Music to Picture

A Self-Study Course in the Craft of Film-Scoring

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Publisher Description

Music to Picture is a self-study course designed to introduce the composer to the language, challenges and possibilities inherent in the techniques and procedures for writing Music to Motion Pictures.  Originally designed as a 1-semester college curriculum in 1989-90, this 2012-2014 revision now includes film-demos, interactive content and useful PDFs specific to film-scoring.


Into 2018, Stephen's Symphony IIII: Lightfall,  was nominated for the Pulitzer and Nemmers Prize in Music. Winner of three 2009 Telly & Ava Awards for his 2005 Visualized Concert, Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE, Stephen's concert-version was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. His 15 feature film scores include the Oscar-nominated 12:01PM and the horror thriller, The Unwilling, to be released on Sony VOD, both directed by Jonathan Heap. An ASCAP Concert Awards recipient each year since 1992, Stephen's more than 1170 works include 4 symphonies, several concerti and over 33-hours of Music for Ensembles of the 3rd Millennium™. The STORMWORKS Chapter 55 CD: Way of the Wanderer, will be recorded by Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr in October.  With 28 CDs and 6 books on iTunes, and simply by word-of-mouth, Stephen's pioneering, self-publishing entity known as STORMWORKS has gone from 0 to many thousands of worldwide renderings since 1992.

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Digital Libretti here:

“Melillo is to wind music what Beethoven was to the symphony orchestra, and he follows a Beethovenesque design of increasing the musical tension almost to the breaking point, receding, and then reaching again. It is superlative musical craftsmanship and inspiring to hear.”  Marvin Sosna, Music Critic

“His S-MATRIX Symphony was fabulous, full of childlike wonderment as the composer intended and marvelous sounds.  And they worked to maximum effect — a brilliant, original use of orchestral resources for a sophisticated, sensational, beautiful and satisfying experience.”   Nancy R. Ping-Robbins, Music Critic

“...a new voice in the direction of music, his sound – a bridge between the serious and the immediately visceral.”  Maestro Gerhardt Zimmerman, Conductor

If you want to know what the human spirit really is, you must, Yes - Must come to the Z tonight to hear a phenomenal world premiere that will put tears in your eyes. Symphony No. IIII by Stephen Melillo is a very powerful work. I am not embarrassed to admit that when I saw the score for the first time, I was in tears. What a powerful and moving work. It was commissioned by the Canton Symphony Orchestra for the 25th anniversary of the ADA (American Disabilities Act).  Your soul will be opened."  Maestro Gerhardt Zimmerman, Conductor

 “...his ability to create a mood, find precisely the right touch of drama and create the needed effect was manifest... the sustained chords in the choir, the timpani’s roar, the harp’s glissandos.  Melillo used them all with a sense of absolute rightness and the result was fresh, joyful and exciting... each measure scored with an unerring ear for drama and emotion.”  John S. Sweeney, Music Critic

“He could become the Leonard Bernstein of this age... Everything he creates has many layers, ranging from synchronicity to the significance of numbers, from visceral emotions to the brotherhood of mankind.” John S. Sweeney, Music Critic

Scores include:

    The Unwilling



    12:01 PM  (OSCAR Nomination, Best Live Action Short)

    PBS Teledrama: Actress Works (EMMY Nomination for PBS Teleplay)


    Unsung Heroes (NYPD Documentary) 


    Crossing the Line

    Gypsy Girl

    Benefit of the Doubt

    Basque Legacy

    They Bite


    Hollywood Showcase

    The Newlyweds

    Music for STAR SEARCH

    Music for WNEW Radio

    ABC Life Goes On

    ABC Sunday Night Movie

    ABC All My Children

    ABC General Hospital

    ABC Business World

    ABC America's Funniest Videos

    ABC American Music Awards

    ABC Doogie Howser, MD

    ABC Going to Extremes

    ABC Good Morning America

    ABC Home Improvement

    ABC Jack's Place

    ABC Loving

    ABC Matlock

    ABC Nightline

    ABC One Life to Live

    ABC Primetime Live

    ABC Sunday Night Movie

    ABC The Commish

    ABC This Week With David Brinkley

    ABC World News Now

    ABC World News Sunday

    ABC 20/20

    NBC The Fresh Prince

    NBC Special: Fairgame

    NBC Movie of the Week

    NBC Night Court

    Nickolodean  Adventures of Pete

    Mr. Ed's Corral

    Real Kids


    A Cold Night 


    A Horse of Her Own


    Dark Reflection  

    Cable & Industrial Projects Including Music for Sega, Super-Nintendo & IBM   

    Commercial Soundtracks, including Music for the NY Nets, Yankees & Giants

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    June 26
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