Composer

Portrait of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composing at his desk, by Valentin Serov, 1898
Nineteenth-century composer and pianist Clara Schumann

Person who writes music.

- Composer
Portrait of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composing at his desk, by Valentin Serov, 1898

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Scherzo in A flat by the Russian Romantic era composer Alexander Borodin (1833–1887)

Musical composition

Original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music.

Original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music.

Scherzo in A flat by the Russian Romantic era composer Alexander Borodin (1833–1887)
Jazz, rock and pop songwriters typically write out newly composed songs in a lead sheet, which notates the melody, the chord progression and the tempo or style of the song (e.g., "slow blues").
Jazz and rock genre musicians may memorize the melodies for a new song, which means that they only need to provide a chord chart to guide improvising musicians.
People composing music using synthesizers in 2013.

People who create new compositions are called composers.

Cage in 1988

John Cage

Cage in 1988
John Cage (left) and Michael Bach in Assisi, Italy, 1992
Rhythmic proportions in Sonata III of Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano
I Ching divination involves obtaining a hexagram by random generation (such as tossing coins), then reading the chapter associated with that hexagram.
Variations III, No. 14, a 1992 print by Cage from a series of 57

John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer and music theorist.

Lutosławski beside the piano at his home, by Juliusz Multarzyński.

Witold Lutosławski

Lutosławski beside the piano at his home, by Juliusz Multarzyński.
Lutosławski (right) greets his old friend Andrzej Panufnik (left) in 1990.
Lutosławski on 16 August 1946
Lutosławski during his visit to Finland, 10 March 1965
Lutosławski in 1993, by Betty Freeman
Lutosławski at the piano, c. 1952–1953
Bust of Witold Lutosławski by Arkadiusz Latos, Kielce, Poland
Monument to Witold Lutosławski and his wife Danuta in the Powązki Cemetery, Warsaw

Witold Roman Lutosławski (25 January 1913 – 7 February 1994) was a Polish composer and conductor.

A hand-written musical score for Act 2 of the opera Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber, written in the 1820s. The score contains all the parts for the singers and the accompaniment parts and melodies for the orchestra.

Orchestration

Study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra.

Study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra.

A hand-written musical score for Act 2 of the opera Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber, written in the 1820s. The score contains all the parts for the singers and the accompaniment parts and melodies for the orchestra.
Orchestral introduction to 'et misericordia' from Bach's Magnificat, BWV 243. Listen
Opening orchestral introduction to J.S. Bach's Cantata, BWV65.
'L'Entrée de Polymnie' from Les Boréades by Rameau.
Rameau 'Rossignols amoureux' from Hippolyte et Aricie
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Haydn, Symphony 97, third movement, bars 109-118
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Haydn, Symphony 94, second movement bars 143-156
Symphony 39, first movement, bars 102-105
Symphony 39, first movement, bars 106-109
Symphony 39, first movement, bars 110-114
Symphony 39, first movement, bars 115-119
Trio section of the Minuet from Mozart's Symphony No. 41.
Mozart Piano Concerto K482 first movement bars 1-6
Mozart Piano Concerto K482 first movement bars 7–12.
Symphony 2 scherzo bars 1-8
Second subject theme from the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor)
Minor version of the theme.
Major version of the theme, with horns playing the melody.
Minor key version of the theme, with piano right hand elaborating the melody in triplets.
Tutti statement of the theme.
Solo piano statement of theme in the cadenza.
Final statement of the theme in a major key by the horns after the end of the cadenza.
Berlioz, March to the Scaffold from the Symphonie fantastique
Berlioz, Queen Mab scherzo from Romeo et Juliette
Berlioz, orchestral texture from Queen Mab scherzo
Wagner, Prelude to Lohengrin Listen
Wagner Fire Music from Die Walküre
Parsifal Prelude Opening
Contrasting orchestral groups from the Prelude to first Act of Parsifal
Wagner, Tristan prelude, opening.
Wagner, Tristan Prelude, closing bars.
Mahler, Symphony No. 4, first movement, Figure 5.
Mahler Symphony No 4, third movement, Figure 13.
Debussy, Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune, opening bars
Debussy, Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune, Figure 7, bars 11-13
Debussy, Jeux opening bars

An orchestrator is a trained musical professional who assigns instruments to an orchestra or other musical ensemble from a piece of music written by a composer, or who adapts music composed for another medium for an orchestra.

