - just the very beginning: the first condition before you even start.

Questions about how to help deceive and sonically titilllate millions of people into parting with their money and giving it to a $multibillion multinational company is not part of what a composer really wants. A prostitute has pimps to help her sell her body. I am not sure that this forum is the place to ask for advice how to sell your soul.

I am sorry to talk so bluntly. Please do not take this as in any way a personal remark aimed at you. But please take it as intended: a warning to all of us to be true to ourselves: not even our selves - but to the art of music.

.....(And now I've got to apologise again for sounding so pompous. Music can be fun, but it is serious....)

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 20:53 on 27 April 2008

Think what you like, say what you like, Martin. Write whatever music you like, both of you.

Good luck to you both.

But don't descend to childish name-calling.

(....and if your intention is to prostitute music, at least have the delicacy not to bring us all into it)

   Misuc at 20:53 on 27 April 2008

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Musicman2202 at 05:24 on 28 April 2008

thanks for that martin. i do have a myspace but it is a bit out dated so i will maybe upload some new songs and refresh my profile and start searching. as for julian or whoever. i don;t intend to listen to his personal views i was looking for a general view. some help and advice not a ticking off. but much appreciated.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 18:43 on 28 April 2008

My! How irritated they get!

Here's a fact - not a personal opinion: Just 497 people own 7% of the world's GDP. 7 people own more than the GDP of 41 of the world's poorest and most indebted nations.

"So" - you might say - "what's that got to do with me? I'm just a composer". OK. But please don't ask us to help you to stop being a mere composer and become an aide to to some of these over-rich and over-powerful individuals and their corporations.

There is a contradiction between the demands of music and the demands of the power-elite which runs and ruins the world.

Rude words to critics of the system will not alter this terrible fact.

If there are questions about the music - even music which is meant to serve the corporations (which TV ads etc. inevitably do) raise them. This might annoy many of us who actually write music for music's sake, but OK. But extra-musical issues were involved in the original question, and it is legitimate to answer them as one thinks fit.

You don't have to agree, of course, but don't you feel any obligation to explain your musical purposes, if any, in front of people who do have musical purposes?

Well. that's it! I've had my say. Looking back over the correspondence I see I did massively over-react - and what was meant seriously and not hostilely did come over as pompous and arrogant. Feel free (as you obviously do) to ignore or disagree - or to laugh. I'm not insulted by (somewhat) justified abuse - and it's all over.

But do remember,there is actually a serious point here, all the same.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 19:02 on 28 April 2008

I looked at your profile, zzzzz5 to see what sort of music you write, having accused me of hiding mine. I see that you have chosen to hide all details from the list. Pot calling kettle black?

[The reason my works are not up is because I have no decent - or even bearable recordings of the few works I have had performed in public. I will see if I can record a few of my piano works, at least, myself.]

But I have been talking about various problems to do with music. I don't see that, for there purposes, it makes any difference if my own work is rubbish or not. I have not made any great claims for it.

As for Musicman's stuff, well, it certainly does not make any great claims either, does it?. But then, it isn't really music at all, is it? not something you'd actually listen to.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Hugh Boyle at 20:01 on 28 April 2008

If we go back to the beginning I think we will find that it is not Benís intention to make the rich richer. I honestly believe that he enjoys writing music and wants to enjoy people enjoying his music so donít be put off by all that has been said Ben.

A few years ago I got pretty good information from the BBC website ( which I have saved as a word document and canít seem to find there now. Email me at and I will forward it to you. I think it will provide you with many of the answers you seek.


Hugh Boyle

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Musicman2202 at 23:06 on 28 April 2008

**** music is music even if you hate it it is still someones music. i wanted advice not abuse. i hope you enjoy loneliness up there on your pedastal. well i won't be coming back to this site. goodbyeeee ha ha. thanks for your adice also hugh much appreciated.

