Music Copyist  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotA music copyist is a person who takes musical scores and rewrites all of the parts, instrumental and vocal, on manuscript paper exactly as they were written by the composer or arranger.

Music copyists produce professional-looking handwritten or computer-generated musical scores for each musician to use and study during rehearsals or performances. In general, music copyists copy musical parts to produce separate scores for different parts and correct small, basic mistakes.

The whole score is not always copied. Depending on the job, copyists may write only specific instrumental parts. Or they may write the lead sheet, which contains the melody line, chord symbols, and the words to the song, if there are any.

dotMost music copyists work as freelancers from their own homes on a contract basis with composers and arrangers. However, music copyists are occasionally hired by music publishers, television and recording studios, and performers to work in-house.

At a Glance

Rewrite all the parts of a musical score

  • Computer technology has changed the field
  • Most music copyists work as freelancers
  • University training in music is recommended