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Wital says

Who the first? Arranger???

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hjkraag says

Hi Wital,

First of all, I’m new here.

You asked what comes first, composing or arranging. In arranging you first need to have music. I’ve made a diagram of a workflow, the way I mostly work. A lot of producers works from een idea of sound, maybe is this what you meant by arranging.

http://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad49/teswan/workingprogress.jpg

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adammonroe says

Arranging usually refers to orchestration, but also applies to things like arranging music for Marching Band, adding or changing instruments, ect. But you need to begin with a harmonic and melodic framework.

A great classic example of arrangement is Maurice Ravels orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures At an Exhibition.

Arrangement can also work the other way; for example, you could take a complex symphony and arrange it for piano.

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reubenchng says

An arranger usually arranges songs that a composer has composed. He/she takes the composed song and turn it into a pop arrangement for Justin Bieber and he can also take the same composition and turn it into a blues arrangement for John mayer.

Did that make sense? :P

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Wital says

In modern popular music composer is not as important as the arranger. In the first place a trendy sound. Melody in last place. This is my opinion …

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deWORkSTATION says

At this digital era, composer and arranger are usually the same person

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EdC_arts says

In modern popular music composer is not as important as the arranger. In the first place a trendy sound. Melody in last place. This is my opinion …
I agree in part. I mean: a well written song works with almost every arrangement; a so and so song needs a very good arranger to work :)
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adammonroe says

In modern popular music composer is not as important as the arranger. In the first place a trendy sound. Melody in last place. This is my opinion …

Yes this is true if you are talking about music made for the club/dance music/rap ect, which are indeed very popular forms of music right now, because the music is more rhythm and production based than sitting down and actually “composing” a piece of music. I believe most of this music is more or less written well it is being recorded…whereas in the past a songwriter would bring a rough sketch of his music into the studio, I believe now a lot of it is done by the seat-of-the-pants. But at that point I wouldn’t call that person an “arranger” I’d call the important person, “the producer” because they are deftly skilled at things like music production and knowing what the popular sounds are at any given moment, and they can be greatly skilled at reproducing the sound of what is selling. Also, there is probably not much pre-existing material to arrange. Maybe an “artist” has their lyrics and vague idea of a song, but I don’t think many of them have any musical ideas fleshed out. In hip-hop that person (in the past) probably had to be very familiar with various recorded music and figure out who they wanted to sample, now hip-hop has sorta moved away from sampling old records and towards synths/workstations/things of that nature. I’d say the sound dominating music right now, mainstream and indie music is synthesizers, and with indie bands you see a resurgence of things like Rhodes, Wulitzers, ect…but now I am getting off the topic.

As most of us here have to fill the role of composer and producer/engineer, it would be interesting to see different peoples methods of working. Most of the time I’ll have a rough sketch of what I want to accomplish punched up on the piano, but sometimes I’ll just make it up as I’m recording.

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