Each of these is an example of something a composer can be expected to do.
Each listing includes a real-world example of where I’ve performed the task.
Creates the music. They take the music from 0-100%. They accomplish this through discussions with the filmmakers, and getting feedback on what they’ve written. “Composer” is a blanket term which encompasses almost all of the following items on this list.
Takes a piece of music and gives it an orchestral realization using the techniques common to an orchestra.
Takes a simple melody, lyrics, or any other small chunk of an idea, and fleshes it out to its fullest potential. Arrangers are most often used by songwriters who have written a piece but need help used by songwriters.
The MIDI Orchestrator:
Creates a realistic sounding orchestral soundtrack using only a computer (known as a “mockup”). The qualities of these vary wildly, and Soundtracks New Orleans strives to maintain the highest quality mockups.
The Studio Conductor:
Conducts a studio orchestra and works with them until they have a recordable version of the music. Requires a thorough knowledge of the orchestra.
The Booth Operator/Score Reader:
Sits behind the board during a recording session and reads along with the score being recorded, lending a second set of ears to the conductor and ensuring that all the correct notes get played.
Creates a piece of sheet music by ear, using an existing recording.
Helps musicians realize their vision for a song. Helps get ideas out of their heads and make sure they’re done up the modern studio standards. Most common for songwriters.
The Jingle Writer:
Is still a composer, but the intention of the music to underline a product being sold.
A miscellaneous category for any type of service where a composer’s insights can be valuable.