Careers in Contemporary Writing and Production/Jazz Composition/Composition

"To play great music, you must keep your eyes on a distant star."
- Yehudi Menuhin, violinist.


The arranger provides musical arrangements of a song for the musical artist. The arranger determines the voice, instrument, harmonic structure, rhythm, tempo and other aspects of a song, based on the artist's specifications. Training in music theory, orchestration, composition, and harmony is required. An arranger should have experience writing music, playing one or more instruments, and copying charts.


A Composer creates instrumental pieces, either to stand alone or to be combined with lyrics. They may also work as film composers, scoring music to enhance videos or films.


A conductor's main duty is preparing the orchestra for the finest performance they are capable of presenting. This includes choosing the repertoire, rehearsals, and possibly planning an entire season of musical events, as well as all other business of the orchestra. A conductor must have a strong ability on an instrument (usually 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, and training in music theory, as well as be neat and accurate.

Jingle Writer

See description under Careers in Songwriting.


An orchestrator is responsible for transposing music from one instrument or voice to another in order to accommodate a particular musician or group, and writing scores for an orchestra, band, choral group, individual instrumentalist, or vocalist.

Record Producer

Record producers work with recording acts to produce records. The record producer helps the artist select songs to be recorded, and supervises all aspects of the recording process.


See descriptions under Careers in Music Education.


A transcriber notates musical performances onto a score from a recorded performance.

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