A COMPOSER (
Many composers are, or were, also skilled performers of music.
* 1 Composers and performers
* 2 History
* 3 Role of women * 4 Clustering
* 5 Training
* 5.1 Undergraduate * 5.2 Masters * 5.3 Doctoral * 5.4 Other routes
* 6 Employment * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links
COMPOSERS AND PERFORMERS
Since musical notation only incompletely expresses a piece of music, there is a whole continuum of possibilities concerning how much the performer determines the final form of the rendered work in a concert. Even in a classical piece of instrumental music in which all of the melodies, chords, and basslines are written out in musical notation, the performer has a good degree of latitude to add artistic interpretation to the work by varying her articulation and phrasing , choosing how long to make fermatas (held notes) or pauses, and — in the case of bowed string instruments, woodwinds or brass instruments — deciding whether to use expressive effects such as vibrato or portamento . For a singer or instrumental performer, the process of deciding how to perform music that has been previously composed and notated is termed "interpretation". Different performers' interpretations of the same work of music can vary widely, in terms of the tempos that are chosen and the playing or singing style or phrasing of the melodies. Composers and songwriters who present their own music are interpreting, just as much as those who perform the music of others. The standard body of choices and techniques present at a given time and a given place is referred to as performance practice , whereas interpretation is generally used to mean the individual choices of a performer.
Although a musical composition often has a single author, this is not always the case. A work of music can have multiple composers, which often occurs in popular music when a band collaborates to write a song, or in musical theatre , where the songs may be written by one person, the orchestration of the accompaniment parts and writing of the overture is done by an orchestrator, and the words may be written by a third person.
A piece of music can also be composed with words, images, or, in the
20th and 21st century, computer programs that explain or notate how
the singer or musician should create musical sounds. Examples of this
range from wind chimes jingling in a breeze, to avant-garde music from
the 20th century that uses graphic notation , to text compositions
Aus den sieben Tagen
The historically informed performance movement has revived to some
extent the possibility of the performer elaborating in a serious way
the music as given in the score, particularly for
In Classical music, the composer typically orchestrates her own compositions, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some cases, a pop songwriter may not use notation at all, and instead compose the song in his or her mind and then play or record it from memory. In jazz and popular music, notable recordings by influential performers are given the weight that written scores play in classical music. The study of composition has traditionally been dominated by examination of methods and practice of Western classical music, but the definition of composition is broad enough the creation of popular and traditional music songs and instrumental pieces and to include spontaneously improvised works like those of free jazz performers and African percussionists such as Ewe drummers .
The level of distinction between composers and other musicians varies, which affects issues such as copyright and the deference given to individual interpretations of a particular piece of music. In the development of European classical music , the function of composing music initially did not have much greater importance than that of performing it. The preservation of individual compositions did not receive enormous attention and musicians generally had no qualms about modifying compositions for performance. In as much as the role of the composer in western art music has seen continued solidification, in alternative idioms (i.e. jazz , experimental music ) it has in some ways become increasingly complex or vague. For instance, in certain contexts the line between composer and performer , sound designer , arranger , producer , and other roles, can be quite blurred. Ancient Greek marble stele , the so-called Seikilos epitaph , with poetry and musical notation engraved on the stone
The term "composer" is often used to refer to composers of instrumental music , such as those found in classical, jazz or other forms of art and traditional music . In popular and folk music , the composer is usually called a songwriter , since the music generally takes the form of a song . Since the mid-20th century, the term has expanded to accommodate creators of electroacoustic music , in which composers directly create sonic material in any of the various electronic media , such as reel-to-reel tape and electronic effects units , which may be presented to an audience by replaying a tape or other sound recording, or by having live instrumentalists and singers perform with prerecorded material. This is distinct from a 19th-century conception of instrumental composition, where the work was represented solely by a musical score to be interpreted by performers .
