Arranging vs Composing

There was a gentleman who told me that he had a professor who said "arranging was the same thing as composing."
Au contraire mon frère, ce n'est pas vrai. There is a huge DIFFERENCE.   I think the best way for me to talk about this is to talk about the arranging field with some history.

According my research, arranging as we know it started with Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman, and Paul Whitman (with Henderson and Redman being influenced by Louis Armstrong playing with them briefly).  We hear popular songs which are "arranged" for this type of music and bands in NYC.  They would take songs made popular form musicals and later on, movies, and play them in their ensembles.  Think about songs we all play/learn from our Fake Books:
How High the Moon
Almost Like Being in Love
My Favorite Things
All the Things You Are
Star Eyes
There Will never be Another You
I love You
Over the Rainbow
Someday My Prince Will Come

These are all from MOVIES and MUSICALS.  These were not premiered by Ella, Dizzy, and Bird but made famous in the African-American community by them.  Let it be known, they did not write these!

We all know Fletcher Henderson's frustration.  However, a great thing happened when he was arranging for Benny Goodman.  Now, how much money did he make off the record sales
of Benny Goodman.  Zero.  WHY?  Because those were his ARRANGEMENTS, not his compositions.

Ella Fitzgerald made us all learn the changes of How High the Moon; however, Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis made a profit off of her albums!

Frank Sinatra's sound was made by Nelson Riddle and Billy May (just to name a few).  How much money did they make from records?  We don't know, but I assure you, with me knowing LA union rules, probably nothing.  Why?  They ARRANGED the songs

The 70's
Many people still to this day listen to the music of Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder.  They all had fabulous arrangers: Charles Stepney, TOM TOM 84, Jerry Hey, Paul Riser, and David Van De Pitte.  Could you imagine Reasons without the symphony?  Or the descending Db major 7th chord on My Cherie Amour?  At the end of the day, it's not their music, it's someone else's.

Marching Band
I have two friends who repeatedly annoy me with something.  They place their name on their arrangements and do not place the composers name on it.  BIG NO NO! It is your arrangement, true, but it's NOT your music.  This does not set a good example of your students in this field.  They need to learn to READ the credits and find out who wrote it. (Oops, I said "read").

I remember when I arranged for the University of Michigan Marching Band.   They had to pay Jobete and Black Bull Music for permission to perform the music (this was the most expensive show that year).  Why am I saying this?  They can, at any given time, audit your arrangements. How blasphemous would it be to have your music audited and Stevie Wonder's name isn't on it?  At the end of the day, it's not my music, it's someone else's.

Point and Summary
Arranging, no matter what, is still the reworking of someone else's idea.  I don't care how fancy it is, it is someone else's melodic idea and their form.  Yes, you can use melodic development, fragmentation, transposition, retrograde, inversion, and retrograde-inversion all throughout the piece (which are compositional techniques.) However, at the end of the day, it's not my music, it's someone else's.

I love arranging.  It taught me instrumentation.  It allowed me to test out of the instrumentation class (Music 371) at the University of Michigan.  I will probably arrange until my last breath (I'm actually looking for another marching band to arrange for routinely).   However, I won't receive any royalties from any of my fifty jazz-band arrangements (with multiple difficulty variations) and 150 marching-band arrangements.  If I were to receive a royalty, it would be pennies at best. Why?  It's not my music.