What is a Music Composer or Arranger?
Career Description Write and transcribe musical scores.
Life As a Music Composer or Arranger
- Confer with producers and directors to define the nature and placement of film or television music.
- Rewrite original musical scores in different musical styles by changing rhythms, harmonies, or tempos.
- Determine voices, instruments, harmonic structures, rhythms, tempos, and tone balances required to achieve the effects desired in a musical composition.
- Fill in details of orchestral sketches, such as adding vocal parts to scores.
- Arrange music composed by others, changing the music to achieve desired effects.
- Write music for commercial mediums, including advertising jingles or film soundtracks.
Music Composer or Arranger Required Skills
When polled, Music Composers and Arrangers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Types of Music Composer or Arranger
- Composer Teaching Artist
- Record Producer
- Music Producer
Is There Going to be Demand for Music Composers and Arrangers?
In the United States, there were 74,800 jobs for Music Composer or Arranger in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,300 new jobs for Music Composer or Arranger by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 7,700 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Music Composer or Arranger are Colorado, Utah, and North Carolina. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Kansas, or Wisconsin. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Salary for a Music Composer or Arranger
Music Composers and Arrangers make between $21,640 and $112,820 a year.
Music Composers and Arrangers who work in Minnesota, Georgia, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.
How much do Music Composers and Arrangers make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$77,220|
What Tools do Music Composers and Arrangers Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Music Composers and Arrangers:
- Avid Technology Sibelius
- MakeMusic Finale
Becoming a Music Composer or Arranger
What education is needed to be a Music Composer or Arranger?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Music Composer or Arranger?
Where do Music Composers and Arrangers Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Music Composers and Arrangers employed by various industries.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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