MSH MediaSoundHamburg

6th International Hamburg Summerschool for

Filmmusic, Gamesmusic and Sounddesign

July 8th - July 17th 2016


Further information on

MSH MediaSoundHamburg


coming soon!



Where Film, Music and Culture Intertwine

When people think of a good movie, they never fail to mention a good story, beloved actors and visual effects.  But what is a good movie without its music score?  Surprisingly, even the best of films in terms of performance and story feels lacking without dramatic music to give it depth.  But in spite of the role that they play in bringing world and characters to life before our eyes, film composers are rarely remembered when we think of film.

As an aspiring film composer, I was fortunate to be part of what is known as MediaSoundHamburg (previously FilmSoundHamburg) last summer, which is held in the beautiful city of Hamburg, Germany.

MediaSoundHamburg is an international summer academy for game music, film music and sound design that takes place annually in the beautiful region of Blankenese, Hamburg.  The academy consists of a number of master classes in the field of game music, film music, sound design and orchestration; it also includes a number of forums on how to become a composer for media.  The workshops and master classes are given by internationally recognized, award-winning figures in the film and game industry.

Each year, young composers and sound designers from around the world gather for a set of master classes to learn from the instructors and work together to enhance their compositions.  MediaSoundHamburg 2015 included instructors, participants and interns from Germany, Holland, the United Kingdom, The United States, Canada, Switzerland, Holland, Indonesia, Greece, Serbia and for the first time this year, from Egypt.

This all sounds very ideal but this is not what made MediaSoundHamburg a phenomenal experience.  For me, MediaSoundHamburg was a living example of how music builds international bridges, how music brings people together and pushes them to their limits.  The competition between the participants was unlike anything typical in the industry; it was the kind of competition that pushes you forward, that inspires you to work harder and become a better composer and person.  The instructors strive to challenge us and teach us – first and foremost – to challenge ourselves.

From foley design, which is the reproduction of sound effects for a film – such as the sound of foot steps, a car crash or a camera click to composing music for small video game excerpts all the way to writing music for short movies and orchestrating a small coda, everything seemed to happen under one roof at the Elsa-Braendstroem-Haus.  More like a wonderfully isolated camp where people were pushed to exceed their limits, not through pressure but through inspiration, MediaSoundHamburg made me realize the value of working with others.

Not only did the experience allow me to learn from  somebody like Gary Yershon, who was nominated for an Oscar for his score of the film Mr. Turner, but it was as if he was happily learning from us as well, keen to find out what the younger generation had in their musical stock.  Another fascinating character was orchestrator Youki Yamamoto (orchestrator of Rachel Portman), who did not hesitate to tell us about the techniques that he has developed over the years to give his music its distinct sound.

MediaSoundHamburg was not just about an education in music and sound, though; it was also an education in communication, marketing one’s self, dealing with an orchestra and how to stay ethical in the business – all of which are things that musicians tend to neglect. Today, it is not enough to be a composer locked up in a room writing music; a composer has to be a good communicator, a loveable person who learns how to value and respect others and a person able to advertise his/her ideas and stay decent and professional in the process.

Perhaps one of the most important lessons that I learned during my stay in Hamburg is the value of modesty.  Although the instructors were all top names in the industry, never did they undermine any of the students.  It was an experience in which both participants and instructors loved and enjoyed what they did equally, and found fulfillment in music.

As a female composer from the Middle East, pursuing a career in film scoring is anything but easy; yet at MediaSoundHamburg I felt that all the hard work was starting to finally pay off.  It made me realize that willpower, courage, and believing in myself were just as important as developing my technique and skill as a musician.  Learning from people who have made movies that have influenced me all my life, learning where I stand with my music and gaining confidence gave me a boost to work even harder.  At times, I pinched myself, because it was hard to believe that a string quartet was playing video game music themes from Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda live in front of me.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson that I took away from this experience was a renewed appreciation for my Egyptian roots.

Above all, my experience at MediaSoundHamburg made me realize that dreams can come true, as long as you hold tight to them and keep working.  I realized that I might not see the outcome tomorrow or the day after, but even without seeing the result, simply trying gives life so much more meaning.  Believing in myself, finding my voice, and pursuing what makes me happy makes me believes that I can make a difference in the world, no matter how small.

By Hayat Selim, Cairo/Egypt, Sep 15, 2015 (COMMUNITY TIMES)

Hayat Selim
MSH MediaSoundHamburg 2015MSH2015_eng.html

This evening Claudia Jogschies and Christoph Becker will introduce
The Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM) - the first and largest regional music business network in Germany. With more than 120 companies amongst its members
We look forward to stimulating discussions and a cozy "Come Together".
Invited are all those who deal with tones in the media.

JOUR FIXE: Media Sound

Thursday, April 7th 2016, 19:00 H


Oelkersallee 33 (Yard), 22769 Hamburg

So that we can better plan, please login via




April 7th 2016

19:00 H


MasterClass SoundDesign
Interview with JAMES MATHER at our MasterClass SoundDesign in December 2015 in Gauting/Munich.

Produced by Bavarian Television (BR).