What is Music Supervision?

Music supervision is when an individual, a music supervisor, controls the music department of a movie or TV show. The music supervisor is in charge of choosing and licensing music for the production of the TV show or movie. 

Music Supervisor

When it comes to music supervision, there has to be a dedicated music supervisor. This person is in charge of finding the perfect music for a production and getting the proper licensing for it. In most cases, a music supervisor works as a freelancer on a project-by-project basis. For larger production companies, they might have an employed music supervisor.

Music supervisors and the process of music supervision is a new concept in the industry. In 2010 the Guild of Music Supervisors was created in Los Angeles. This group was created to promote and support awareness of the position in Hollywood and the film industry.

Music Supervision Responsibilities

There are several steps that go into the process of music supervision. They very first thing a music supervisor will do is meet with the producers and the director of the production. They will have a specific vision of what they want for their film. The music supervisor will suggest different styles of music that will work.

Next, the music supervisor will look over the film or TV show and will determine what parts need background music. During this part, the music supervisor will work with the composer of the production to figure out which scenes will need an original score or if pre-existing music will do.

The next part of their job is selecting, negotiating, and licensing the music they want to use for the production. The supervisor will choose existing songs or select an artist to either write new songs or cover old ones. They will have to then get the proper rights for the music based on intellectual-property laws, rights holders, and the public domain.

If the music supervisor doesn’t get the proper licensing for the music they want to use, the production can get sued on the basis of copyright infringement. The supervisor is also in charge of making sure royalties are dispersed.

Skills needed

To become a music supervisor and work in the music supervision industry, you need to have a very large knowledge of both music and music history. You also need to have a strong understanding of licensing and creative rights of musicians. Finally, you have to have fantastic people skills.