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Music Composition Careers

When you think of composers, you might picture old men wearing wigs. Believe it or not, the number of music composition jobs is constantly expanding. Think of all the places where music is used these days—movies, advertisements, video games, elevators… Not to mention live music events and recording projects.

The debut issue of Crosstalk contains perfect examples of Music Composition Careers via in-depth interviews with Composition & Songwriting faculty member (and in-demand “demo doctor”) Andy Thompson (Pink, Taylor Swift) and prolific Hollywood composer/producer Jeff Rona (GladiatorTraffic). Click the image below to read all about it!

Examples of Music Composition Careers

  • Composer
  • Music Supervisor (film, TV, digital cinema, etc.)
  • Arranger/Orchestrator
  • Lyricist
  • Songwriting Career
  • Performing Songwriter / Singer Songwriter
  • Copyist

Composer – A music composer career may involve scoring films, composing music for theater and dance productions, or writing songs for a performing artist. Composers music for a variety of purposes, such as digital cinema, TV, dance performances, theater, multimedia performances, animation, gaming, motion graphics, web sites, advertisements, or instrumental ensembles, individual artists and bands.

Music supervisor (film, TV, digital cinema, etc.) – A music supervisor oversees the music used in other media. They work with musicians and publishers to first choose the music and then obtain the appropriate permissions (licenses) to use the music.

Arranger/orchestrator – Arrangers and orchestrators may compose original songs and pieces or may work with melodies and pieces written by other composers. An orchestrator concentrates on assigning parts to the instruments in an orchestra or other ensemble.

Lyricist – A lyricist writes lyrics for publication or performance. A good lyricist will adapt the words of a song to accommodate the musical needs and goals of the composer and performer.

Songwriter Career – Musicians who have songwriting careers may write songs for a variety of audiences and purposes, including composing songs for themselves or other artists, TV and movies, advertisements, web sites, video games, and even dance, opera and theater productions.

Performing songwriter – A performing songwriter makes his or her career in songwriting, but also performs the works she or he composes.

Copyist – In the past, the music copyist copied musical scores onto stencils or manuscript paper for reproduction. Today’s copyists may use notation software programs like Finale or Sibelius to assist them. The copyist’s job is to make it easier for musicians to play or sing their parts. Writers, composers, arrangers and orchestrators may all use the skills of a copyist.

More Music Composition Jobs

  • Performing Poet
  • Spoken Word Artist
  • Remixer
  • Composition Teacher
  • Jingle Writer