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  Charging for a new commission  AMatthews at 12:56 on 03 October 2011

I am likely to receive my first paid-for commission shortly and the choir are asking what I would charge. Can anyone offer any advice as to how to set a price for a new work??

  Re: Charging for a new commission  Hugh Boyle at 22:38 on 03 October 2011

c. 230 to 470 squid per minute according to this

but perhaps in these times of austerity a more modest fee would be appreciated by the choir.

  Re: Charging for a new commission  MartinY at 09:19 on 06 October 2011

I was going to say there used to be UK Musician's Union recommended minimum rates and there probably still are. I did have them filed away somewhere but I will not be able to find them so would need to look it up. Does anyone have this info at their fingertips?

These recommended rates are usually, like the Irish rates posted above, much too high for the average concert society. Yesterday I was involved in a discussion about funding a possible competition. Some previous prizes have been as low as 20 UK pounds! which we decided was insultingly low as it is not even two rounds of drinks in a pub!

Sorry I have got slightly off subject as commission fees are very different from prize money. Whatever are reasonable fees for small charitable organisations to pay it is unlikely to amount to much per hour of work. You need to keep all the rights and do something else with the work afterwards. If someone commissions a piece for descant recoder, vibraphone, viola and koto you will need to hope they keep playing it cos. it is not going to sell much sheet music! (Actually that does not sound such a bad ensemble to me.... though maybe flute, viola and harp or guitar is more practical.)

  Re: Charging for a new commission  Hugh Boyle at 09:39 on 06 October 2011

Yeah I think they are too high also

Treat it like a job. So a ten minute choral work will take 4 weeks to do a really good job on, including preparing parts etc.

What is your weekly outgoings (how much you need to survive)?

say 300

so 4 x 300 = 1200

1200 divided by 10 (minutes) = 120 per minute

and just increase the equation accordingly, if you think it will take longer

  Re: Charging for a new commission  AMatthews at 11:29 on 06 October 2011

Thank you Hugh and Martin, this is really very helpful. It is actually a lot more than I expected, even Hugh's 'cheaper' rates! And a very good point about being able to use the music in other ways to generate more cash in future. Thanks again.