Music directors, also called conductors, lead orchestras and other musical groups during performances and recording sessions. Composers write and arrange original music in a variety of musical styles.
Music directors typically do the following:
Select musical arrangements and compositions to be performed for live audiences or recordings
Prepare for performances by reviewing and interpreting musical scores
Direct rehearsals to prepare for performances and recordings
Choose guest performers and soloists
Audition new performers or assist section leaders with auditions
Practice conducting to improve their technique
Meet with potential donors and attend fundraisers
Music directors lead orchestras, choirs, and other musical groups. They ensure that the musicians play with one coherent sound, balancing the melody, timing, rhythm, and volume. They also give feedback to musicians and section leaders so that they can achieve the sound and style they want for the piece.
Music directors may work with a variety of orchestras and musical groups, including church choirs, youth orchestras, and high school or college bands, choirs, or orchestras. Some work with orchestras that accompany dance and opera companies.
Composers typically do the following:
Write original music that orchestras, bands, and other musical groups perform
Arrange existing music into new compositions
Write lyrics for music or work with a lyricist
Meet with companies, orchestras, or other musical groups that are interested in commissioning a piece of music
Study and listen to music of various styles for inspiration
Work with musicians to record their music
Composers write music for a variety of musical groups and users. Some work in a particular style of music, such as classical or jazz. They also may write for musicals, operas, or other types of theatrical productions.
Some composers write scores for movies or television; others write jingles for commercials. Many songwriters focus on composing music for audiences of popular music.
Some composers use instruments to help them as they write music. Others use software that allows them to hear a piece without musicians.