Profession composer

Composers create new music pieces in a variety of styles. They usually note down the created music in musical notation. Composers may work independently or as part of a group or ensemble. Many create pieces to support film, television, games or live performances.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type

  • Artistic / Enterprising


  • Transcribe ideas into musical notation

    Transcribe/translate musical ideas into musical notation, using instruments, pen and paper, or computers.

  • Read musical score

    Read the musical score during rehearsal and live performance.

  • Develop musical ideas

    Explore and develop musical concepts based on sources such as imagination or environmental sounds.

  • Create musical structures

    Apply aspects of music theory in order to create musical and tonal structures such as harmonies and melodies.

  • Transpose music

    Transposing music into an alternate key while keeping the original tone structure.

  • Work out orchestral sketches

    Make up and work out details for orchestral sketches, such as adding extra vocal parts to scores.

  • Evaluate musical ideas

    Experiment with different sound sources, use synthesizers and computer software, permanently explore and evaluate musical ideas and concepts.

  • Study music

    Study original pieces of music to get well acquainted with music theory and history.

  • Write musical scores

    Write musical scores for orchestras, ensembles or individual instrumentalists using knowledge of music theory and history. Apply instrumental and vocal capabilities.

  • Rewrite musical scores

    Rewrite original musical scores in different musical genres and styles; change rhythm, harmony tempo or instrumentation.

  • Complete final musical scores

    Collaborate with colleagues, such as copyists or fellow composers, in order to complete musical scores.

  • Create musical forms

    Create original musical forms, or write within existing musical formats like operas or symphonies.

  • Select elements for a composition

    Determine and assign elements to compose a music piece. Define melodies, instrumental parts, harmonies, tone balances and time notations.

Optional knowledge and skills

play musical instruments supervise musicians organise compositions use digital instruments film music techniques edit recorded sound record music music literature

Common job titles

  • Entrepreneurial music intern
  • Music theory faculty
  • Senior pega developer
  • Music supervision and licensing intern fall 2017
  • Senior systems administrator, mac
  • Technical illustrator
  • Post production assistant
  • Student services assistant
  • Web developer
  • Growth marketer