One of our students asked this question. “What is the difference between music programming, arranging, and composing. Some of my friends say they are music programmers. I don’t understand.”
So here’s the scoop, music lovers!
Music Programming is a form of music production and performance using electronic devices such as sequencers to generate music. Programming is used in nearly all forms of electronic music and in most hip hop music since the 1990s. It usually consists of “sounds” rather than melodies and chords. It is usually created using computer programming software.
Arranging is where you take a song someone else has written and create an arrangement of it by altering the rhythm patterns, using different left hands, changing some of the harmony (perhaps) or just creating a longer version by doing more repeats and each repeat is different. This is NOT improvising because once you have the pattern set it is produced in sheet music form for other people to play your arrangement. It is the same every time.
Composing is where you start from scratch – Your Melody, Your Harmony, Your lyrics (if you have them). You make up a song, turn it into sheet music so that other people can play it. (Some of them might even make an “arrangement” of your song if it’s popular enough.)
Til Next Time,