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McGarry Bowen’s Scofield Offers Music Submission Tips

Jean Scofield, Music Producer at McGarry Bowen, was the featured guest at NARIP’s second Music Supervisor Session with ad agency music execs in New York last week.

She provided briefs from four of the agency’s clients describing music needs which were distributed to the session’s registrants in advance to help them prepare a pitch.  The music presented was evaluated by Scofield on the spot, she discussed how briefs are created, and how she likes to receive music.

Photo: VP of Film & TV and Catalog Marketing for BMG Chrysalis Ed Razzano with McGarry Bowen Music Producer Jean Scofield

A sound design class in college and a project to set music to still photos put Scofield on her career path.  Discovering how music changes the narrative, message and feeling – even against still photographs – fascinated her, and she cut her teeth after graduating at a music library where she learned out to translate client work into music.

Today, some of her favorite sources for music are iTunes and Pandora, along with trusted music publishers and placement agencies.  Often, a music search will  hinge on a feeling or emotion the nascent ad campaign wants to capture. In short,  “we rely on people who have masterful understanding of their own music,” she said.


How does a search for music progress, where do you start?

This depends on the on nature of brief, said Scofield.  “It can be like a wormhole… what you find starts leading you in various directions. It’s unpredictable.  We have lots of ways to find music.  So much is having valuable resources out there [such as publishers and placement companies] beyond our own resources.”

Music Submission Tip #1

When you receive a track, what’s your process?  Do you scan it or play the whole thing?

Scofield said she would probably scan the track, listening to most of the intro and then “start to foreshadow where I think it might go or HOPE it might go.”  A tip to those submitting music, she says, is that if there is a certain moment in the track you don’t want her to miss, to be sure to include that timing in the file name.  “This might also be a specific lyric, an instrumental change or something that matches the brief.  Even notes such as, ‘It kicks in at this timing…’  are very useful!” she said.

Music Submission Tip #2

When submitting for a specific project, include the name of the project along with all relevant metadata.

Music Submission Tip #3

When submitting music for placement, VP of Film & TV and Catalog Marketing for BMG Chrysalis Ed Razzano, who moderated the program, recommended creating a data disc of MP3s. This allows you to incorporate metadata that enables the end user to pull this metadata onto iTunes, making it easier for the end user to drag and drop, identify and manage the song(s) and all information associated with it.

Music Submission Tip #4

Again, having all information associated with the song(s) easily accessible is hugely important to end users who must manage, sort and file away hundreds of songs in an organized system that enables them to find and retrieve it later.  This is equally important when producing a sampler of music from your library, in which case you can submit the sampler to CDDB and Gracenote.  Then if you do a hard mailing of that physical sampler, when other people receive it and put it in their iTunes, it will populate. This can (and should) be done with any album, whether or not it’s available on iTunes. This metadata can be filled in at iTunes under the ADVANCED tab.


Photo: Jerry Lembo presents a track for feedback

Music Submission Tip #5

Scofield noted something that affects work flow: attachments.  “Music takes up a lot of memory, so I’m pretty strict about receiving LINKS instead of attachments,” she said, “so please send ONLY links.  Plus links are a much easier to share with others than attachments.”

Sources for more info:
McGarry Bowen

Don’t miss upcoming NARIP Music Supervisor Sessions in NY:

– Oct 13 Music Supervisor Session #4: McCann’s Mike Boris
– Oct 27 Music Supervisor Session #5: Grey’s Josh Rabinowitz
– Nov 10 Music Supervisor Session #6: Saatchi & Saatchi’s Ryan Fitch

Get more details and register NOW at

Audio from NARIP’s session with Jean Scofield available, click here to buy now.


Important Metadata
Courtesy of Steven Corn of BFM Digital ~ BFM Digital

These categories of metadata are typically associated with each music release. The more you can manage, track and keep this information organized (and have it instantly accessible and/or embedded in tracks themselves), the better. It is easy to embed metadata into MP3s using iTunes, and various other simple apps exist as well.

NOTE: some of these fields refer to albums rather than tracks, but always include as much info as you can, including contact details.

1. Master Label Name
2. Label
4. IDType
5. Album Version
7. Artist
8. Album
9. Track Artist
10. Track Title
11. Timing
12. TK #
13. Track Count
14. Vol #
15. Number of Discs
16. Composer
17. Publisher
18. Performing Rights Organization (PRO)
19. Genre
20. Sub-Genre
21. Year
22. Release Date
23. Territory
24. Distributor Restrictions
25. Start Date
26. Stop Date
27. Explicit

For songs (rather than albums):

1. Artist
2. Writer(s) and splits, if any
3. Publisher(s) and splits, if any
4. Master Owner(s) and splits, if any
5. One-stop
6. Contact details including your name, address, phone number(s), email, Web site

In addition to the fields above, music supervisors appreciate the following:

Audio from NARIP’s session with Jean Scofield available, click here to buy now.

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© 2011 Tess Taylor, all rights reserved.