How much does commissioning music cost?
The cost depends on the size of the new composition (whether it is written for soloist, small ensemble or orchestra), the length of the composition, and the reputation and career level of the composer.
How long does it take a composer to write a piece of music?
Most pieces take from 18–24 months from the signing of an agreement until the work has been completed and is ready to be given to the musicians to prepare for performance. A smaller scale work, for example a set of songs for piano and voice, might be written in a few months. Another time factor to consider is how soon the selected composer is available to begin work on your project.
What else do I need to know about the commissioning process?
Just as a play needs actors to translate the playwright´s words into a theatrical performance, music requires performers to bring to life the notes on a page. Identifying a soloist or ensemble is an important part of the commissioning process. Something else to keep in mind is that once the piece is composed, a master score and parts for the performers must be prepared by a professional copyist; the costs for copying the music have been calculated and included in the fee ranges below.
Who owns the music?
It is standard practice that composers retain the rights to their own work, and so the legal ownership of the piece remains with the composer. However, the commissioner is acknowledged in many ways—on the first page of the musical score, on any official recording, in the performance program and often in other written materials. It is customary that the commissioner is given a presentation copy of the completed score, almost always specially inscribed by the composer. An archive tape may be provided as well.