People ask me every day, “How much does it cost to commission a piece of music?” Let’s face it, commissioning music is an elusive concept to most people. Only professional music organizations commission composers for the most part. It’s not that complex.
COMMISSIONING MUSIC IS SIMPLE
Let me break it down. Individuals and organizations work with composers they like. Music is the key ingredient. Don’t like the music? Don’t commission the composer. Period.
TRADITIONAL PRICING STRUCTURE
Most composers set their rates based on the guidelines published by Meet the Composer, Inc., an organization who’s mission is to connect composers with performing organizations and vice versa.
Composers typically follow these guidelines due to the discrepancy of the amount of work involved in composing music for smaller and larger ensembles. It takes longer to compose for an orchestra than for a string quartet. Some musical forms, such as concerto and symphony, require the composer to work on a more cerebral level than say a song for piano and voice. This traditional pricing model works for a lot of composers.
But this model can be confusing. Daunting, even. Solo pieces cost less than duo/trio pieces, and choral pieces cost more. Want to upsize to concerto? That’ll cost 20-30% more. The Artful Composer chooses to price things differently.
THE ARTFUL COMPOSER’S PRICING STRUCTURE
My flat fee model is easy to follow. You pay $100 per audio minute for traditional instrumentations and $45 per audio minute for each additional instrument. What are traditional instrumentations, you ask? There are a lot!
- Choir + Piano
- String Quartet (2 violins, viola, cello)
- Woodwind Quintet (horn, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon)
- Piano Trio (violin, cello, piano)
- Vocal + Piano/Guitar
- Solo Piano
By no means is this a comprehensive list of traditional instrumentations. Substitutions and variations are also possible. It’s fine if you want to substitute harp for piano or flute for violin, etc.
My average commission falls somewhere between $400-800. It can cost more or less depending on the length and additional instruments. It takes me 10-15 hours to compose a 3-4-minute piece of music ($40-50/hour roughly). The flat fee pricing structure is in place to make your commissioning experience simple and affordable. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have concerning my pricing structure.
COMMISSIONING MUSIC IS EASY AND AFFORDABLE
Like my music? Commission a piece today! I promise the process will be simple and enjoyable. Click the button below to begin the process. Mention this blog post, and save 10% on your first commission!