Medieval music era (476 to 1400), composers wrote
monophonic (single melodic line) chanting into Roman Catholic Church
T.L. de Victoria Amicus meus
Allegory of Music, by
Renaissance music era (c. 1400 to 1600) composers tended
to focus more on writing songs about secular (non-religious) themes,
such as courtly love . Around 1450, the printing press was invented,
which made printed sheet music much less expensive and easier to
mass-produce (prior to the invention of the printing press, all
notated music was hand-copied). The increased availability of sheet
music helped to spread composers' musical styles more quickly and
across a larger area. By the middle of the 15th century, composers
were writing richly polyphonic sacred music, in which different melody
lines were interwoven simultaneously. Prominent composers from this
Guillaume Dufay ,
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
During the Baroque era of music (1600 to 1750), composers expanded
the range and complexity of the music they were writing. The Baroque
music era began when composers looked back to Ancient Greek music for
the inspiration to create operas (dramatic vocal music accompanied by
orchestra ). Another key style of music composers used during this era
was contrapuntal music. This style of writing required composers to
have an advanced knowledge of music theory, as contrapuntal music
involves multiple, independent melody lines played by instruments or
sung by voices. There were strict counterpoint rules that composers
had to learn. German Baroque composers wrote for small ensembles
including strings , brass , and woodwinds , as well as choirs and for
keyboard instruments such as pipe organ , harpsichord , and clavichord
. During this period, composers developed several major music forms
that lasted into later periods when they were expanded and evolved
further, including the fugue , the invention , the sonata , and the
concerto . The late Baroque style was polyphonically complex and
richly ornamented. Some of the best-known composers from the Baroque
Johann Sebastian Bach
Composers of music of the Classical Period (1750 to 1830) looked to
the art and philosophy of
Composers focused on instrumental music. It was dominated by further development of musical forms initially defined in the Baroque period: the sonata , the concerto , and the symphony . Others main kinds were the trio , string quartet , serenade and divertimento . The sonata was the most important and developed form. Although Baroque composers also wrote sonatas, the Classical style of sonata is completely distinct. All of the main instrumental forms of the Classical era, from string quartets to symphonies and concertos, were based on the structure of the sonata.
One of the most important changes made in the Classical period was the development of public concerts. The aristocracy still played a significant role in the sponsorship of concerts and compositions, but it was now possible for composers to survive without being permanent employees of queens or princes. The increasing popularity of classical music led to a growth in the number and types of orchestras. The expansion of orchestral concerts necessitated the building of large public performance spaces. Symphonic music including symphonies, musical accompaniment to ballet and mixed vocal/instrumental genres such as opera and oratorio became more popular.
The best known composers of Classicism are
Romantic music era (c. 1810 to 1900), composers turned the
rigid styles and forms of the Classical era into more passionate,
dramatic expressive pieces. Composers attempted to increase emotional
expression and power of their music, and they tried to describe deeper
truths or human feelings. With symphonic tone poems , composers tried
to tell stories and evoke images or landscapes using instrumental
music. Some composers promoted nationalistic pride with patriotic
orchestral music inspired by folk music . For composers, the emotional
and expressive qualities of music came to take precedence over
following textbooks and tradition. Romantic composers grew in
idiosyncrasy, and went further in the syncretism of exploring
different art-forms in a musical context, (such as literature ),
history (historical figures and legends), or nature itself. Romantic
love or longing was a prevalent theme in many works composed during
this period. In some cases the formal structures from the classical
period continued to be used (e.g., the sonata form used in string
quartets and symphonies ), but these forms were expanded and altered.
In many cases, composers explored new approaches to use for existing
genres, forms, and functions. Also, composers created new forms that
were deemed better suited to the new subject matter.
In the years after 1800, the music developed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Franz Schubert introduced a more dramatic, expressive style. In
Beethoven's case, short motifs , developed organically, came to
replace melody as the most significant compositional unit (an example
is the distinctive four note figure used in his Fifth
20TH- AND 21ST-CENTURY MUSIC
In the 19th century, one of the key ways that new compositions became
known to the public was by the sales of sheet music, which amateur
music lovers would perform at home on their piano or other
20th-century music , there was a vast increase in
music listening as the radio gained popularity and phonographs were
used to replay and distribute music. In the 20th century, contemporary
classical composers were also influenced by the African-American
improvisation -based jazz music. The jazz influence can be seen in
Third Stream music and in the compositions of
ROLE OF WOMEN
In 1993, American musicologist Marcia Citron asked "hy is music composed by women so marginal to the standard 'classical' repertoire?" Citron "examines the practices and attitudes that have led to the exclusion of women composers from the received 'canon ' of performed musical works." She argues that in the 1800s, women composers typically wrote art songs for performance in small recitals rather than symphonies intended for performance with an orchestra in a large hall, with the latter works being seen as the most important genre for composers; since women composers did not write many symphonies, they were deemed to be not notable as composers.
