Music Composers & Arrangers
Also called: Film Composer, Music Arranger, Music Composer, Music Producer
Produced by CareerOneStop
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The music that delights audiences at concerts, musicals, movies, or in recordings… is the product of composers’ and music directors’ hard work and talent. Music directors—also called conductors— lead orchestras, choirs, and other musical groups during performances and recording sessions. They select musical arrangements and compositions to be performed, and study musical scores to prepare for rehearsals. They ensure that musicians play with one coherent sound, balancing the melody, rhythm, and volume. Composers write original music that orchestras, bands, and other musical groups perform. They may also write lyrics. Composers often study different musical styles, though some focus on one genre, such as classical or hip hop. They also may write for musical theater, compose movie scores, or write commercial jingles. Most music directors work for schools and religious organizations, or are self-employed. Performances often require some travel and evening and weekend hours. Composers work in offices, recording studios, or at home. Though they may work anywhere in the country, many jobs are in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Chicago. Music directors need a master’s degree in music theory, composition, or conducting; choir directors may need only a bachelor’s degree. Popular music composers submit recordings of their music to bands, singers, record companies, or movie studios. They often post recordings of their music online on their own website, or social media.
What they do:Write and transcribe musical scores.
On the job, you would:
- 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.
Arts and Humanities
- music, dance, visual arts, drama, or sculpture
- English language
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- customer service
- sales and marketing
- reading work related information
- writing things for co-workers or customers
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- communicate by writing
- read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
- create new and original ideas
- come up with lots of ideas
Hearing and Speech
- tell the difference between sounds
- recognize spoken words
People interested in this work like activities that include creating, designing, and making your own rules.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Music or sound editing software
- Avid Technology Sibelius