Resources for the Library Music Composer - Part 1

As promised last Tuesday, I’m going to give you a few resources that were incredibly useful for me when I started writing music for libraries.

Alessandro Mastroianni's Blog - Musica & Suono

I decided to divide the list into two posts, and this is part 1. Also, it is important to note that while many of these resources are not free, they are indeed worth the investment.

If after reading my last post you decided that writing library music is in fact something you would like to try, keep reading!

Music Library Report

MLR is an online database of music libraries: they provide a rating system and share the community’s experience with several publishers. It also has a pretty active forum. 

You have to pay a small subscription fee and there are different options available (they also run some sales on special occasions, e.g. Black Friday). 

It was an invaluable resource for me at the very beginning and I still use it occasionally whenever I am approached by a new publisher. I use it to see what other composers have to say about that particular publisher, by buying a single month subscription and making the most of it to source new publishers to contact.

Dan Graham’s fantastic series of articles on Sound on Sound Magazine

An awful lot of resources on writing music for libraries is outdated and this side of the music business has changed tremendously in recent years. 

This series of articles by Gothic Storm’s Dan Graham is a must read, specially if you’re just starting out. 

Guerrilla Film Scoring by Jeremy Borum

One of my favorite books on film scoring, it has a good chapter on libraries and most importantly it explains how you can make them work for your career.

Highly recommended for any composer. 

Rick Beato’s channel, but make sure you forget everything he teaches.

Ok, this is admittedly a bit of a joke but there is some truth. Library music is about being simple, subtle: less is more. That said, Rick’s channel contains a plethora of great information and it will make you a better musician. Plus, the more you know the easier it will be to write simple pieces and you’ll be able to add little classy touches here and there.

Composer Catalog.

When you start amassing a catalog of hundreds of tracks (and even if you don’t), you’ll need some sort of cataloging system to help you keep track of your music: who represents it? Is it through a non-exclusive, exclusive or work-for-hire deal? What status are the tracks in?  

When I started out I used an Excel spreadsheet but this is so much better. You can also link every track entry to an audio preview, store stems and alt mixes, generate graphics etc. 

A great tool! 

Come back next week for 5 more resources!