Getting the brief right from the start will do 3 things: save production time, give you the best possible music and it follows, enhance your production.
What should a music brief look like? Should there be a description of music style? Song references? Some figures? Yes to all of those. But here’s a quick checklist of useful items to include at the start of the process.
It’s obvious. But what is it you need composed? A full score to picture or a library of beds and stings, or something else?
2. The Brief
What’s the show about? A short paragraph will do.
Point the composer to any existing music, artists, genres, themes, scores, etc that you like and which might influence the score. What is it within the music you like? Instruments/pace, or something else?
As important as anything creative, the budget needs to be stated at the beginning. Include whether any musicians, recording facilities and engineers will be budgeted for as part of the initial budget offer, or contracted separately.
4. Schedules and Deadlines
When should the composer be available from? When are the milestones if it’s a long term production? For example if you are making a 52-part animation series there will need to be some projected block delivery dates in mind.
Will you be having just the composer write and produce the music, or do you want more than that? Soloists, an ensemble or an orchestra? Let the composer know what will be needed.
6. Delivery Format
Usually digital these days eg MP3 or WAV but maybe you will require a CD copy too?
7. Who will own the music?
Last, but definitely not least is the issue of music copyright. Will composer keep the music copyright? If not, who will publish the music – will there be a reputable publisher behind the music who will ensure it is all accurately registered, royalties are properly collected and paid over and the music is exploited worldwide?