[Edited by David Bruce at 03:12 on 01 May 2008
edited for language]

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 22:42 on 29 April 2008

I never said anything about what type of music one 'ought ' to write - and I did not go on to trash Musicman's work, as you claim. The only thing that made me angry was his not appearing to concern himself - or at least not us - with what he was writing and questions about how to do it etc. , only with how to sell it to advertisers etc. Has he ever even listened to the Beatles? There is artistry, sincerity, imagination, skill, depth, subtlety, humour, tears in all kinds of music, but please don't bring music down to a junior branch of marketing: such music has none of those things. It is not meant to be listened to: it would be bad marketing music if you did feel you had to listen to it.

I hate shopping music in supermarkets etc. but once I was in a store which had made the mistake of putting on Schumann's Second Symphony. I was thunderstruck! Knocked out! I wandered around dazed in a dream and couldn't buy a thing...... When will the world be ready for Schumann?

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  James McFadyen at 08:18 on 30 April 2008

Hi Ben

Great to see another composer coming into the world! With regards to advice about furthering your career, the only thing I can really say is you've got to make it happen for yourself. The good news is I think you have mindset and determination to do so.

Write as often as possible, even if it is just a 1 bar riff; keep your mind active and listen to a lot of different styles of music as this can help you find your place in the musical society.

If you want to write for Film and TV, seek this out now but a word of caution: Don't become to romantasised by the Hollywood Film Composer; most who work in the film industry write for independant TV. Don't bank on your scores being realised by the London Symphony Orchestra because that's a sure way to have your hopes dashed.

Learn your studio well and how to get the best possible results from it. Film music is about what you can do compositionally and with technology. Might also help you to take a course in film music. These can provide connections!!

Also, be aware of what you want from your music. Film music can be great but it so very often means letting go of your music and being prepared to write on a music-made-to-order means. I.E. You cannot always write what you want; you'll have to write what the director wants else you'll find yourself distinctly unemployed.

To finish; Be prepared to do a whole bunch of free stuff! Nothing really wrong with that, but you might need another day jobv while you build up your showreel.

Hope this helps; I've tried to give you encouragement and a dose of reality. Both are nessesary in this game and I think others will agree. Good luck!

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 19:49 on 30 April 2008

A few home-truths from James there! They needed to be said. Actually one could go further and spell things out:

If you want to write for films, don't start. There are scarcely any film-makers in Britain, and such as there are already have their favoured people. The market is pretty well closed.

On the other hand there are plenty of people who are making a lot of money in "this game' (as James so tellingly calls it) - by providing 'music' for commercial television (or what James quaintly calls "independant" [="independent"] television, despite the fact that the thing was set up specifically in order to be 100% DEPENDENT - on sponsors and advertisers).

He rightly warns our aspiring film composer not to write what he wants, or he will be kicked out of a job [by someone who is paid not to care about music].

He advises him to write what the director wants. However in those rare cases where the director knows what he wants, he invariably wants what he has heard before. That is why all TV 'music' sounds the same.

Besides, the director, being just as realistic and practical a man of the world in his sphere as James is in his, has already done his reckoning and has long ago decided to limit what he wants to what he knows or believes will suit the interests of his boss [although in most cases this has been more instinctive careerism - the 'brown-nose reflex' - than the thought-out decision of a fully conscious human being]

But, for the TV companies on whom film-makers are reliant, films are an irksome expense, coming well behind game-shows, reality TV, programmes dedicated to buying, eating, sex, sightseeing and property speculation among the foreign poor, nasty business propaganda and all the other filling necessary to pad out the short breaks between adverts and make sure the viewer does not switch channels in the meantime and in general to take charge of the viewer's attention and lead him seamlessly from one advertisement to the next. Meanwhile, not being the romantic idealists which James so scorns, they can compensate some of the losses incurred through having to make a film with some discrete or indiscrete product placement.

