Music Composer Job Description

Music Composer Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a music composer job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a music composer. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a music composer.


Who is a Music Composer?

A music composer is an individual who formulates and writes music professionally. They typically produce musical scores, which musicians use to execute songs, using unique types of musical notation. Their compositions frequently include directions for different instruments or vocal ranges and indicate key elements of a song, such as a melody, chords, and speed. They might compose music for choirs, bands, orchestras, ensembles, or solo performers. Like popular music bands who create original songs, many composers may occasionally collaborate to create a piece of music.

The traditional musical notation that musicians are familiar with is used by composers to write and arrange music. The notations used while writing for a variety of instruments or vocal ranges must be appropriate for the instruments’ or vocalists’ expertise. This implies that several sets of instructions for each of the unique parts played by the artists or sections may be included in a single piece of music. The projects that come along are not routine, even though the industry requires a lot of travel and effort.

Music composers can either work from home or through a studio. But they typically sign contracts with different music producers and directors for several projects of diverse genres. The fact that their profession is anything but routine is what makes it interesting. One gets a lot of exposure throughout time, from movies to animation to media outlets to advertising firms, and appreciates their profession as a result. One must recognize, though, that every soundtrack experiences numerous rejections in addition to numerous alterations. As a result, one needs to have the patience to work on it continuously throughout time.

Depending on the genre of music they create and how they are hired, composers may experience different work environments. Some songwriters experiment with their ideas while writing songs using specialized tools. They might spend a lot of time on the computer if this is how they operate. Those who choose a more traditional method, can go through some of their scores on their instruments and handwrite their notes on actual paper. In either case, they typically work alone and put in a lot of time creating, editing, and listening to their work.

A lot of music composers are band members, and they frequently enlist the aid of their fellow musicians when writing music. The work environments for each musician and their preferred methods of performance can vary because the process is peculiar to each artist and music genre. Some artists like playing improvised music with other musicians and recording their performance to subsequently transcribe it. Some people might work alone or with other musicians in studios or at home offices. Although obtaining a degree is not necessary to work as a music composer, doing so is advised to advance your career.

Some musicians earn their bachelor’s or master’s degrees in music. The most popular bachelor’s programs are in sound recording technology, music theory, and instrumental performance. These courses teach you how to perform on stage, collaborate with an ensemble, and learn about many musical genres. A master’s degree program, such as a Master of Fine Arts in Composition for Screen or a Master of Arts in Theory Pedagogy, is an option for you to continue your education. You can acquire advanced harmony and composition skills in master’s degree courses.

You need to have great creative skills to make music, including the ability to write original lyrics, harmonize sounds, and perform musical instruments. Additionally required for this vocation is the ability to read music. To distinguish sounds and hear out-of-tune notes, good listening skills are essential. Strong leadership and coaching skills are also important as they can assist you in leading an orchestra by motivating and directing musicians to perform to their highest potential.

To master your profession and create excellent arrangements, it’s also essential to be disciplined and detail-oriented. You can perform film scoring for movies or television shows as a composer, or you can write music for orchestras, jazz ensembles, or theatre productions. Using harmonies, melodies, rhythms, and tonal structures, you can build musical arrangements, teach players, and experiment with sounds using synthesizers and computer software. Dramatic underscoring, which uses sound to enhance the drama in a scene, may be used when composing for movies. Additionally, you can use well-known soundtracks and write your songs. Conducting an orchestra and creating music for vocalists and instrumentalists may be involved in making music for a symphony, jazz performance, or musical theater.


