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A composer (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language ...

Latin
''compōnō''
''compōnō''
; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes
music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies. General definitions of music include common e ...

music
, especially
classical music Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. Historically, the term 'classical music' refers specifically to the musical period from 1750 to 1820 (t ...

classical music
in any form, including
vocal music Vocal music is a type of singing performed by one or more singers, either with instrumental accompaniment, or without instrumental accompaniment (a cappella), in which singing provides the main focus of the piece. Music which employs singing but do ...

vocal music
(for a
singer Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist (in jazz and popular music). Singers perform music (arias, recitatives, songs, etc.) that can be sung with or without accompanime ...

singer
or
choir A choir (; also known as a chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans f ...

choir
),
instrumental music An instrumental is a recording normally without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a big band setting. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may refer to instrumen ...

instrumental music
,
electronic music Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments, or circuitry-based music technology in its creation. It includes both music made using electronic and electromechanical means (electroacoustic music). ...

electronic music
, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any
music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from ''musical form'' and musical style, although in practice these terms are somet ...

music genre
, including, for example,
classical music Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. Historically, the term 'classical music' refers specifically to the musical period from 1750 to 1820 (t ...

classical music
,
musical theatre Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through words, music, movement ...

musical theatre
,
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, fiel ...

blues
,
folk music Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted ...

folk music
,
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognize ...

jazz
, and
popular music#REDIRECT Popular music#REDIRECT Popular music {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

popular music
. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using
musical notation Music notation or musical notation is any system used to visually represent aurally perceived music played with instruments or sung by the human voice through the use of written, printed, or otherwise-produced symbols, including notation for du ...

musical notation
. Many composers are, or were, also skilled performers of music.


Composers and performers

Musical notation Music notation or musical notation is any system used to visually represent aurally perceived music played with instruments or sung by the human voice through the use of written, printed, or otherwise-produced symbols, including notation for du ...

Musical notation
serves as a set of directions for a performer, but there is a whole continuum of possibilities concerning how much the performer determines the final form of the rendered work in performance. Even in a conventional Western piece of instrumental music, in which all of the
melodies A melody (from Greek μελῳδία, ''melōidía'', "singing, chanting"), also tune, voice or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination ...

melodies
,
chords Chord may refer to: * Chord (music), an aggregate of musical pitches sounded simultaneously ** Guitar chord a chord played on a guitar, which has a particular tuning * Chord (geometry), a line segment joining two points on a curve * Chord (ast ...

chords
, and
bassline A bassline (also known as a bass line or bass part) is the term used in many styles of music, such as jazz, blues, funk, dub and electronic, traditional music, or classical music for the low-pitched instrumental part or line played (in jazz and s ...

bassline
s are written out in musical notation, the performer has a degree of latitude to add artistic interpretation to the work, by such means as by varying his or her articulation and
phrasing
phrasing
, choosing how long to make
fermata Urlinie in G with fermata on penultimate note. & (compare with penultimate note at ) Grand pause () in Franz Schubert's D. 759, I, mm.60-4. (without G.P.: ) A fermata (; "from ''fermare'', to stay, or stop"; also known as a hold, pause, c ...

fermata
s (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 Vibrato (Italian, from past participle of "vibrare", to vibrate) is a musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch. It is used to add expression to vocal and instrumental music. Vibrato is typically characterised in terms of tw ...

vibrato
or
portamento In music, portamento (plural: ''portamenti'', from old it|portamento, meaning "carriage" or "carrying") is a pitch sliding from one note to another. The term originated from the Italian expression "portamento della voce" ("carriage of the voice") ...

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 Historically informed performance (also referred to as period performance, authentic performance, or HIP) is an approach to the performance of classical music, which aims to be faithful to the approach, manner and style of the musical era in which ...

performance practice
, whereas interpretation is generally used to mean the individual choices of a performer. Although a
musical composition 250px|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. Musical composition, music composition or simply composition, can refer to ...

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#REDIRECT Popular music#REDIRECT Popular music {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

popular music when a band collaborates to write a song, or in
musical theatre Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through words, music, movement ...

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 A metal wind chime Wind chimes are a type of percussion instrument constructed from suspended tubes, rods, bells or other objects that are often made of metal or wood. The tubes or rods are suspended along with some type of weight or surface which ...

wind chimes
jingling in a breeze, to avant-garde music from the 20th century that uses
graphic notation
graphic notation
, to text compositions such as ''
Aus den sieben Tagen ''Aus den sieben Tagen'' (From the Seven Days) is a collection of 15 text compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in May 1968, in reaction to a personal crisis, and characterized as "Intuitive music"—music produced primarily from the intu ...

