Music Composers and Arrangers

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About the Job

Write and transcribe musical scores.

It is also Called

  • Arranger
  • Composer
  • Copyist
  • Creative Director
  • Film Composer
  • Jingle Writer
  • Music Adapter
  • Music Arranger
  • Music Composer
  • Musician

What They Do

  • Copy parts from scores for individual performers.
  • 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.
  • Study films or scripts to determine how musical scores can be used to create desired effects or moods.
  • Accept commissions to create music for special occasions.
  • Arrange music composed by others, changing the music to achieve desired effects.
  • Study original pieces of music to become familiar with them prior to making any changes.
  • Rewrite original musical scores in different musical styles by changing rhythms, harmonies, or tempos.
  • Transpose music from one voice or instrument to another to accommodate particular musicians.
  • Write music for commercial mediums, including advertising jingles or film soundtracks.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: AE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Artistic interests, but also prefer Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2012, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $56,130 with most people making between $31,630 and $88,260

Outlook

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 600 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 650 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have approximately 20 job openings annually.