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
  • Music Orchestrator

What They Do

  • 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.
  • Experiment with different sounds, and types and pieces of music, using synthesizers and computers as necessary to test and evaluate ideas.
  • Write changes directly into compositions, or use computer software to make changes.
  • Transcribe ideas for musical compositions into musical notation, using instruments, pen and paper, or computers.
  • Guide musicians during rehearsals, performances, or recording sessions.
  • Score compositions so that they are consistent with instrumental and vocal capabilities such as ranges and keys, using knowledge of music theory.
  • 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.

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 2013, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $56,620 with most people making between $30,650 and $91,570

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.