Aus den sieben Tagen
'', to computer programs that select sounds for musical pieces. Music that makes heavy use of randomness and chance is called
aleatoric music Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word ''alea'', meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the de ...

aleatoric music
, and is associated with contemporary composers active in the 20th century, such as
John Cage#REDIRECT John Cage#REDIRECT John Cage {{Redirect category shell| {{R from miscapitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell| {{R from miscapitalisation ...

John Cage,
Morton Feldman Morton Feldman (January 12, 1926 – September 3, 1987) was an American composer. A major figure in 20th-century music, Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music, a development associated with the experimental New York School of composer ...

Morton Feldman
, and
Witold Lutosławski Witold Roman Lutosławski (; 25 January 1913 – 7 February 1994) was a Polish composer and conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and "generally regarded as the most significant Polish composer since Szymanows ...

Witold Lutosławski
. The nature and means of individual variation of the music is varied, depending on the musical culture in the country and time period it was written. For instance, music composed in the
Baroque era The Baroque (, ; ) is a style of architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1740s. In the territories of the Spanish and Portuguese empires including the Iberian ...

Baroque era
, particularly in slow tempos, often was written in bare outline, with the expectation that the performer would add
improvised Improvisation is the activity of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever can be found. Improvisation in the performing arts is a very spontaneous performance without specific or scripted preparation. The skills of impro ...

improvised
ornaments An ornament is something used for decoration. Ornament may also refer to: Decoration *Ornament (art), any purely decorative element in architecture and the decorative arts *Biological ornament, a characteristic of animals that appear to serve onl ...

ornaments
to the melody line during a performance. Such freedom generally diminished in later eras, correlating with the increased use by composers of more detailed scoring in the form of dynamics, articulation et cetera; composers becoming uniformly more explicit in how they wished their music to be interpreted, although how strictly and minutely these are dictated varies from one composer to another. Because of this trend of composers becoming increasingly specific and detailed in their instructions to the performer, a culture eventually developed whereby faithfulness to the composer's written intention came to be highly valued (see, for example,
Urtext edition An urtext edition of a work of classical music is a printed version intended to reproduce the original intention of the composer as exactly as possible, without any added or changed material. Other kinds of editions distinct from urtext are facsim ...

Urtext edition
). This musical culture is almost certainly related to the high esteem (bordering on veneration) in which the leading classical composers are often held by performers. The
historically informed performance Historically informed performance (also referred to as period performance, authentic performance, or HIP) is an approach to the performance of classical music, which aims to be faithful to the approach, manner and style of the musical era in which ...

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
Baroque music Baroque music ( or ) is a period or style of Western art music composed from approximately 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance music era, and was followed in turn by the Classical era, with the galant style marking the transition bet ...

Baroque music
and music from the early
Classical period
Classical period
. The movement might be considered a way of creating ''greater'' faithfulness to the original in works composed at a time that expected performers to improvise. In genres other than classical music, the performer generally has more freedom; thus for instance when a performer of Western popular music creates a "cover" of an earlier song, there is little expectation of exact rendition of the original; nor is exact faithfulness necessarily highly valued (with the possible exception of "note-for-note" transcriptions of famous
guitar solo A guitar solo is a melodic passage, instrumental section, or entire piece of music written for a classical guitar, electric guitar or an acoustic guitar. In 20th and 21st century traditional music and popular music such as blues, swing, jazz, jazz ...

guitar solo
s). In Western art music, the composer typically
orchestrates
orchestrates
his or her own compositions, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an
arranger In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. Arranging di ...

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#REDIRECT Free jazz#REDIRECT Free jazz {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

free jazz performers and African percussionists such as
Ewe drummers
Ewe drummers
.


History

The level of distinction between composers and other
musician A musician is a person who composes, conducts, or performs music. A musician who records and releases music is known as a recording artist. According to the United States Employment Service, "musician" is a general term used to designate one who ...

musician
s varies, which affects issues such as
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyright is ...

copyright
and the deference given to individual interpretations of a particular piece of music. In the development of European
classical music Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. Historically, the term 'classical music' refers specifically to the musical period from 1750 to 1820 (t ...

