Like alot of musicians, I'm thinking of starting a career of composting and Arranging Music. At the moment i'm creating arrangments for alot (including arrangments of the songs "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban(sp?) and "Mary did You Know"), But since I don't play all of the intruments required it's hard knowing what it would sound like. I have the whole arrangment in my head but I have trouble getting it on paper.
Also, how would I get people to look at it if I wrote it down? I live in constant fear of having work stolen from me.
Also, I don't know who originaly wrote the song "Mary Did You Know".
I would suggest several things before you start working hard on arranging popular pieces.
1. Check to make sure there is no copyright law in effect on those pieces already. I am not sure how copyrights play into effect when it actually comes to making various arrangements on pieces, but it might be a tricky line to walk. (I do know that arrangements of songs can often by copyrighted by the person who makes the arrangement of the piece and you can be paid for it.) I can guarantee you anything by Josh Groban will have a copyright on it. He is produced by David Foster who has offered significant musical contributions over the last 20 years or so, and you can bet all of his ducks are in a row legally.
2. Have you taken any classes on composition? While it might seem easy to sit down and write music, I can assure you that even from beginning musical theory there are certain "rules" to composition. Although those rules can certainly be thrown out of the window in modern music, they are wonderful for building and understanding musical foundation.
3. What type of arrangment are you planning on making? Flute choir, piano, full band/orchestra? You will need to have a firm grasp on transposing all instruments into the same key. It might seem easy, but a lot of times you only find a mistake on paper when you actually have a group play it for you. Suddenly that chord is not quite so pretty...
I think it is wonderful that you are considering composing and arranging music. It is a tough challenge, but if you study it, and work hard, you might find yourself rewarded with a very lovely piece and a check to go with it.
I'm very aware of copyrights and I'm pretty sure that if it is copyrighted, if i put the composer's name on the piece as being the Composer, and my name sd the person who Arranged it, I think it would be perfectly legal.
I plan on taking a Music Theory coarse in colledge.
Right, now I'm working on Duets, Trios, and Flute Choirs.
Try Finale. It's expensive to purchase, but most music schools/libraries have a copy. Not only will it allow you to print lovely copies of your arrangements, including the conductor's score, but it will also play it back, albeit in MIDI, so you can hear what the various voices are doing.
Also, just giving credit isn't enough to avoid copyright action. You need to seek permission from the rights holder, generally either the company who has the artist under contract or the company that own's the artist's catalog. You can only "arrange" public domain music without seeking permission. Oftentimes, permission includes some sort of compensation.
I suppose you could arrange copyrighted material for your own pleasure, just for the practice of arranging, without seeking permission. But you could never share it, nor perform it in public. And even then, it's a grey area.
It depends on what instrument you play. What instrument you play will determine what range it sounds best in. Some instruments sound great in the low range because that is the range they're meant to play in-trombone, tuba, and clarinet for example. You have to think about what range the specific instrument you play sounds best in. Me, I've only been playing flute 15 months, and I already rewrite music for flute. I find sheet music for piano, and I rewrite it up an octave because it's too low for flute to play. I know flute doesn't play low well...because that isn't the range it's meant to play in...it's meant to play high. Also, what techniques are most commonly used for your instrument? Certain techniques are used more then others on certain instruments. Again, as an example, the technique of slurring is used incessantly on flute....because it sounds good on flute...