Commissioning Guide
Commissioning Fees Calculator

Commissioning Fees Calculator

Commissioning Guide

Ensembles come and go. Venues come and go. Styles and trends, too. And how about that recording industry? The business and technology surrounding new music bear little resemblance to what was standard fifty years ago. But commissions continue, forming an important pillar that supports many composers’ careers.

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And so our Commissioning Music: A Basic Guide continues. It’s a modest document, really. A few key ideas and a few numbers delivered in a terse, to-the-point style. It is perhaps this directness and simplicity that has allowed it to last longer than many other things. Even the organization that originally created it has become part of something different. Yet this little guide-that-could is still here, giving composers and commissioners a shared baseline at which to begin their negotiation. It endures as a testament to the vision of Meet The Composer: composing is a profession deserving adequate compensation.

In the spirit of this week of music and money conversation, we present it here in interactive fashion, an offering to set out just what “adequate” means. (If you prefer a document, that’s also still available here.)

For decades, New Music USA’s (formerly Meet The Composer’s) Commissioning Music: A Basic Guide has been an essential and frequently cited reference for commissioning fees. This page is designed to bring you that resource in easy-to-use form. It presents you with typical commissioning ranges for different kinds of projects, from concert music and jazz to dance and video games.

NewMusicBox provides a space for those engaged with new music to communicate their experiences and ideas in their own words. Articles and commentary posted here reflect the viewpoints of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply endorsement by New Music USA.

8 thoughts on “Commissioning Fees Calculator

  1. Lawton Hall

    I’ve used this document dozens of times over the years. It’s a great way to start the (sometimes awkward) conversation about money. Thanks for the web-based version!

  2. Donald Sosin

    Thanks for this. Typically I am offered 1/3 or less of the minimum amounts in these lists, and I know that I if I turn the work down, someone else will do it for that amount, so what am I to do? This applies to concert and film work.

    1. Juan María Solare

      Similar experience to yours, Donald. I honestly wonder how realistic are these fees. Compare with similar resources online (from different countries) and you will find surprises.

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  4. Lauren Bernofsky

    I am most grateful for this guide! Composers should be paid fairly for their work, and the more we can all move in that direction, the better off we all will be.

  5. Regina Harris Baiocchi

    Thanks for reprinting this Composer’s Commission Guide. This is one of the best practical gifts my mentor and teacher gave me. I lost track of this invaluable document because I only had a hard copy. Guarding this e-copy for life will be much more likely. Ashé, danke, grazie, merci, thank you ad infinitum—Regina Harris Baiocchi, Chicago Composer

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