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 Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognize ...

jazz
,
experimental music Experimental music is a general label for any music that pushes existing boundaries and genre definitions . Experimental compositional practice is defined broadly by exploratory sensibilities radically opposed to, and questioning of, institutional ...

experimental music
) it has in some ways become increasingly complex or vague. For instance, in certain contexts the line between composer and
performer#REDIRECT Performing arts {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

performer
, [[sound designer, [[Arrangement|arranger, [[Record producer|producer, and other roles, can be quite blurred. The term "composer" is often used to refer to composers of [[Instrumental|instrumental music, such as those found in classical, jazz or other forms of [[Art music|art and [[traditional music. In [[popular music|popular and
folk music Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted ...

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 [[Sheet music|musical score to be interpreted by [[performers.


Ancient Greece

Music was an important part of social and cultural life in [[Ancient Greece. We know that composers wrote notated music during the Ancient Greek era because scholars have found the [[Seikilos epitaph. The epitaph, written sometime between 200 BC and 100 AD, is the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation, in the world. The song, the melody of which is recorded, alongside its lyrics, in the [[Musical notation#Ancient Greece|ancient Greek musical notation, was found engraved on a tombstone, a [[stele, near [[Aydın, [[Turkey (not far from [[Ephesus). It is a [[Hellenistic period|Hellenistic [[Ionia|Ionic song in either the [[Mode (music)#Greek scales|Phrygian [[octave species or [[Musical system of ancient Greece#Ionian (Iastian)|Iastian tonos.


Middle Ages

During the [[Medieval Music|Medieval music era (476 to 1400), composers wrote [[monophony|monophonic (single melodic line) [[Gregorian chant|chanting into [[Roman Catholic Church services. Western Music then started becoming more of an art form with the advances in music notation. The only European Medieval repertory that survives from before about 800 is the monophonic [[Liturgy|liturgical [[plainsong of the Roman Catholic Church, the central tradition of which was called Gregorian chant. Alongside these traditions of [[Religious music|sacred and [[church music there existed a vibrant tradition of [[Secular music|secular song (non-religious songs). Examples of composers from this period are [[Léonin, [[Pérotin and [[Guillaume de Machaut.


Renaissance

During the [[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 era include [[Guillaume Dufay, [[Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, [[Thomas Morley, and [[Orlande de Lassus. As musical activity shifted from the church to the aristocratic courts, kings, queens and princes competed for the finest composers. Many leading important composers came from the Netherlands, Belgium, and northern France. They are called the Franco-Flemish composers. They held important positions throughout Europe, especially in Italy. Other countries with vibrant musical activity included Germany, England, and Spain.


Baroque

During the [[Baroque music|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 [[Music of Ancient Greece|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 [[Counterpoint|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 [[Musical ensemble|ensembles including [[String section|strings, [[Brass instrument|brass, and [[Woodwind instrument|woodwinds, as well as
choir A choir (; also known as a chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans f ...

choir
s and for keyboard instruments such as [[organ (music)|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 (musical composition)|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 era include [[Claudio Monteverdi, [[Heinrich Schütz, [[Jean-Baptiste Lully, [[Dieterich Buxtehude, [[Arcangelo Corelli, [[Henry Purcell, [[François Couperin, [[Antonio Vivaldi, [[Georg Philipp Telemann, [[Jean-Philippe Rameau, [[Johann Sebastian Bach and [[George Frideric Handel.


Classicism

Composers of music of the [[Classical period (music)|Classical Period (1750 to 1830) looked to the art and philosophy of Ancient Greece and Rome, to the ideals of balance, proportion and disciplined expression. Apart from when writing religious works, composers moved towards writing in a lighter, clearer and considerably simpler texture, using instrumental melodies that tended to be almost voicelike and singable. New genres were developed by composers. The main style was [[homophony, where a prominent [[melody and a subordinate chordal [[accompaniment part are clearly distinct. 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 (music)|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 [[Joseph Haydn, [[Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, [[Ludwig van Beethoven and [[Franz Schubert. Beethoven and Schubert are also considered to be composers in the later part of the Classical era, as it began to move towards Romanticism.


Romanticism

During the [[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 [[Nationalism|nationalistic pride with patriotic orchestral music inspired by
folk music Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted ...