Hymn-style arrangement of "Adeste Fideles" in standard two-staff format (bass staff and treble staff) for mixed voices[[File:Adeste Fideles sheet music sample.mid]]

Sheet music

Handwritten or printed form of musical notation that uses musical symbols to indicate the pitches, rhythms, or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece.

Handwritten or printed form of musical notation that uses musical symbols to indicate the pitches, rhythms, or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece.

Hymn-style arrangement of "Adeste Fideles" in standard two-staff format (bass staff and treble staff) for mixed voices[[File:Adeste Fideles sheet music sample.mid]]
Tibetan musical score from the 19th century
Title page for the first-edition vocal score for Hector Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict
Page from the autograph score of Fugue No. 17 in A major from J. S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier
Sheet music for the song "Oregon, My Oregon"
A conductor's score and baton
First page of the full score for Max Reger's Der 100. Psalm for choir, orchestra and organ
An excerpt of a piano-vocal score for César Cui's opera William Ratcliff.
The lead sheet for the song "Trifle in Pyjamas" shows only the melody and chord symbols. To play this song, a jazz band's rhythm section musicians would improvise chord voicings and a bassline using the chord symbols. The lead instruments, such as sax or trumpet, would improvise ornaments to make the melody more interesting, and then improvise a solo part.
The original stone at Delphi containing the second of the two Delphic Hymns to Apollo. The music notation is the line of occasional symbols above the main, uninterrupted line of Greek lettering.
Frontispiece to Petrucci's Odhecaton
Example of 16th century sheet music and music notation. Excerpt from the manuscript "Muziek voor 4 korige diatonische cister".
Buildings of New York City's Tin Pan Alley music publishing district in 1910.

If the songwriter or composer is known, their name is typically indicated along with the title.

A bar from J. S. Bach's Fugue No. 17 in A-flat, BWV 862, from The Well-Tempered Clavier (Part I), an example of counterpoint. The two voices (melodies) on each staff can be distinguished by the direction of the stems and beams.BachFugueBar.midBachFugueBar1.midBachFugueBar2.midBachFugueBar3.midBachFugueBar4.mid

Melody

Linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity.

Linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity.

A bar from J. S. Bach's Fugue No. 17 in A-flat, BWV 862, from The Well-Tempered Clavier (Part I), an example of counterpoint. The two voices (melodies) on each staff can be distinguished by the direction of the stems and beams.BachFugueBar.midBachFugueBar1.midBachFugueBar2.midBachFugueBar3.midBachFugueBar4.mid
"Pop Goes the Weasel" melody Pop Goes the Weasel.ogg
Melody from Anton Webern's Variations for orchestra, Op. 30 (pp. 23–24) Webern Variations melody.mid

In western classical music, composers often introduce an initial melody, or theme, and then create variations. Classical music often has several melodic layers, called polyphony, such as those in a fugue, a type of counterpoint. Often, melodies are constructed from motifs or short melodic fragments, such as the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Richard Wagner popularized the concept of a leitmotif: a motif or melody associated with a certain idea, person or place.

Scherzo in A flat by the Russian Romantic era composer Alexander Borodin (1833–1887)

Musical improvisation

Creative activity of immediate ("in the moment") musical composition, which combines performance with communication of emotions and instrumental technique as well as spontaneous response to other musicians.

Creative activity of immediate ("in the moment") musical composition, which combines performance with communication of emotions and instrumental technique as well as spontaneous response to other musicians.

Scherzo in A flat by the Russian Romantic era composer Alexander Borodin (1833–1887)

At the same time, some contemporary composers from the 20th and 21st century have increasingly included improvisation in their creative work.

Instrumental

Recording normally without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a big band setting.

Recording normally without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a big band setting.

An instrumental can exist in music notation, after it is written by a composer; in the mind of the composer (especially in cases where the composer themselves will perform the piece, as in the case of a blues solo guitarist or a folk music fiddle player); as a piece that is performed live by a single instrumentalist or a musical ensemble, which could range in components from a duo or trio to a large big band, concert band or orchestra.

Songwriting partners Rodgers and Hart working on a song in 1936

Songwriter

Musician who professionally composes musical compositions and writes lyrics for songs.

Musician who professionally composes musical compositions and writes lyrics for songs.

Songwriting partners Rodgers and Hart working on a song in 1936

A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed.

Elvis Presley, a musician of the 20th century.

Musician

Elvis Presley, a musician of the 20th century.
1820 portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler, a major composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras

A musician is a person who composes, conducts, or performs music.