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.
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.