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 [[symphony|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. [[Opera and [[ballet continued to develop. In the years after 1800, the music developed by [[Ludwig van Beethoven and [[Franz Schubert introduced a more dramatic, expressive style. In Beethoven's case, short [[motif (music)|motifs, developed organically, came to replace [[melody as the most significant compositional unit (an example is the distinctive four note figure used in his [[Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven)|Fifth Symphony). Later Romantic composers such as [[Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, [[Antonín Dvořák, and [[Gustav Mahler used more unusual [[chord (music)|chords and more [[Consonance and dissonance|dissonance to create dramatic tension. They generated complex and often much longer musical works. During the late Romantic period, composers explored dramatic [[Chromatic (music)|chromatic alterations of [[tonality, such as [[extended chords and [[altered chords, which created new sound "colours". Composers in the Romantic era increased the size of the orchestra by adding players and using new instruments, creating a more powerful sound. Some Wagnerian orchestras included multiple harps, massive string sections and [[Wagner tubas.


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 instruments. With [[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 [[jazz improvisation|improvisation-based
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognize ...

jazz
music. The jazz influence can be seen in [[Third Stream music and in the compositions of [[Leonard Bernstein. The focus of [[art music was characterized by exploration of new rhythms, styles, and sounds. [[Igor Stravinsky, [[Arnold Schoenberg, and
John Cage#REDIRECT John Cage#REDIRECT John Cage {{Redirect category shell| {{R from miscapitalisation ...
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John Cage were all influential composers in 20th-century art music. Cage wrote compositions for traditional classical instruments and unusual sound-producing devices not normally thought of as instruments, such as radios. The invention of [[sound recording and the ability to edit music on tape gave rise to new subgenre of classical music, including the [[acousmatic and [[Musique concrète schools of electronic composition, in which composers made pieces using [[reel-to-reel tape recorders and electronic equipment.


Role of women

In 1993, American [[musicologist [[Marcia Citron asked "[w]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 '[[Western canon|canon' of performed musical works." She argues that in the 1800s, women composers typically wrote [[art songs for performance in small recitals rather than [[symphony|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 being among the exceptions. Most university textbooks on the history of music discuss almost exclusively the role of male composers. As well, very few works by women composers are part of the standard repertoire of classical music. In ''Concise Oxford History of Music'', "[[Clara Schumann|Clara Shumann is one of the only female composers mentioned", but other notable women composers of the common practice period include [[Fanny Mendelssohn and [[Cécile Chaminade, and arguably the most influential teacher of composers during the mid-20th century was [[Nadia Boulanger. Philips states that "[d]uring the 20th century the women who were composing/playing gained far less attention than their male counterparts." 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.


Clustering

Famous composers have a tendency to cluster in specific cities throughout history. Based on over 12,000 prominent composers listed in ''[[Grove Music Online'' and using [[word count measurement techniques, the most important cities for classical music can be quantitatively identified. 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.


Training

Professional classical composers often have a background in performing classical music during their childhood and teens, either as a [[singer in a
choir A choir (; also known as a chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans f ...

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. [[Music school|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 Music degrees, and [[Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. As well, there are a variety of other training programs such as classical summer camps and festivals, which give students the opportunity to get coaching from composers.


Undergraduate

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.


Masters

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.


Doctoral

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.


Other routes

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.


Employment

During the Middle Ages, most composers worked for the [[Catholic church and composed music for religious services such as [[plainchant melodies. During the [[Renaissance music era, composers typically worked for aristocratic employers. While aristocrats typically required composers to produce a significant amount of religious music, such as [[Mass (music)|Masses, composers also penned many non-religious songs on the topic of [[courtly love: the respectful, reverential love of a great woman from afar. Courtly love songs were very popular during the Renaissance era. During the
Baroque music Baroque music ( or ) is a period or style of Western art music composed from approximately 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance music era, and was followed in turn by the Classical era, with the galant style marking the transition bet ...

Baroque music
era, many composers were employed by aristocrats or as church employees. During the , composers began to organize more public concerts for profit, which helped composers to be less dependent on aristocratic or church jobs. This trend continued in the [[Romantic music era in the 19th century. In the 20th century, composers began to seek employment as professors in universities and conservatories. In the 20th century, composers also earned money from the sales of their works, such [[sheet music publications of their songs or pieces or as [[sound recordings of their works.


See also

* [[Lists of composers


References


External links

* * * * {{Authority control [[Category:Composers| [[Category:Occupations in music [[Category:Musical terminology [[Category:The arts