Careers in Jazz Composition

Below are some of the many careers a jazz composition major can pursue.

Visit Berklee's Career Communities site to explore more roles by community, industry, program, or location.



Also called:

Music Arranger

Description:

An arranger reimagines an existing composition, adapting the instruments, voices, rhythms, and tempo to create a new sound for a piece of music. 


Also called:

Classical Composer

Description:

Composers create musical works that may be performed or recorded by new music ensembles, synchronized with a visual element to create a multimedia experience, or performed as part of an opera or dance concert.


Also called:

Film Composer, Film Scorer

Description:

Film composers create the musical scores that accompany movies.


Also called:

Television Composer, Film and TV Composer

Description:

Television composers write the themes, background score, and source music used in television shows. 


Description:

Video game composers create the musical scores for video games on a variety of platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, personal computers, and virtual and augmented reality systems.


Also called:

Music Prep

Description:

Copyists are responsible for proofreading scores and preparing individual parts for performances and recording sessions.


Also called:

Music Prep

Description:

Copyists are responsible for proofreading scores and preparing individual parts for film, TV, and video game music recording sessions. 


Also called:

Music Library Composer, Custom Music Composer, Advertising Music Composer, Production Music Writer, General Business Composer

Description:

Writing for a wide variety of clients—including businesses, event production companies, software and hardware developers, nonprofits, films and TV shows, and music libraries—freelance composers create music not for the stage but for use in the world around them.


Description:

An orchestrator takes a composer's musical sketch and turns it into a score for orchestra, ensemble, or choral group, assigning the instruments and voices according to the composer's intentions.


Description:

Proofreaders examine music notation for errors or ambiguity, correcting problems as they're found. Their careful attention allows composers, arrangers, and transcribers to focus solely on the music.


Also called:

Staff Songwriter

Description:

Working alone or in collaboration with others, staff writers are content providers who create hit songs for other artists to record and perform.


Also called:

Music Transcriber, Music Transcriptionist

Description:

Using specialized computer programs, keen ears, and a deep knowledge of music notation, transcribers create sheet music and, occasionally, entirely new arrangements from musical recordings.