top of page

Choosing Music For Your Play

Choosing music for your production is important. The right musical score can set the tone for each scene and act of your play. It can also help underscore the mood and tone of a scene from comedy to suspense to sorrow. While a musical will require more original songs than a stage play, selecting music that adds to, not detracts from your play, is equally key in each scenario.

  • Start by knowing your target audience. If your play is written for teens, you’ll want a different musical score than a play designed to reach mature audience members.

  • In what decade is your play set? Contemporary music probably won’t work in a play set in the ‘50s. If your play is a saga spanning several years or decades, you’ll need to be even more cognizant of the scoring for each era.

  • Score each scene of your play accordingly. Music for a funeral scene will sound different in a comedy than it will in a drama. Similarly, if you want the audience tapping their feet and singing along at certain points, popular, familiar, up-tempo songs are the best way to encourage that.

Make sure you (or the producer, if they’re handling the scoring) understands the difference between Small and Grand music rights for any tracks you select to accompany your play. Small Rights give you the okay to use a song in a way that isn’t vital to the performance, like in ads that promote the play. Grand Rights allow you to use a piece of music in a way that is more closely entwined with the play, such as in the pre-show overture or as part of the story of the play. Consult an attorney or head over to Google or your public library and do some research to ensure you avoid copyright infringement.

The right musical score can draw in your audience, provide transitions from scene to scene, set the mood, and add to the success of your play. Keep the tips listed above in mind when scoring your play. Be sure to take my Page To Stage Course for more help bringing your play to life.

Need help with your play? My team can help! Email me at Or, you can text, I'M READY to (443) 826-9646. Cheering for your writing success always!


4 views0 comments


bottom of page