According to Abbey Philips, "women musicians have had a very
difficult time breaking through and getting the credit they deserve."
During the Medieval eras, most of the art music was created for
liturgical (religious) purposes and due to the views about the roles
of women that were held by religious leaders, few women composed this
type of music, with the nun
Hildegard von Bingen
Part of this gender imbalance comes from stereotypes and stigma that surround the idea of a composer. Women today are being taken more seriously in the realm of concert music, though the statistics of recognition, prizes, employment, and overall opportunities are still biased toward men.
Famous composers have a tendency to cluster in certain cities
throughout history. Based on over 12,000 prominent composers listed in
Paris has been the main hub for classical music in all periods. It was ranked fifth in the 15th and 16th centuries but first in the 17th to 20th centuries inclusive. London was the second most meaningful city: eighth in the 15th century, seventh in the 16th, fifth in the 17th, second in the 18th and 19th centuries, and fourth in the 20th century. Rome topped the rankings in the 15th century, dropped to second in the 16th and 17th centuries, eighth in the 18th century, ninth in the 19th century but back at sixth in the 20th century. Berlin appears in the top ten ranking only in the 18th century, and was ranked third most important city in both the 19th and 20th centuries. New York City entered the rankings in the 19th century (at fifth place) and stood at second rank in the 20th century. The patterns are very similar for a sample of 522 top composers.
Professional classical composers often have a background in
performing classical music during their childhood and teens, either as
a singer in a choir , as a player in a youth orchestra , or as a
performer on a solo instrument (e.g., piano , pipe organ , or violin
). Teens aspiring to be composers can continue their postsecondary
studies in a variety of formal training settings, including colleges,
conservatories, and universities. Conservatories , which are the
standard musical training system in France and in Quebec (Canada)
provide lessons and amateur orchestral and choral singing experience
for composition students. Universities offer a range of composition
programs, including bachelor's degrees, Master of
Bachelor's degrees in composition (referred to as B.Mus. or B.M) are four-year programs that include individual composition lessons, amateur orchestra/choral experience, and a sequence of courses in music history, music theory, and liberal arts courses (e.g., English literature), which give the student a more well-rounded education. Usually, composition students must complete significant pieces or songs before graduating. Not all composers hold a B.Mus. in composition; composers may also hold a B.Mus. in music performance or music theory.
Master of music degrees (M.mus.) in composition consist of private lessons with a composition professor, ensemble experience, and graduate courses in music history and music theory, along with one or two concerts featuring the composition student's pieces. A Master's degree in music (referred to as an M.Mus. or M.M.) is often a required minimum credential for people who wish to teach composition at a university or conservatory. A composer with an M.Mus. could be an adjunct professor or instructor at a university, but it would be difficult in the 2010s to obtain a tenure track professor position with this degree.
To become a tenure track professor, many universities require a doctoral degree . In composition, the key doctoral degree is the Doctor of Musical Arts , rather than the PhD ; the PhD is awarded in music, but typically for subjects such as musicology and music theory .
Doctor of Musical Arts (referred to as D.M.A., DMA, D.Mus.A. or A.Mus.D) degrees in composition provide an opportunity for advanced study at the highest artistic and pedagogical level, requiring usually an additional 54+ credit hours beyond a master's degree (which is about 30+ credits beyond a bachelor's degree). For this reason, admission is highly selective. Students must submit examples of their compositions. If available, some schools will also accept video or audio recordings of performances of the student's pieces. Examinations in music history, music theory, ear training/dictation, and an entrance examination are required.
Students must prepare significant compositions under the guidance of faculty composition professors. Some schools require DMA composition students to present concerts of their works, which are typically performed by singers or musicians from the school. The completion of advanced coursework and a minimum B average are other typical requirements of a D.M.A program. During a D.M.A. program, a composition student may get experience teaching undergraduate music students.
Some classical composers did not complete composition programs, but focused their studies on performance of voice or an instrument or on music theory , and developed their compositional skills over the course of a career in another musical occupation.
During the Middle Ages, most composers worked for the Catholic church
and composed music for religious services such as plainchant melodies.
Renaissance music era, composers typically worked for
aristocratic employers. While aristocrats typically required composers
to produce a significant amount of religious music, such as Masses ,
composers also penned many non-religious songs on the topic of courtly
love : the respectful, reverential love of a great woman from afar.
* ^ Landels 1999 , 252.
* ^ "Baroque
* "Composer" on