Music Composer Job Description

What is a music composer job description? A music composer job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a music composer in an organization. Below are the music composer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a music composer job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

Music composers are responsible for a range of duties which include the following:

  • Analyze projects and specifications while communicating with directors and other stakeholders to obtain information before beginning the composing process.
  • Create, record, and perform musical compositions and arrangements for television programs, radio spots, motion pictures, stage performances, and video games.
  • Participate in studio sessions or rehearsals while offering actors, musicians, and directors creative feedback.
  • Increase your understanding of software, hardware, and technical recordings.
  • Fix meetings with the directors and producers to analyze the terms of the project and the contract.
  • Complete the composition’s adjustments once feedback is received.
  • Inform the producer or director of any problems as soon as possible.
  • Create songs with lyrics, melodies, and harmonies that reflect the sentiment or theme of a film or ad.
  • Discover and recruit musicians to perform in orchestras or bands for recordings or live performances.
  • Utilize digital audio workstations (DAWs), such as Pro Tools or Logic Pro, to capture musical or vocal performances.
  • Create versions of songs that will be performed for an audience.
  • Transform ideas into musical notation by writing them down.
  • Offer music inspiration for bands and production companies.
  • Hold rehearsals with musicians to find out if they can perform the song correctly and comprehend it.
  • Utilize computer software tools like Logic Pro or Ableton Live to produce creative music.
  • Create fresh arrangements for existing music for films, advertisements, and other projects by transcribing and orchestrating it.
  • Utilize digital audio editing tools like Pro Tools or Cubase to edit audio recordings.
  • Create new music in collaboration with other composers for movies, TV shows, video games, or ads.
  • Create project budgets and schedules, collaborating with producers and directors to make sure deadlines are reached.
  • Travel distance to meet clients or for music performances.
  • Network with other professionals in the field while researching both classical and contemporary compositions.
  • Attend the theater frequently to get fresh perspectives and motivation.
  • Analyze how the composition’s distinctive elements interact.
  • Give guidelines for music tempo, notes, and rests.
  • Create music that reflects a theme or emotion.
  • Learn the fundamentals of the instruments or voice ranges that they write for to comprehend their sound and musical impact.
  • Recognize various notations.
  • Learn about music theory.
  • Transcribe music for various vocalists or instruments



  • Bachelor’s degree in music composition, music theory, or a similar discipline is required.
  • A Master’s degree in music is advantageous.
  • Previous experience in music and music-related roles and environments.
  • A portfolio of existing collections of works is essential.
  • Competence in one or more musical instruments.
  • Having good vocals for singing is advantageous.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Must be able to follow directions and collaborate with others.
  • Excellent time management skills.


Essential Skills

  • Communication skills: Music composers can benefit from having good communication skills because they rely on musicians to perform their finished works using only the directions they offer in sheet music. One of the key responsibilities of their position is to translate music so that others can understand it. Music composers can turn their ideas into instructions that others can read and understand, even hundreds of years in the future, using communication skills that are special to employing musical notation.
  • Creativity: The capacity to come up with new and original ideas and solutions is creativity. Because music composers often need to come up with innovative song ideas, this is a crucial skill. A composer might be asked, for instance, to create a song for a certain movie scene. They might have to compose a song that is both original and appropriate for the scenario.
  • Composition software skills: Music is created by composers using composition software. Music composers can make music, produce music tracks, and add effects to their songs with the use of this software. They can also produce the music they need for their projects with the aid of composition software if they have an understanding of various forms of it.
  • Industry knowledge: Music composers often need to possess a profound knowledge of many different musical aspects. This includes having a basic understanding of musical theory, which is the study of the procedures and ideas involved in music composition. Additionally, it is advantageous if music composers to have a rudimentary knowledge of the musical instruments or singers they are writing for. They will be better able to create thoughtful works if they are aware of each musician’s or instrument’s capabilities. Many composers offer their finished works for sale by playtime in minutes. When designing a score for sale, staying informed of trends and demand might help them create music that other people want to buy. This may have a direct bearing on the genre of music they compose and the markets they choose to sell their songs in.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration skill is the capacity to cooperate with others to accomplish a shared objective. To create music, composers regularly work with other artists, such as vocalists, musicians, and producers. Working with producers, who can have a different viewpoints on the music, requires collaboration as well.
  • Attention to detail: Music composers can ensure they include every element of the music musicians need to know to execute the composition effectively by paying close attention to detail when crafting their pieces. Performers may become perplexed and a piece’s effect may vary due to a notation error. Some compositions call for exceedingly precise instructions, particularly those intended for big orchestras or ensembles. For instance, when writing for stringed instruments, each note could have particular instructions, such as how loud to play it, which way the players’ bows should point, or what kind of unique effect to use.
  • Music theory knowledge: The basis of music composition is music theory. Music theory experts can write original music that conforms to the principles of music composition. This can assist students in producing music that is both aesthetically beautiful and appropriate for the project they are working on.
  • Ability to work under pressure: Music composers need to be able to work under pressure because they usually have deadlines for their projects. By doing so, individuals can guarantee that they finish their work on time and meet the demands of their employers. Their ability to remain focused and perform well under pressure is also required in this career.


