Also called: Music Supervisor

Music coordinators are responsible for everything related to finding and placing music in a production, including recruitment, rights management, budgeting, and contracts. 

What Does a Music Coordinator Do?

In the film and television industries, music coordinators work closely with music editors, composers, and music supervisors to create and deliver cue sheets, ensuring that the film’s music royalties are distributed correctly. They might also negotiate and acquire synchronization rights for the film’s music. In certain cases, due to a tight music budget, a production might hire a single individual to perform the duties of both music coordinator and music supervisor.

Live-performance-oriented music coordinators, on the other hand, work with theater companies, dance companies, churches, and schools to provide assistance with budgeting, hiring, contracting, licensing, and music direction. In both live performance and film/TV, music coordinators sometimes work with or as music contractors, hiring and contracting musicians for a session or performance.

Work Life Balance

The lifestyle of music coordinators varies greatly depending on their industry and employers. In most cases, coordinators work on one or two productions at a time, their daily hours dictated by meetings with others about the production and a timetable of long-term goals. Music coordinators who haven’t yet “made it” may work a day job, while almost all music coordinators also perform small gigs as music supervisors, music contractors, session conductors, copyists, or even music editors.

Finding Work

Music coordinators won’t often find work on a job board; they’re more likely to land a position through hard-won industry connections. Those aspiring to become music coordinators, or the more creatively oriented music supervisors, should seek experience working on student and indie productions. Music coordinators usually work for film studios, theater companies, and independent music-production companies. They may also be freelance.

Professional Skills

  • Budgeting
  • Music licensing
  • Contracting
  • Creating cue sheets
  • Project management
  • Music supervision
  • Negotiation
  • Organization

Interpersonal Skills

Music coordinators are highly organized jacks-of-all-trades. They are open-minded, knowledgeable, well-connected, and—most importantly—flexible. They come ready to do whatever needs to be done to move the production’s music along.