Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Every so often I toy with the idea of starting a Go Fund Me page for raising money for classical compositions.

At the top of the list of reasons I don't is that I haven't the faintest idea how much music is actually worth.

For example, a 40-minute composition like Also Sprach Zarathustra took Dick Strauss a year to write. If he had kept of log of the actual time spent working on the composition, it would be feasible to work out some sort of pay schedule. I guess you'd call it a form of "piece work". 

Compositions-wise, what I've always had in mind is an ongoing series of exciting overtures aimed at the general public, each composition being an average 20 minutes in length. This, in response to the ongoing complaint that modern composers aren't turning out crowd-pleasing barn-burners like they did in the ol' daize.

But what is a composition like, say, Often Bach's Orpheus in Haiti's Overture or Rose Weenie's William Tell Offerture worth? How much should these composters have been paid for these works? What would be a fair wage?

Your thoughts?

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3 hours of finished music? Or three hours of his time?

Update for Greg, hiring a large established orchestra for three hours - one good with sight reading and new material - would cost maybe £10-12000. Recording, again to a good standard rather than hiring a hall and putting a couple of mics in it - £6-8000 for 10 hours. That'll get you 15-20 minutes of finished music. It varies on where you go though. Worth factoring in.

Darrell White II said:

I had listened to a Dave Pensado vlog/interview with an industry professional film scorer whom said he is paid 100k per 3 hours. His words, not mine. I do think you should consider all the work you do on your compositions and then add a dollar amount per hour and have that as your price. Then market to the right clients.

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