Every Note Tells a Story: The Transformative Power of Music in Visual Media

Every Note Tells a Story: A guide to using music in visual media

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Transform your filmmaking craft and enrich your stories with this complete guide to the power of music in visual media.

Music holds an immense power to shape and transform your film. Every note builds atmosphere, establishes the setting, and deepens the emotions present on the screen. But how can you develop a deeper appreciation of the film scoring process and learn the subtle techniques that expert storytellers use to transform their films through music?

Inside Every Note Tells a Story, you’re invited to join veteran composer and music editor Shie Rozow as he reveals seasoned filmmaking wisdom and real-life lessons drawn from his experience working on over 150 feature films.

With key takeaways that break down the film scoring process, readers will discover how to enhance their visual media by creating the right atmosphere, choosing the right composer for their project, the role of music editing, and drawing everything together into a seamless process. You’ll also see these lessons in action with a wealth of real-world case studies that reveal the profound importance of music.

Here’s just a little of what you’ll discover inside:

  • The Secret To a Good Film – How The Right Music Can Make Your Story Soar
  • Seasoned Film Scoring Techniques For Enriching Your Film Through Music
  • A Practical Overview of The Film Scoring Process, From Picking Your Composer To Music Supervision, Music Editing, & The Final Dub
  • A Handy Introduction To Musical Jargon & Technical Language
  • Safeguarding Your Copyright – Understanding Intellectual Property, Licensing & Contracts
  • Real-World Case Studies Including Short Films, Feature Films, Documentaries & TV Shows
  • A Handy Appendix With Essential Resources For Filmmakers & Composers
  • And Much More…

As a must-read for aspiring and established filmmakers, directors, producers, editors, composers, and anyone curious about the role of music in the visual arts, Every Note Tells a Story is an illuminating and deeply practical book that empowers you to take a deeper look into film music and how it can enrich every area of your craft.

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What people are saying

Music is yin to film’s yang—they have co-existed since the dawn of cinema. Shie Rozow’s Every Note Tells a Story is a superb and comprehensive guide to how music and motion pictures work together and complement each other, probing the difficult questions of correct composition, performance, and placement.

Up-to-date, filled with examples from film history and analyses of practicalities and aesthetics, Every Note is a comprehensive guide to the potentials and pitfalls of music for film.

Highly recommended.

Walter Murch
3x Oscar Winner
Editor/Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather I, II, & III, The English Patient, Cold Mountain)

This is a must-read for any showrunner/filmmaker who plans on using music in their projects. This is the book I wish I had when I started.

Chris Sheridan
Emmy and BAFTA Nominated Writer/Producer/Showrunner
(Family Guy, Resident Alien, Titus)

This is a wonderful, entertaining, deep dive into the layered world of marrying music to your film or tv show.  It is a master class from inside the world of music that will successfully guide you from the first moment of choosing your temp track all the way to polishing your final mix.

Lisa Bruce
Two-time Oscar Nominated and BAFTA Winning Producer
(Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything, Amazon Prime’s Welcome to the Blumhouse)

Having had the pleasure and privilege to work with Shie alongside the late great Oscar winning editor Jerry Greenberg, I can attest to his talent, skill and acumen in manipulating music to enhance every scene in the film. It feels like magic, but is simply hard work and great taste.

Butch Kapaln
Producer/Production Manager
(The Notebook, John Q, Alpha Dog

Every Note Tells A Story is a magnificent read and trove of knowledge!  Shie Rozow has used his extensive knowledge of music in all media as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of film to provide the reader with vast knowledge and a pathway to success in music with and within film and other media.  A must read for the beginner or seasoned professional.

Stratton Leopold
(Captain America: The First Avenger, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, The Sum of All Fears)

Every Note Tells a Story is an extraordinary gift to everyone who uses music to create sonic landscapes and narratives in their work – which is all media! Shie’s approach of using real examples as his way to walk through  the integral role of music to create emotion, spirit and the drive of a story while mapping out the process brings both the artistry and business of music in media to life.”

