A composer is someone who writes (composes) music. Some composers work by writing music down on paper; this is called 'written notation'. Classical music writers work this way. Writers for TV and movie music also usually write this way, so that an orchestra or other players can read the music and play it.

Some musicians are very good at improvisation. This means that they think up (invent) the music as they play it. Some church organists are good at improvising. During a service they may need to play some organ music to fill in the gaps while people are collecting money or taking communion. Jazz musicians are usually excellent at improvising. Improvisation is not written down, so each time it is different.

Popular and rock or soul music writers are often not able to read and write music down. Many pop and rock composers compose their songs on a guitar or piano. Cole Porter and Irving Berlin usually composed at the piano.

Many songs are written by two or more people. It is common for two people to work together to write songs. Sometimes, one person writes the music and one writes the words (the lyrics). Some songs such as folk songs were composed many years ago and no one knows who wrote them.

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Other Languages
адыгабзэ: Орэдус
Afrikaans: Komponis
Alemannisch: Komponist
العربية: ملحن
aragonés: Compositor
asturianu: Compositor
azərbaycanca: Bəstəkar
বাংলা: সুরকার
Bân-lâm-gú: Chok-khek-ka
беларуская: Кампазітар
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Кампазытар
български: Композитор
Boarisch: Komponist
bosanski: Kompozitor
català: Compositor
Чӑвашла: Композитор
Cebuano: Kompositor
Cymraeg: Cyfansoddwr
dansk: Komponist
Deutsch: Komponist
eesti: Helilooja
Ελληνικά: Συνθέτης
English: Composer
español: Compositor
Esperanto: Komponisto
euskara: Musikagile
فارسی: آهنگساز
français: Compositeur
Frysk: Komponist
furlan: Compositôr
한국어: 작곡가
hrvatski: Skladatelj
Bahasa Indonesia: Komponis
interlingua: Compositor
íslenska: Tónskáld
italiano: Compositore
עברית: מלחין
Basa Jawa: Komponis
ქართული: კომპოზიტორი
қазақша: Сазгер
kernowek: Composydh
Кыргызча: Композитор
latviešu: Komponists
Lëtzebuergesch: Komponist
lietuvių: Kompozitorius
Livvinkarjala: Säveldäi
la .lojban.: zgifi'i
magyar: Zeneszerző
македонски: Композитор
მარგალური: კომპოზიტორი
Bahasa Melayu: Penggubah lagu
မြန်မာဘာသာ: တေးရေးဆရာ
Nāhuatl: Cuīcapixqui
Nederlands: Componist
日本語: 作曲家
norsk: Komponist
norsk nynorsk: Komponist
occitan: Compositor
олык марий: Семлызе
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Bastakor
Plattdüütsch: Komponist
polski: Kompozytor
português: Compositor
română: Compozitor
Runa Simi: Takichaq
русский: Композитор
Scots: Componer
shqip: Kompozimi
slovenčina: Hudobný skladateľ
slovenščina: Skladatelj
Soomaaliga: Hal Abuur
српски / srpski: Композитор
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kompozitor
svenska: Kompositör
Tagalog: Kompositor
татарча/tatarça: Композитор
тоҷикӣ: Композитор
Türkçe: Besteci
українська: Композитор
Tiếng Việt: Nhà soạn nhạc
Winaray: Kompositor
ייִדיש: קאמפאזיטאר
粵語: 作曲家
中文: 作曲家