• Art of Film Music, The - by George Burt. Dozens of musical excerpts and scene summaries from classic films from the 1930s through the 1980s. Includes interviews with leading film composers Hugo Friedhofer, Alex North, David Rakson, and Leonard Rosenman.
  • Complete Guide to Film Scoring - by Richard Davis. This book teaches the Berklee approach to film scoring, covering topics such as preparing and recording a score, negotiating contracts and fees, publishing, royalties, copyrights. Includes some great interviews with 21 top film-scoring professionals, including Harry Gregson-Williams, Marc Shaiman, Alan Silvestri, Alf Clausen, Michael Kamen and Elmer Bernstein. Also available as a Kindle Edition.
  • Composing Music For Film - available through his website website, Jack Smalley has combined his over forty years of experience arranging, composing and orchestrating for film and teaching into this book.
  • From Score to Screen : "Sequencers, Scores & Second Thoughts - The New Film Scoring Process". Well - known composer Sonny Kompanek teaches this new film scoring process at prestigious New York University and now he shares his secrets within the pages of From Score to Screen. With this book, you’ll gain practical knowledge that you can put into action immediately. Also available as a Kindle Edition.
  • On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring : a Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring - by Fred Karlin and Rayburn Wright. A detailed, comprehensive book directed at composers with advice from many experts, 77 of whom are quoted. A "click book" of over 200 pages, used to precisely calculate musical tempos in conjunction with film cues, is included. Also available as a Kindle Edition.
  • The Emerging Film Composer - An Introduction to the People, Problems, and Psychology of the Film Music Business. The author, Richard Bellis, has taught on the faculty of USC's excellent Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program. Also available as a Kindle Edition.
  • The Reel World (Reference)The Reel World: Scoring for Pictures - by Jeff Rona. This updated how-to guide takes you inside the world of creating music for film and television. Packed with case studies and insider's tips, the author uses his real-world experience working as a composer in television and film to show you what you need to know to work as a composer, scoring for film, television and other visual media.


  1. Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation (Faber Edition) - This is an indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles.
  2. Guidelines for Music Manuscript Preparation - by Alfred Publishing. A 64-page concise handbook for professional and student writers, arrangers, copyists, editors or proofreaders -- anyone working with music manuscripts. Included are sections on general music notation, shorthand notation, proofreading, terms and type, choral/vocal music, instrumental scores and parts, pop and keyboard music, plus a special section with specifics for engravers.
  3. Music Engraving Today - The Art and Practice of Digital Notesetting. By Steven Powell. This book describes the process for creating publication-quality music engraving using today's computer tools.
  4. Music Manuscript Preparation - By Mona Mender. Learn, step by step, how to prepare any kind of music manuscript; composers and copyists can use it for reference. Includes sections on classical & popular contemporary music; cueing; abundant illustrations; and an extensive index.
  5. Music Notation (Crescendo Book) - by Gardner Read. Although originally published in 1979, this book is still a vital reference for anyone serious about music notation.
  6. Norton Manual of Music Notation - by George Heussenstamm. Designed to serve as a practical guide to music handwriting and music-writing procedures. It provides the music student with an essential tool for learning to put notes down on paper with clarity and speed. At the same time, it serves as an indispensable reference to a wide variety of notational conventions.
  7. Preparing Traditional Music Manuscript - This book by author Michael Mohn provides composers, copyists, and music students a useful reference for the proper preparation of music manuscript.


  • Guide to Standardized Drumset Notation - by Norman Weinberg. A great book on the topic of creating clear, readable drumset parts. Topics covered include: general notation, drums, cymbals, noteheads, voicing, improvisational notation, and more.



  1. Guide to Midi Orchestration, The - 4th Edition by Paul Gilreath. Written for composers, arrangers, and MIDI musicians of all levels, and will be helpful to game composers, film and television composers, traditional orchestral composers, teachers, instructors, and the serious hobbyist.
  2. Orchestration - by Cecil Forsyth. Good general book on the subject. Thorough discussion of 57 instruments, technical aspects of writing for each, much else.
  3. Orchestration - in this classic orchestration book by Walter Piston, every aspect of instrumentation is covered. This excellent book is illustrated with hundreds of musical examples.
  4. Principles of Orchestration - an older orchestration book which still has value, composer Rimsky-Korsakov provides fundamentals of tonal resonance, progression of parts, voice and orchestra, tutti effects, and much more. This paperback edition includes 330 pages of musical excerpts.
  5. The Study of Orchestration - 4th Edition by Samuel Adler. A complete instructional package and an ideal reference tool for students, teachers, performers, composers, and arrangers. Companion workbook available.
  6. Technique of Orchestration, The - 6th Edition by Kent Kennan and Donald Grantham. Designed primarily as a text for beginning orchestration courses, but includes material for advanced study and may serve as a reference. As in the earlier editions, the emphasis is on the practical fundamentals of orchestration. The Sixth Edition has been expanded and revised to reflect new developments in instruments and orchestral practice, and a new listening compact disc has been added that contains selected examples of orchestration.
  7. Orchestration Books : Kindle Editions - a listing of all orchestration books available as a Kindle Edition on the Amazon store.


  1. Alfred's Pocket Dictionary of Music: Terms * Composers * Theory - by Sandy Feldstein.
  2. Essential Dictionary of Music Notation - by Tom Gerou and Linda Lusk. Also available as a Kindle Edition.
  3. Essential Dictionary of Orchestration - by Dave Black, Tom Gerou. This is a comprehensive dictionary containing important information on over 150 instruments. This reference includes instrument ranges, general characteristics, sonic descriptions, technical capabilities and much more.
  4. Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music, The - by Don Michael Randel
  5. Harvard Dictionary of Music, The - by Don Michael Randel (Editor)
  6. Norton / Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music, The - by Stanley Sadie (Author, Editor) and Alison Latham (Editor)
  7. Notation of Medieval Music, The by Carl Parrish
  8. Oxford Companion to Music, The - by Alison Latham
  9. Oxford Dictionary of Music, The - by Michael Kennedy (author) and Joyce Bourne (editor)
  10. Oxford Dictionary of Musical Terms, The - (Paperback) by Alison Latham (editor)