Careers as a composer can take on a lot of different forms and each has different demands. All composition careers, though, are based on writing music.
|Arranger||A music arranger works with a composer or songwriter to fill out their composition. They may add different instruments, change the tempo, or the markings. They can take a simple tune and make a full song out of it.|
|Broadway Show Adapter||A show adapter takes existing material and creates a new show from it. They may compose music based on existing tunes or create totally new works, adapt characters, and create dialogue.|
|Commercial Composer||A commercial composer is someone who writes music for television, film, advertisements, or video games.|
|Composer||A composer is someone who writes original music to be performed by an ensemble, in a movie, stage play, or television show.|
|Composer’s Assistant||A composer’s assistant is a highly technical job. They work mostly with commercial composers. Some of the work they do includes keeping track of cues, setting up sessions, and making sure computers are running properly.|
|Film Scorer||A film scorer, or film composer, meets with producers and directors to understand the need for music in a film. As part of a team, they decide where music should be in a film, then they write it. They oversee the recording of the score and make sure it matches the goals of the production.|
|Lyricist||A lyricist specializes in writing the words to a song. They work closely with composers and together, they create words and music that work together.|
|Music Copyist||A music copyist works with a team of other music professionals who help prepare written music for playing. They will often proofread, transcribe, or organize the written piece in preparation for recording or live performance.|
|Notesetter||A notesetter is someone who transcribes music from what they hear played. They have to have a good understanding of music theory, musical notation, and a finely tuned ear.|
|Orchestrator||An orchestrator takes the work of a composer and expands it for a full orchestra or performance ensemble. They select different instruments to carry different parts of the work. They transpose the composer’s sketches into the key and clef the performer needs.|
|Publishing scout||A publishing scout often works in the A&R department of a label. They look for songwriters and composers to sign to their label.|
|Songwriter||A songwriter writes lyrics and music to be performed or recorded.|
|Television Composer||A television composer writes music for productions with a short production schedule and a limited budget. A composer may be hired to write a package for music within an episode or to write the title song for a series. In either case, the composer is paid a residual fee each time the episode with their composition is performed.|
|Video Game Composer||A video game composer writes original scores for use in video games.|
There are many Composition Careers to choose from. This list can be a stepping stone for picking which of the composition careers is right for you.