What Price a Commission?

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by MightyForester, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. What's the going rate for a 'commissioned' piece of music?
    When we look back at some recent publications such as Music of the Speheres, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Promised Land and now Music for Battle Creek, who pays for these and is the investment justified and if so, for who?
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It varies on lots of different factors - not least the composer or arranger in question, the nature of the commission (is it a light concert item? a test piece? a solo), how long it is, sometimes who the commissioner is (is it a funding body, a Band, an individual)....are there any exclusivity clauses...

    The answer to who benefits - in the long run, we all do as it's enriching the repertoire.
  3. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    In the meantime, here's a slide out of a presentation I gave to the NABBC back in February with respect to commissions for CDs....

    Attached Files:

  4. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    There really isn't 'one' answer to this question as composers fees will vary according to where they are in their career. Someone starting out will probably charge you less than an old fogie like me!

    As you mention two of my pieces above, both of these were commissioned by the bands in question (YBS and Brass Band of Battle Creek). It's probably wrong to think of it as an 'investment' as the band won't make a profit out of the piece, so to speak. But MOTS did help (?) YBS win their 6th successive European. How can you put a value on that?

    If it's any help, a full length top section test piece could cost anything between £3000 - £8000 at professional rates.
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    On the other hand, being someone very much staring out as a composer and arranger, when I was comissioned to arrange the final movement of weber's clarinet concerto no 1 as a cornet solo for a friend of mine, the price was no more than a pint of ale! (A price I happily accepted.)

    Might not sound much, but Tabby got the solo written how she wanted it, the band got a new concert piece, and I got the amazing buzz of hearing a real band, as opposed to sibelius, playing something I've written.

    I know it'll sound like a cliche, but that buzz just gets better every time too.

    Hopefully Gavin at Pennine music might benefit a bit as well, if it becomes popular.... (Cheers Gav!)

    I might make a couple of quid in the long run too, but if I was worried about that at this early stage, I'd be doing it for all the wrong reasons.
  6. brass journo

    brass journo Member

    and what a flipping fine arrangement it is too - well worth that pint!! Far better than some arrnagements I have paid a lot of money for!

  7. Available to view here...


    Rondo Allegretto - Clarinet Concerto
    By Carl Maria Von Weber (Arr. A. Cook)

    Born in Oldenburg, Germany, Weber composed his first two opera's aged 16. Being one of the finest pianists around, his music is filled with vigour and spirit. Weber wrote three concertos for clarinet in 1811 (at the age of 25!) for the Munich clarinettist, Heinrich Börmann. The most famous movement from the first concerto has been skilfully arranged for solo cornet and brass band. A perfect showcase of a piece.

    Full score & parts: £19.95

    (plug over ;-) )
  8. Mr Sparke - one would never call the 'hallowed composer' an 'old fogie', but how has the price and private commissions movement moved on since you wrote 'Year of the Dragon' back in 1984/1985?

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