Very interesting article from The Guardian UK on the state of compensation for composers. Please read this excerpt, then click through for the full article– and if you’re affected by the information, please share and get the word out.
If we believe that music is a living artform then it stands to reason that the creation of new music is vital to its current and future health. However, professional composers are being asked to create new music for very little money in conditions that are too often inadequate. As a sector we have some hard questions to ask ourselves about our priorities.
Being commissioned to create a new work (and getting paid for it) is a vital part of life as a professional composer. At Sound and Music, the national agency for new music, we continue to receive anecdotal evidence about the worsening environment for the creation of new music. As a result we conducted a survey to collect evidence of the realities of this integral aspect of life as a composer today.
The report makes for a sobering read (pdf). Professional composers, who have spent years training and developing their skill, are being asked to compose new pieces for shockingly low fees given the time that will be devoted to creating them (think weeks or months rather than days). Having committed themselves to composing a new piece – with all the emotional, professional and physical investment it requires – the conditions in which new music is being brought to life appear to be worsening.