2 March 2011

Music composers write new scores for individuals, groups and orchestras. They apply knowledge of musical elements such as rhythm, melody and texture to their work. Some composers also write songs and lyrics.

Composers work across all musical styles, such as, rock, soul, rhythm and blues and classical music. The compositional techniques they use can be applied to all types of music. However, composers often specialise in one area.

Composers create their compositions in a variety of ways. They can:

  • Plan the outline of a composition either on paper or in their head
  • Make a series of short sketches before they put the whole work together
  • Create songs on a keyboard or guitar initially, before transferring the melody
  • Work in collaboration with other music writers and/or lyricists
  • Create songs with other band members, if the composer also performs
  • Use electronic resources such as computers and synthesizers for their writing.

Composers and music writers across all genres may work with a range of people. These include music publishers, managers and record companies. These links are made so that a composer’s work can be performed, heard and purchased. Occasionally music writers carry out some of their own production and promotion with distribution via the internet.

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