Thought it would be fascinating and informative if composers on this forum wanted to tackle scoring some film sequences that never had music.

Our first challenge will be the classic gas station sequence from Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS.

Please post you scores, to picture, here no later than Monday, June 6.

It is likely to viewed by fellow composers, filmmakers and other industry folks on this page. Hopefully, they will chime in with their observations and constructive rewards.

Please post as a reply in this thread.




A number of composers stepped up to the challenge of composing music for a scene for the previously score-less THE BIRDS.

First off… way to go!

Those who jumped in are definitely doers. An EXTREMELY attractive characteristic for anyone trying to make it as a media composer.

It is impressive that these composers took the time and the risks to compose something new and put it on public display.


One of the challenges of offering criticism is that it isn’t clear at what level each of the composers is tackling this task. One would have an entirely different set of criteria for judging a beginning student than an established professional.

It is also hard to offer honest reactions to someone else’s efforts.

As someone who has listened for decades to a ton of composer’s works, I find it best to just be blunt in my personal appraisal, with the acknowledgement that I am just one set of ears and everyone has their own opinions.

With that said, most of the entries appeared to be the work of beginners learning their craft.

Imagine attending a local community art show filled with well-intentioned , but not very impressive, efforts by students and hobbyists taking on their first batch of paintings. One gives praise for the effort but doesn’t confuse them with solid art.

The problem with most of the entries is that they were not very well-conceived nor executed, and therefore become fairly indistinguishable from one another.

Many lacked a point of view. They seemed to be score-for-score sake without really offering ideas behind them. They missed commenting on the style of the direction/editing/acting. They missed contributing any real pace or intensity to the sequence. They did very little to distinguish themselves from one another.

Very few contained any distinctive thematic ideas or unique colors. The footage was typically more compelling than the music accompanying it.

They were mainly like generic seaside watercolors hanging interchangeably in the back of that community art show.

Imagine being a producer taking the time to listen to all of them. How many would he/she even remember crossing his/her patch an hour later yet along a day or week from then?

To my surprise, very few of the demos were executed at a very high technical level. In today’s world, the very least anyone expects when listening to someone’s demo is that it is going to at least sound professional and polished.

For those that are the works of students, I am sorry if I am coming off a bit harsh.

There is much to learn, and opportunities like this are great ways to gain experience. Despite my lack of effusive praise, this is but one example of what will hopefully be many learning lessons.