Was there a Golden Age for media composers when everyone gave ghost writers the credit and back-end payments they deserved?


I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer—quite the opposite. I want people to know things haven’t devolved—they haven’t gotten worse. There are now, and have always been, ethical and unethical people in this business, and every business.

An early teacher of mine ghost-composed music for a show that won an Emmy. He was then promptly fired.

A composer I did session work for had a track that another composer wanted to use for a TV series theme—but the other composer wanted half the credit. The original composer refused—so the second composer simply knocked off the track and took full credit. There are tons more examples.

I feel compelled to post this because I don’t want members of this group to think there was a time when everything was ethical and friendly and we have to get back to it, somehow. In many ways, things are far better now than they’ve ever been. There’s far more content, far more awareness and opportunity for women and people of color, far more opportunity to get in on the ground floor because it doesn’t take a million dollars to make a film anymore.