Music 101: Differences Among Composer, Arranger, and Producer


Have you ever looked at a song credit and wondered what are those roles doing in the making of the song? Producer, composer, arranger, songwriter, what is the difference among them?


Here, we will discuss the difference between several roles that participate in the song-making process.




A composer is the one who writes the song or creates the musical composition. Thus, a composer should know how to play some instruments, how to write music using those instruments, and has a comprehensive knowledge of music. A song is usually started by the composer. They will write the song and other people will play the instrument for the musical composition. Because of their great understanding of music, they can turn their initial musical composition into all five clefs so that they can be played in an ensemble.



An arranger is responsible for the arrangement, structure, and instrumentation of the music. In music terminology, the arrangement is the act of putting one’s own spin on a previously created work. If an artist plays a song in a different tempo, harmony, pacing, and mood based on the artist’s uniqueness, it is called arrangement.



A producer works after the composer wrote the song and is responsible for the final result of the song. They act as the creative and technical leaders of a music project and will direct the recording and/or other creative processes during the music production. A producer will work with a lot of people from the music industry from the start of the song-making until the song is released.


In some cases, one person can occupy more than one role. Even the singer who will sing the song can participate as the producer or songwriter too. For example, on PSY’s latest single, ‘That That’, SUGA of BTS is credited as composer, arranger, producer, lyric writer, and also featured as a performer on the song.

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