What is Music Transcription? Courses, Colleges & Scope

Transcription in Music is the act of notating (a musical note is a system which represents aurally produced music through the use of written symbols) a piece which was previously not notated. In other words, it is the act of producing a piece of music having some particular notes of music which was not noted.

It is something like music composer A.R. Rahman may not read or write music. A music transcriber converts the musical melody to a printed form. Alternatively, if some piece of music was written to be played for, say, harmonium and was to be performed on other musical  instrument, say, flute, then too transcription comes into the picture.

The notes of the music remain the same but the quality of sound changes owing to the difference in the instruments. The difference between transcription and arrangement is that in transcription the transcriber follows the original note strictly while in an arrangement the arranger can take some liberty with the original notes.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Age – No maximum age limit
  • Educational Qualifications – Department of Music, SOAS, University of London offers a B.A. degree in Ethnomusicology where music transcription is taken up as one of the papers. University of Berkeley, California also offers a B.A. degree program in Music where music transcription is covered.
  • Skills and Attributes: Good knowledge of music is prerequisite as well as exceptional ears to be able to differentiate between different set of instruments say a piano from a guitar.
  • Recruitment Procedure: The candidates are selected on the basis of a written test.

Career Scope & Job Prospects

Jobs are available in the field of Braille technology, classical music, and Jazz players where the transcription is a necessary tool if a musician wants to play various creations.


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