Careers in Contemporary Writing and Production
"...the best reward is to work everyday doing what I love."
– Christian Valencia
|Read Christian Valencia's alumni interview...|
A composer creates instrumental pieces, either to stand alone or to be combined with lyrics. They may compose for a specific situation, such as film/TV composers who score/compose music to enhance videos or films, or they may compose for live performance and/or recording situations.
An arranger provides musical arrangements of a musical composition or song for an artist, band, orchestra, or other ensemble. The arranger determines the voice, instrument, harmonic structure, rhythm, tempo, and other aspects of a song or composition, based on the artist, producer, or conductor's specifications. Training in music theory, orchestration, composition, and harmony is required. An arranger should have experience as a copyist, writing music, and playing one or more instruments.
Producers work mainly with recording acts and record labels to produce records. They also work with composers and produce sound recordings for film, TV, and other forms of multimedia, as well. The producer supervises all aspects of the recording process—including contracting session players and overseeing the recording budget—and may also help the artist select songs to be recorded. Preferably, a producer should be an excellent musician with a lot of performing experience, and have a great depth of musical, acoustical, and studio technical knowledge.
Acoustic and Electronic Orchestrator
An orchestrator is responsible for transposing music from one instrument, voice, or electronic sound to another in order to accommodate a particular musician, group, or style, and writing scores for an orchestra, band, choral group, electronic, and hybrid ensembles, individual instrumentalist(s), or vocalist(s).
Composer for Film, Television, Theater, and Multimedia
A composer for film, TV, theater and multimedia scores music to accompany a motion picture for film, TV shows, a theater production, and video games or multimedia presentations. This could include dramatic underscore as well as popular songwriting using a blend of acoustic and electronic techniques. The traditional role of such a composer is to provide the dramatic underscore, and only more recently has the popular soundtrack begun to stand on its own.
Jingle writers are songwriters/composers/lyricists who specialize in writing music for radio and television commercials. They are responsible for representing their client musically as directed. They must be skilled in all styles, be strong musical arrangers, and be able to compose well for a very short form.
A songwriter writes both lyrics and music and is either a staff writer with a publishing company or a freelance songwriter. A songwriter may also perform and/or produce his/her own songs.
A transcriber notates musical performances onto a score from a recorded performance.
A conductor's main duty is preparing an orchestra or ensemble for the finest performance they are capable of presenting. This includes choosing the repertoire, organizing rehearsals, and possibly planning an entire season of musical events, as well as handling all other business-related matters of an orchestra. A conductor must have a strong ability on an instrument (preferably piano), be able to sight read, and have a strong stage personality.
A copyist transfers musical parts from a score onto individual parts. This person must have strong notation and transposition skills, training in music theory, and neat and accurate copy work.