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People who work in Music Preparation are the missing link between the Film Composers who write film scores and the Musicians who play them. It’s their job to take a complicated musical score from a Film Composer and “prepare” it for the Conductor and the Musicians in an orchestra by reproducing or transcribing it into individual parts.
You see, film scores go through a complex process before they’re heard by moviegoers. They require the hard work and refined talent of a blockbuster music team that includes a Film Composer, Music Editor, Film Arranger, Orchestrator, Orchestra Conductor, Music Supervisor, Orchestra Contractor, and — last, but certainly not least — Music Preparer, or Music Copyist, whose job typically is credited in films as “Music Preparation.”
Think of it this way: A film score is like a clump of Christmas lights in your basement. Although it’s pretty in a pile, before you can put it on a Christmas tree, you’ve got to untangle it into individual strings. In the field of Music Preparation, that’s exactly what you do: Using software known as a score writer, you take piles of music — a written film score typically contains notes for multiple instruments in a single musical arrangement — and you unravel them into separate strands so that Musicians like Violinists, Cellists, Bassoonists, and Clarinetists can play them more easily.
The result, sometimes, is music that makes a movie. Think, for instance, of the scores from films like “Jaws,” “Indiana Jones,” and “American Beauty.” Often, the movies’ sounds are just as iconic as their scenes, if not more so.