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Career Skills for a Music Composer

Jul 26, 2008
In order to be a music composer for film, television, and media one needs to have audio skills beyond instrumental and composition ability. While being able to compose music beautifully on an instrument is a fantastic talent, it is not enough in terms of creating a career in music composition. There are many other audio related skills which follow that are vital to a working music composer that should be mastered by any newcomer looking to break into the game.

1. Study music theory to learn the ins and outs of time signatures, tempos, and scales. The ability to play the flute or banjo are fine talents, but understanding the theory of the music you play will give you the proficiency to adapt or reconfigure your pieces to fit the requirements of a particular project in music composition.

3. Build your understanding of all genres of music in order to increase your availability for work. Its great to be partial to a certain of genre of music, but its not wise to limit yourself to one or two genres if you want to have enough work as a composer. A music writer who can only write one or two styles is not of much use to a good portion of the media world.

3. Purchase and learn to use a DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation. You will be able to record and edit your music whenever you like by using any of the plentiful software DAWs on the market, vital skills under a strict deadlines for a working composer.

5. Become a master mixer of your music. In the long run, it is inefficient and costly to pay some other studio or audio engineer to mix your tracks. Save money and time by studying audio production and become the fastest composer on the block.

5. Study audio mastering. Just like mixing, seeking out another studio or person to master your completed tracks costs time and money. Learn audio mastering in classes or solo to bring out the beauty and strength of your music and create loyal and happy clients.

6. Get a grip on contracts and basic music licensing agreements. Be able to respond quickly and intelligently to a proposal from a potential client by learning the ins and outs of music licensing.

The proficiencies mentioned above will benefit any composer by allowing them to gain the efficiency, resourcefulness, and professionalism needed to be a successful composer in the very competitive world of media production.
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