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Details for Music Composers and Arrangers


Description

Write and transcribe musical scores.

Tasks

  • Rewrite original musical scores in different musical styles by changing rhythms, harmonies, or tempos.
  • Use computers and synthesizers to compose, orchestrate, and arrange music.
  • Score compositions so that they are consistent with instrumental and vocal capabilities such as ranges and keys, using knowledge of music theory.
  • Transcribe ideas for musical compositions into musical notation, using instruments, pen and paper, or computers.
  • Transpose music from one voice or instrument to another to accommodate particular musicians.
  • Write changes directly into compositions, or use computer software to make changes.
  • Apply elements of music theory to create musical and tonal structures, including harmonies and melodies.
  • Arrange music composed by others, changing the music to achieve desired effects.
  • Collaborate with other colleagues, such as copyists, to complete final scores.
  • Create original musical forms, or write within circumscribed musical forms such as sonatas, symphonies, or operas.
  • 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.
  • Explore and develop musical ideas based on sources such as imagination or sounds in the environment.
  • Fill in details of orchestral sketches, such as adding vocal parts to scores.
  • 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.
  • Copy parts from scores for individual performers.
  • Guide musicians during rehearsals, performances, or recording sessions.
  • Study original pieces of music to become familiar with them prior to making any changes.
  • Write music for commercial mediums, including advertising jingles or film soundtracks.
  • 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.

Interests

  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Related Careers

  • Actors
  • Art Directors
  • Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture
  • Film and Video Editors
  • Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
  • Music Directors
  • Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners
  • Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers
  • Singers
  • Talent Directors
Wages for this career
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