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The Influencers

"Help! I Still Hate Briefing Music"

INFLUENCER: In part two of the series, A-MNEMONIC Music's Toby Jarvis discusses some helpful tips to formulate the perfect music brief

"Help! I Still Hate Briefing Music"

In ‘Help! I Hate Briefing Music’ (Part One), Toby Jarvis from A-MNEMONIC Music discussed how writing a music brief can sometimes be intimidating. He explored why you might need music in your film/TV/ad experience, and how the music could make you feel. This week he continues with the ‘method of delivery’ - how your music could deliver the emotions you've identified - the ‘open brief’ and how useful music references can be.


The Method of Delivery

The next thing to think about is how your music could deliver these emotions. Or course, music can do unexpected things. It can work against a film, create a friction or juxtaposition against a film, and transform your experience totally. Music can work very subtly - under the radar, or high octane, describing the action - telling us how to feel at specific moments. Or a song, that might totally ignore the action but provide an overarching mood. So many options.

The build-up section in the finale of Mahler's 8th can invoke the same uplifting euphoria as the build up in David Guetta’s ‘Titanium’. We’re still not going to think about genre or style quite yet.


‘We don’t know what we want but we’ll know it when we hear it’

An ‘open brief'. We often get this brief, and they can be great fun to work on. Sometimes it can be helpful not to throw the brief out too wide. Listening to 30 demos won’t make your life any easier. However, if you’ve identified the first two points, you're already there.


I’ve got a music reference – is that any help?

Well, if you’ve got this far you’re obviously thinking about genre and style. Yes, sometimes it can be helpful to have references, especially as examples of tone, style or period, or an emotion. All are good especially if it sparks a useful conversation.

The best calls we get are when someone phones and says “Ok, we know we need music, we know what it should do, but we're not quite sure what". Any music production company would be happy to chat about what might work or what would be worth experimenting with.

Getting to a point with a concise brief will mean you won’t be needing loads of options - which will make your life easier. 

In the end, a great music agency/production company’s job is to do just that. To make something - to create from nothing - a work that everyone loves.

That’s the advantage of bespoke music. Recall of your client’s brand can be better as this is the only place that the audience hears the track.

And it’s a great part of the process, worth taking advantage of, and getting maximum creative value for it!



Toby Jarvis is founder of A-MNEMONIC Music

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