If our young protege wants to have a go at providing some 'musical' aid to their dumbing-down enterprise, then the first [and, with any luck, the only] thing he needs to do is buy the right tools for the job. There are any number of press-button-music shops along Charing Cross Road and across the globe, which will be only to eager to offer him guidance and take his money. These devices will enable him easily, without effort and without any prior knowledge, to provide just what is wanted. Much of it they will do for him automatically at the press of a button. They will snatch sounds for him and enable him to repeat them to the point of nausea, as is required. They will enable him to filch second-hand public school-songs and hymn-tunes and perk them up for costume dramas, suitable for profitable sale to the USA and worldwide, lush sub-Debussy Hollywood Strings/harmonies for sea adventures and journeys, wild native yodels for cavemen, Tibetans, Romans, anything prehistoric, ancient, mysterious or 'ethnic', woodwind and electronic warbling for nature documentaries, synthesised gurgles and creaks for SciFi, ghosts etc. In short, with a little experience (but not so much as to get so involved that he will want to start making the music that HE wants) he should soon be in a position to present his potential bosses with all the material they could wish for - or even recognise - even, perhaps, one single all-purpose demo suitable for any TV programme whatsoever which could serve all their needs at once.

Another word of warning though, my friend. Don't imagine that merely sending demo tapes round will in itself impress anybody. You have to meet the clients personally and find - or affect to find - them attractive or at least bearable - i.e. be in the right places with the right clothes, the right bodily gestures, the right age and looks, the right sexuality, the right accent and connections, the right cocky modesty and willingness to sell oneself etc. Just look at it from their point of view. There is not much difference between one person's work and another's. Nor is there meant to be. In their position, would you hand out lucrative opportunities to someone you didn't know or didn't like, who could do you no favours?

By the way, James: we have met before, haven't we? Last time you were defending 'minimalism' not on account of its usefulness to profiteers and media-hypesters, but on the grounds that this was the music that you wanted to write. With this posting, you have revealed something surprising, which I always suspected, but couldn't quite put my finger on: a deep connection between minimalism and the most rotten kind of commercialism

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  scott_good at 00:39 on 01 May 2008

damn, misuc, you can write a hell of a post - that was brilliant.

but, sorry, as a musical purist, i cannot accept your minimalist bit at the end - for instance, i saw an ad where Beethoven 9 was used to sell home sh!t for a big box - it was so vile. but, it don't make beethoven 9 crap - it has nothing to do with beethoven what-so-ever.

and, even more so than any work of nono or stockhausen, would the works of lamont young (minimalist pioneer) scare off any potential buyers. it's as anti-consumerist as it gets, and thus deserves more respect for its rebelliousness.

but yes - screw the pursuit of commercial drivel - all you will get is cash. man. this is it - life - it isn't a rehearsal. do things that make the world better, not worse. live simply but with meaning. make beautiful and creative works, not ugly and destructive garbage.

learn about the art of music, not the profit.


btw, i played a commercial once, and let me tell you, it goes well beyond the director, and right to the owners - they came in and started "recomposing" this guy's little 30 second musical bit - it was absurd - ridiculous. but the composer just sat there and tried to read their minds as they pathetically attempted to describe what they wanted.

i decided to never do that again. i would rather pick up trash because at least that is moving in a positive direction. (less garbage not more)

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 21:38 on 01 May 2008

Thank you.

I much appreciated your comments.

You were right about horns too. I was brought up on an old Alexander. We both endured some battering together over the years. Irreplacable. I sold it for peanuts to a hard-up student, when I realised I was never going to get any good till I stopped playing and started practising. Well I gave up playing but never mastered the art of practising!

I appreciate what little I have heard of your many kinds of music too. And am envious even of the name of your orchestra "The Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra". that's just great! Unfortunately even the second link to your interview didn't work for me. I'd like to hear what you say, and more of your music.

It is knowing that there are after all people who do have ears and something between them that makes me regret that I have no tolerable recordings of especially (in your case) my Ricercare for Brass Quintet or 'Dizzy Spells' (trumpet, piano and tape) and other works. I have wasted so much of my life in false modesty [or unjustified vanity.]

About minimalism etc, we'll have to talk. All I will say for now is poor Henry Flint! To be rebellious is not a big [or revolutionary] thing in itself. Banging pianos, like beating people up in the street at random is no effective way to fight consumerism - a poorly directed way of releasing justified rage

   Misuc at 21:38 on 01 May 2008

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