A music(al) director or director of music is the person responsible for the musical aspects of a performance, production, or organization. This would include the artistic director and usually chief conductor of an orchestra or concert band, the director of music of a film, the director of music at a radio station, the person in charge of musical activities or the head of the music department in a school, the coordinator of the musical ensembles in a university, college, or institution (but not usually the head of the academic music department), the head bandmaster of a military band, the head organist and choirmaster of a church, or an organist and master of the choristers (the title given to a director of music at a cathedral, particularly in England).
The title of \"music director\" or \"musical director\" is used by many symphony orchestras to designate the primary conductor and artistic leader of the orchestra. The term \"music director\" is most common for orchestras in the United States. With European orchestras, the titles of \"principal conductor\" or \"chief conductor\" are more common, which designate the conductor who directs the majority of a given orchestra's concerts in a season. In musical theatre and opera, the music director is in charge of the overall musical performance, including ensuring that the cast knows the music thoroughly, supervising the musical interpretation of the performers and pit orchestra, and conducting the orchestra.
In the 20th century, the title and position typically brought with it an almost unlimited influence over the particular orchestra's affairs. As implied by the name, the music director not only conducts concerts, but also controls what music the orchestra will perform or record, and has much authority regarding hiring, firing, and other personnel decisions over an orchestra's musicians. Such authoritarian rule, once expected and even thought necessary for a symphonic ensemble to function properly, has loosened somewhat in the closing decades of the 20th century with the advent and encouragement of more power sharing and cooperative management styles (with the orchestra musicians themselves, the administrative staff, and volunteer board of directors). The music director in American lingo also assists with fund-raising, and also is the primary focus of publicity for the orchestra, as what is often called its \"public face\".
The term \"music director\" or \"musical director\" became common in the United States in the middle of the 20th century, following an evolution of titles. Early leaders of orchestras were simply designated as the \"conductor.\" In the 1920s and 1930s, the term musical director began to be used, in order to delineate the fact that the person in this position was doing much more than just conducting, and to differentiate them from guest conductors who simply led one particular program or concert. George Szell, for instance, was appointed as \"musical director\" of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1946, and his position was so named until his death in 1970. His successor, Lorin Maazel, was given the title \"music director.\" Other major American orchestras kept more current with the times and began using the simpler term in the 1950s and 1960s.
Alternatively, the term \"music director\" used to appear in the film credits for a professional hired to supervise and direct the music selected for a film or music documentary, but today the more common designation is music supervisor.
In India, where many films are produced as musicals, the term \"music director\" is commonly used for the composer and music producer of the songs and score used in the film. Their roles also entail arranging, mastering, mixing and supervising recording of film music with conducting and orchestration. Usually, another artist will receive the credit for the lyrics of the songs.
The \"music director\" for a theatrical production or Broadway or West End musical often serves as rehearsal pianist and conductor. This music director is often also the vocal coach, may also be involved in arranging material for new works, or collaborate on underscoring. There was a Tony Award category for Best Musical Director beginning in 1948, but it was discontinued in 1964 in part due to the fluid responsibilities of musical directors.
A music director of a radio station is responsible for interacting with record company representatives, auditioning new music, offering commentary, and making decisions (sometimes in conjunction with the program director) as to which songs get airplay, how much and when. In college radio, there may be more than one music director, as students usually volunteer only a few hours each per week, and most stations have a diverse and extensive library of several different music genres.
In the British Armed Forces, a director of music is a commissioned officer, always a musician commissioned from the ranks, who leads a military band. A non-commissioned officer or warrant officer who leads a band is called a bandmaster.
In pop music, a musical director or \"MD\" is responsible for supervising the musical arrangements and personnel for a touring artist. This can include festivals and televised performances as well as those at traditional on-stage venues. In the modern era, the sound of a studio recording is often impossible or impractical to reproduce on stage, and it is the music director's job to assemble musicians and arrangements to adapt that material to a live setting (which may or may not include playback of prerecorded tracks). The music director generally leads rehearsals as well as each performance, allowing the lead artist to focus on performing.
A music director (Latin: director musices) was originally the title of the person responsible for music in a town in Germany and Austria. Johann Sebastian Bach was music director in Leipzig, Georg Philipp Telemann and later Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach were music directors in Hamburg, Robert Schumann was music director in Düsseldorf.
Most music directors work for religious organizations and schools, or are self-employed. Music directors may spend a lot of time traveling to different performances. Composers can work in offices, recording studios, or their own homes.
About 5,800 openings for music directors and composers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
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 lead orchestras, choirs, and other musical groups. They ensure that musicians play with one coherent sound, balancing the melody, timing, rhythm, and volume. They also give feedback to musicians and section leaders on sound and style.
Music directors may work with a variety of 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 write music for a variety of types 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 music directors and composers give private music lessons to children and adults. Others teach music in elementary, middle, or high schools. For more information, see the profiles on kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers.
Music directors commonly work in concert halls and recording studios, and they may spend a lot of time traveling to different performances. Composers can work in offices, recording studios, or their own homes.
Jobs for music directors and composers are found all over the country. However, many jobs are located in cities in which entertainment activities are concentrated, such as New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Chicago.
Rehearsals and recording sessions are commonly held during business hours, but performances take place most often on nights and weekends. Because music writing is done primarily independently, composers may be able to set their own schedules.
Applicants to postsecondary programs in music typically are required to submit recordings, audition in person, or both. These programs teach students about music history and styles, along with instruction in composing and conducting techniques. Information on degree programs is available from the National Association of Schools of Music.
There are no specific educational requirements for those interested in writing popular music. These composers usually find employment by submitting recordings of their compositions to bands, singers, record companies, and movie studios. Composers may promote themselves through personal websites, social media, or online video or audio of their musical work.
Interpersonal skills. Music directors and composers need to work with agents, musicians, and recording studio personnel. Being friendly, respectful, and open to criticism as well as praise, while enjoying being with others, can help music directors and composers work well with a variety of people.
Perseverance. Music directors and composers need determination to continue submitting their compositions after receiving rejections. Also, reviewing auditions can be frustrating because it may take many different auditions to find the best musicians.
Promotional skills. Music directors and composers need to promote their performances through local communities, word of mouth, and social media platforms. Good self-promotional skills are helpful in building a fan base and getting more work opportunities.
Music directors and composers typically begin their musical training at a young age by learn