How to Become a Music Composer

Step 1. Education

Even though a degree isn’t strictly necessary for a gig as a music composer, a solid foundation in education from an accredited institution is beneficial. If you want to pursue a B.A. in Music, you can decide whether to either enroll in the arts stream in high school or a two-year college. The majority of music composers hold a bachelor’s degree in music theory or composition. Many music schools and organizations provide various courses and programs. You could enroll in a music certificate program or music degree program. You must have some fundamental musical background knowledge to enroll in a diploma program. You can obtain a certificate course to assist you to meet the minimal requirements for a diploma program. To advance in education and broaden work options, music composers can decide to acquire a master’s degree in music theory or composition. Two years are required to acquire a master’s degree in music composition, which includes courses in music theory, music history, and composition.

Step 2. Training and experience

The majority of music composers pick up the knowledge and skills necessary for their position on the job. Before pursuing a position as a music composer, they might work as an assistant to a composer of music or another member of the music industry. A music composer can learn about the industry and the numerous roles played by working as an assistant. Additionally, they can learn about the software and technology employed in the sector. To learn more about the industry, composers might also enroll in classes or seminars. To better understand the music business, some composers may enroll in courses in music theory, music history, or other courses.

Step 3. Certifications

Typically, a license or certification is not required for employment as a music composer. However, it depends on the location of the public setting to determine if a music composer needs a license to perform music. To expand their career opportunities and build an appealing portfolio, many music composers also participate in music rights organizations.

Step 4. Land a job

There are different options to acquire a good gig: either you enhance your reputation by sharing your work across platforms, or you attain a higher music degree. You might help a more established music composer if you have a solid reputation. Through this, you could expand your network and obtain a better understanding of the business. By successfully finishing your music studies, you can also get employment as a private music tutor, music therapist, sound technician, music school teacher, and other related positions.


Where to Work as a Music Composer

Music composers generally work in music studios and offices. The majority of them are self-employed. They may be required to travel to attend music performances and festivals or to meet with clients. Music composers who work freelance have flexible schedules, although they may need to work long hours to fulfill deadlines. Some music composers also work in schools where they teach music composition or theory to college and university students. Music composers may work together with other musicians, singers, and music directors occasionally, but they work alone most time.


Music Composer Salary Scale

The salary scale for music composers can vary depending on various factors such as level of education, location of workplace, additional skills, expertise, and years of experience. The average Music Composer’s salary is $54,391 per year in the US. The salary scale typically falls between $47,176 and $65,514 per year.

The average Music Composer’s salary is £50,430 per year in the UK. The salary scale typically falls between £36,887 and £61,718 per year. The average Music Composer’s salary is $79,759 per year in Canada. The salary scale typically ranges from  $56,150 to $96,748 per year. The average Music Composer’s salary is 3,120,000 NGN per year in Nigeria. The salary scale typically ranges from 1,202,000 NGN to 5,222,000 NGN per year.

Job Description

Leave a Reply