Score Movies with a Sibelius Riffbox

Score movies with a Sibelius Riffbox

Eric Rizzo
[email protected]
Amityville HS

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Notation Software


High School


Music Technology


A computer running Sibelius (mac or PC), possibly Quicktime pro.


5×40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Basic computer skills, experience with the sibelius software, knowledge of music theory (at least one year.

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 3: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
MENC 5: Reading and notating music.


A teacher station connected to a projector, speakers, and movie clips either from the internet or provided by the instructor of appropriate material 1-2 minutes in length.


High school students with music theory background will create an original music score with an “effects” track created from a “riff box” of short melodic ideas created in sibelius to a short movie. Two musical sections music be present with at least four layers of music to allow for chord structures to support melodies.


Students will create short “riffs” to use for each event in the movie. Additional riff can be created as needed, and a single riff can be used as a recurring theme. The movie can be created/edited very easily with Quicktime Pro. Students will insert markers for their riffs, and a change in the score reflecting some change in the movie clip.


A set number of markers must be present, as well as the two sections of music being present as a base for grading. On top of that the construction of a melody that compliments/supports the chordal structure can be graded as well. Students must also label their chords.

Follow Up:

Students may score movies in programs such as garageband, iMovie, moviemaker, etc. They may also score longer, more difficult movie clips.

Items to Purchase:

Computers (mac or PC), a number of copies of sibelius for each computer. A site license is best and more cost effective

When budget should be submitted:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top