Vanessa Roth
Oscar Winning Director/Producer
(Freeheld, Mary J Blige’s My Life, National Geographic Presents: Impact with Gal Gadot, Daughters of Destiny)

Every Note Tells A Story is more than a colorful examination of music in film. It is a valuable, practical, and illuminating resource for anyone interested in understanding the power and use of music in storytelling.

Conrad Buff
Oscar Winning Editor
(Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Abyss, Training Day)

This is a book written by someone who has perspective and knowledge of dealing with the most complicated and challenging aspects of music production for film and TV. The behind the scenes work experience that only many years of commitment gets you. And it’s all in this book. 

David Arnold
Emmy & BAFTA Winning Composer
(Sherlock, Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale, Independence Day, Stargate, 2 Fast 2 Furious)

Every Note Tells a Story is an essential read for all film students, directors, editors, producers music composers, and everyone who appreciates the art of film music. Shie’s many years of experience as both a music editor and film composer have gifted the reader with a wealth of information and knowledge on every aspect of music in the visual arts.

This groundbreaking comprehensive book is filled with Shie’s creative insights and loads of examples and anecdotes revealing the power of music to affect story telling. It walks you through every step of the creative and the practical aspects to creating a film score from spotting sessions to the final mix.

Above all, Shie’s passion and love for music is felt on every page of this meticulously researched book. This book entertains, educates, and enlightens the reader.

Bruce Cannon
(Boyz n the Hood, Rosewood, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Four Brothers)

People think of film and television as visual mediums but that is only half the story. Shie Rozow offers the most thoughtful and comprehensive examination I have ever seen into the art and process of the composer and how music is a filmmaker’s most valuable tool for seducing the audience into their world.

Vincenzo Natali
(In The Tall Grass, Splice, Cypher, Cube)

Shie has crafted an incredibly thorough look at the many practical aspects of working with music in film and television. The extensive list of covered topics is broken down into digestible pieces and brimming with helpful examples. The book’s no-nonsense approach allows readers to take as deep or shallow a dive as they desire.

Joe Nussbaum
(George Lucas in Love, Sydney White, Just Add Magic, Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion)

Debut author and experienced Hollywood composer and music editor Rozow delivers a master class in using music in film and TV productions to maximum effect. Rozow makes a persuasive point about the power of music in storytelling: “The art of film scoring is really a storytelling craft,” he opines. “The purpose of film music,” he writes, “… is not purely to entertain, but rather, it is there to enhance a scene. The music is there to help you tell your story.” He demonstrates this in thorough, inviting, clarifying detail, showcasing how music can set a narrative’s tone, communicate emotions, establish time and place, and enhance storytelling, all with an emphasis on practical scoring tips, which are studded throughout.

Rozow skillfully leads readers through every stage of the musical process, from finding and choosing the right composers and musical partners, understanding technical jargon, shooting and editing musical elements, music editing, and working with musical teams to provide the best possible final production. Defining terms that may be unfamiliar to newcomers—such as “spotting” (a meeting in which the placement of music throughout the film is discussed and decided), leitmotifs (a short phrase or melody that is repeated throughout the picture in association with a specific character, emotion, state of mind, story point, or a place or setting) and mixing and dubbing will give filmmakers vocabulary to express to their collaborators the effect they’re after, while musicians and readers simply fascinated by the art will find the approaches and explanations here illuminating as well.

Rozow closes out this first-rate guide with sample spotting notes, master cue lists, music cue sheets, sample composer deal notes, sample composer agreements, sample music licenses, and more. This invaluable guide will prove essential to anyone seeking to use music effectively in their theatrical works, whether a blockbuster movie, an indie documentary, or any other narrative video project.

Takeaway: Thorough, inviting, illuminating guide to scoring film and TV.

Shie Rozow has done it all and is not shy about sharing his experience and expertise in his book “Every Note Tells A Story”. From Music Editing, Music Supervision, Budgeting, Contracts, and much, much more. A must read for newcomers in this crazy business to veterans as well.

Gary Calamar
Five time Grammy-nominated producer and music supervisor
(True Blood, Six Feet Under, Dexter, Entourage, Weeds, House, Man In the High Castle)