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A united group of different aliens visit Earth. They meet a composer on his boat off the coast west of South America. The aliens want humans to join them in their battle against aliens who think they have found the "way" and if you don't join them they destroy your planet. The composer at first doesn't want to involve Earth in this battle.

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This sounds like the 1992 novel A Call to Arms by Alan Dean Foster. It is the first of a trilogy called "The Damned.

If so, may be a duplicate of:

Looking for a Sci-fi book series

From your description points that match:

about 20 years ago:

From 1992

A united group of different aliens visit Earth. They meet a composer on his boat off the coast west of South America.

Will Dulac was a New Orleans composer who thought the tiny reef off Belize would be the perfect spot to drop anchor and finish his latest symphony in solitude. What he found instead was a group of alien visitors

The aliens want humans to join them in their battle against aliens who think they have found the "way" and if you don't join them they destroy your planet.

The composer at first doesn't want to involve Earth in this battle.

Will tried to convince the aliens that Man was fundamentally peaceful, for he understood that Human involvement would destroy the race. But all too soon, it didn't matter. The Amplitur had discovered Earth...

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  • You got it. Very enjoyable series that I've re-read many times.
    – Martlark
    May 28 '18 at 2:16

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