From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

A musician is an artist who composes, conducts, or performs music.[1] According to the United States Employment Service, "musician" is a general term used to designate a person who follows music as a profession.[2] Musicians include songwriters, who write both music and lyrics for songs; conductors, who direct a musical performance; and performers, who perform for an audience. A music performer is generally either a singer, who provides vocals, or an instrumentalist, who plays a musical instrument. Musicians may perform on their own or as part of a group, band or orchestra. Musicians can specialize in a musical genre, though many play a variety of different styles, depending on the cultures and backgrounds involved. A musician who records and releases music can be known as a recording artist.[3]


1820 portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler of Ludwig van Beethoven, a major composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras


A composer is a musician who creates musical compositions. The title is principally used for those who write classical music or film music. Those who write the music for popular songs may be called songwriters. Those who mainly write the words for songs may be referred to as lyricists.


A conductor directs a musical performance; conducting has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture". The conductor stands on a raised podium and communicates with the musicians through hand gestures or eye contact.


Examples of performers include, but are not limited to, instrumentalists and singers who perform for an audience. A musician can perform as a solo artist or as a part of an ensemble (e.g. an orchestra, a choir or a pop group).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Musician". American Heritage Dictionary.
  2. ^ Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Volume 1. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1949. p. 883.
  3. ^ "Recording Artist (or Group)". Berklee College of Music. January 2011. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2021.

External links[edit]

Media related to Musicians at Wikimedia Commons