• If we consider a parallel question "What makes a listener a listener?", we will find that both questions are too hard to answer. A composer may or may not express in his music joy, sorrow, thoughts, insights, dumb or not dumb rhythms, politics, love, nature, citations, allusions etc. The listener can or cannot feel this. Most music I hear today in the streets and TV set contains almost exclusively dumb mechanical rhythms, which is probably a negative outcome of  technological era. Can I name the creator of such music a composer? Probably not. But this music is necessary for the fast food congestion, so he IS a composer, and they are listeners.

  • I think that the you're a composer if you think it fits you and a large enough group of your peers would consider you as one then at that point you are.

    of course you must be able to do some composing too.

  • Omitting lepers, the grave reality is that most de composers recognized today are dead.
  • So, in your opinion, some of those people on YouTube who post videos of others being horribly injured are filmmakers? Of course, from a technical literary standpoint, you are right, but from a realistic and professional standpoint, there has to be a quality/enjoyability index that has to be met before you can be considered one, otherwise, someone like me, before I discovered music theory and only blabbered around with synthetic instruments on FL Studios, could proclaim himself/herself as a composer.

    John McIntyre said:
    I think it's pretty simple: if you write music, you are a composer!
    Can anyone do this?
    So what makes a composer a composer? I mean when are you entitled? Does a composer need a music degree? A contract? A gig? I write music. Can I still…
  • i think that you dont need anything of the above judging from me,just a hard worker,honest to the listener and to love what you are into BUT this is not for everyone...




  • I believe there is a difference between writing music and composing music.

    I believe Paul McCartney and the Gibbs and many others are brilliant popular song writers and/or musicians, hugely talented, consummate craftsmen. I do not believe they composers. And I don't think that by and large they would consider themselves composers in the generally accepted sense of the word. ( At least generally accepted among those who know)

    Music started before it was recorded, yes, but only after notation was developed was it possible to compose music. 


  • If he's still alive, ask him yourself. If he has to spend a long time in hospital recovering, what an ideal opportunity for him to do some serious thinking on the matter of composition. If he did not survive the fall then may he RIP and please accept my sincere condolences.

    Ray Kemp said:

    Hello everybody,


    This is Ray Kemp's wife and I'd just like to ask

    Did some bas**** here write something  that made my husband JUMP OUT THE WINDOW?

  • It also depends what musical era we are talking about.

    At the moment, the artistic spirit of the age is one of eclecticism and a fairly free expression.

    150 years ago you would NOT have been considered a composer of any serious worth if you didn't have a very thorough grounding in classical harmony and current practice in counterpoint. The classical approach to art (in its broadest sense) demands deep immersion in the work and craft of ones predecessors.

    They also didn't have sequencers and other tricks to hand, so these people had to be able to "hear" the score in their heads if writing for multiple instruments.

    In a way technology has made us more lazy (me included) but has also allowed more people to become aspiring expressive artists (composers?).


    So let's not forget that being a composer in past centuries necessarily required a much higher skill set to start out with - in those days the answer would definitely have been "no" to the question posed on this thread.


    (unless we are talking about "folk music composers" or people who may have come up with a rustic jig on a fiddle that happened to find its way into print)

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