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Topic: Music For Magic!!
Message: Posted by: Stephen Williams (Feb 3, 2006 10:11AM)
I want to add some music to my show. I do a comedy magic show. What music do you think I should use? What music do you use in your show? Thanks!
Ste
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Feb 3, 2006 02:45PM)
I use music throughout my shows. Some of it is just background (like when I am getting an audience member on stage) and other music is actually part of the effect. What music you use and when you use it is a personal choice based on the situation and the mood you are trying to set. My recommendation is to find a style of music you would like that would ADD to (not distract or confuse) an existing routine. Tim Ellis started something that is really kewl. He suggests doing the same routine to different types of music to see what you like best. At his lecture, he perform a linking ring routine set to music.He then had someone pick a track from his CD player at random and he performed the exact same moves and routine, but to a random soundtrack and it really was amazing how different the routine looked and felt. If you have digital Satellite, they have music stations so you can sample lots of music to see what fits you best. Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Stephen Williams (Feb 3, 2006 02:58PM)
Thank you muzicman!!
Ste
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Feb 4, 2006 06:43PM)
In a sense, performing magic to music is a bit like the ballet. The great ballets (such as [i]The Nutcracker, Giselle, Romeo & Juliet[/i] etc.) are not simply music to which someone chose to put dance. Rather it is music that is scored specifically as to scene, character, plot, etc.

So choosing music for an act is a little bit "reverse engineering". You know what your plot, character, scene etc. for your show are, so you try to find music that matches those elements.

For example, for a comedy act, you might consider looking to soundtracks of comedy movies. I am currently working on a routine of Sean Bogunia's Ultimate Dancing Hank, and one notion with which I am experimenting is that the hank is a "playful little ghost". Hmmmm.... where would I find music for such a thing? I-tunes to the rescue! I have really grown to love I-tunes!

I figured that perhaps there would be something from [i]Ghostbusters[/i] that would be appropriate. Sure enough, there is a tune that is vaguely spooky, but certainly more lighthearted. 99 cents and a short download later, I am working to the music to see how it will pan out.

Choosing music for magic is a lifle-long endeavor. I have amassed quite a collection of music over the years. A lot of it is somewhat general (ie. upbeat, fast paced, mysterious, etc) that can be used somewhat interchangeably, but the pieces that are specifically choreographed tend to be harder to discover. Some music I use as "underscoring" where I am speaking over it (such as linking rings) and other music is used for features like levitation, where it is the only sound heard.

Again this is where something like I-tunes is really helpful. Being able to listen to a 30 second clip of a song can really help you to know if you're on the right track or not. Of course it's not foolproof, but it's a lot lower-risk than in years ago when you would risk $15 on a CD and hope that there would be something useable. The 99 cent risk is a lot easier to take!

And as mentioned above, it makes a HUGE difference how an illusion plays. I actually have two different music cues that I will use for the same illusion. Depending upon the program, sometimes I need something quick and high-energy, and other times I need something a bit mellower. That will determine which music and staging I use. It's almost like hvaing two illusions in one.

Good luck to you!
Message: Posted by: Tony S (Feb 4, 2006 08:59PM)
Ste,
Frank has provided you with a lot of great information in his post. As you build your routines, think about what kind of mood you want to create. This will definitely help you narrow down your musical choices. Good luck!

Tony
Message: Posted by: Professor Flywheel (Mar 23, 2006 04:49PM)
A good source for music would be Electric Lemon Records. Some years ago they came out with an album entitled 'Music for Magicians', now sadly long out of print. Butt there other material is fantastic. go to http://www.electriclemon.com and see what might strike your fancy. My greatest success was performing zombie to Gary Wright's 'Dream Weaver'. Talk about a match made in a top hat! Good luck!
Message: Posted by: RaveNyou (Mar 24, 2006 04:38PM)
If you're going to use music (and be a professional about it), you really should consider either getting a proper license for the songs (that IS the legal way of performing with the tunes you use), or use something from http://www.artherstead.com or http://www.opus1productions.com. They're both royalty-free sites; no licensing worries.

If anyone (besides a venue covered with a blanket license) tells you a license isn't necessary, ask them to tell that to ASCAP or BMI. Royalties are a big part of how the musician gets paid.
Message: Posted by: magicguy67 (Mar 24, 2006 08:33PM)
I use blue man group music.
Message: Posted by: RaveNyou (Mar 24, 2006 09:58PM)
I give up here
Message: Posted by: dirkallen (Mar 26, 2006 03:13AM)
Opus 1 Productions does great work! They do the music for many of the top name acts in the industry, yet are very reasonably priced.
http://www.opus1productions.com
Message: Posted by: mysticalmike (Mar 26, 2006 11:57PM)
http://www.arthurstead.com/price.htm
Message: Posted by: renfrini (Feb 17, 2009 12:06AM)
I have a cd of hits from the big band era that's awesome. some of those songs just get ya goin. great for kids shows and looser type performances.
Message: Posted by: MagiTracks (Feb 17, 2009 07:16AM)
Hello Stephen,

Just wanted to toss my hat into the ring...

I'm a classically-trained musician AND magician, and I specialize in composing royalty-free music for the magic community. My company (MagiTracks Productions) offers mp3 downloads, 2 CD's (thus far) of music for magicians, and our exclusive Custom Composing service.

We're endorsed by magic celebrities such as Jeff McBride, Franz Harary, Amos Levkovitch, Whit Haydn and others. Our music will also be featured on an upcoming episode of "Masters of Illusion".

If you stop by for a listen, we're confident you will find our music to be exciting, inventive, and of the absolute highest quality.

Thanks and Happy Conjuring!

Steve Saunders
"The Conjuror's Composer"
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Feb 17, 2009 09:36AM)
For silent comedy routines, I find ragtime music works pretty good.
Message: Posted by: MikeHMagic (Feb 20, 2009 02:13PM)
I think I have the "Music for Magicians" on vinyl, I bought an USB turntable but yet to hook it up to the computer, maybe this weekend.
Gus
Message: Posted by: magician2121 (Mar 7, 2009 06:53PM)
The songs I use for my show are mainly: O fortuna,and songs by the group evanescense.