Example Career: Music Composers and Arrangers
Write and transcribe musical scores.
What Job Titles Music Composers and Arrangers Might Have
- Film Composer
- Music Arranger
- Music Composer
- Music Producer
What Music Composers and Arrangers Do
- Apply elements of music theory to create musical and tonal structures, including harmonies and melodies.
- Use computers and synthesizers to compose, orchestrate, and arrange music.
- Determine voices, instruments, harmonic structures, rhythms, tempos, and tone balances required to achieve the effects desired in a musical composition.
- Experiment with different sounds, and types and pieces of music, using synthesizers and computers as necessary to test and evaluate ideas.
- Write changes directly into compositions, or use computer software to make changes.
- Transcribe ideas for musical compositions into musical notation, using instruments, pen and paper, or computers.
- Guide musicians during rehearsals, performances, or recording sessions.
- Score compositions so that they are consistent with instrumental and vocal capabilities such as ranges and keys, using knowledge of music theory.
- Write musical scores for orchestras, bands, choral groups, or individual instrumentalists or vocalists, using knowledge of music theory and of instrumental and vocal capabilities.
- Confer with producers and directors to define the nature and placement of film or television music.
- Fill in details of orchestral sketches, such as adding vocal parts to scores.
- Explore and develop musical ideas based on sources such as imagination or sounds in the environment.
- Write music for commercial mediums, including advertising jingles or film soundtracks.
- Transpose music from one voice or instrument to another to accommodate particular musicians.
- Rewrite original musical scores in different musical styles by changing rhythms, harmonies, or tempos.
- Study original pieces of music to become familiar with them prior to making any changes.
- Arrange music composed by others, changing the music to achieve desired effects.
- Accept commissions to create music for special occasions.
- Study films or scripts to determine how musical scores can be used to create desired effects or moods.
- Create original musical forms, or write within circumscribed musical forms such as sonatas, symphonies, or operas.
- Collaborate with other colleagues, such as copyists, to complete final scores.
- Copy parts from scores for individual performers.
What Music Composers and Arrangers Should Be Good At
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
What Music Composers and Arrangers Need to Learn
- Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.