Composed Classical Music Online, or Offline, Should be Played by
the Bottom Line!
a scenario. As a composer, you’ve just completed one of your
compositions to date. You are now working toward the goal of
getting a well-trained professional pianist to perform and record
your work in a studio,
as part of a future album. You have no money of your own to pay
the pianist. The pianist’s payment depends on whether you
obtain some sort of composing grant from a government agency.
Now, try convincing the pianist that he/she should
be involved in the project. The pianist may have to begin learning
your composition during the grant seeking process. How can you convince
him/her to begin a project with no guarantee of payment? What do
There are many instances where a composer has
to sell his or her compositions to performers. Believe it or not,
a lot of performers are quite open to new music, even if payment
for their time and effort to learn the piece is not guaranteed.
Here’s how to sell your product:
It is best to seek performers that you have heard first hand.
That way, you can genuinely tell them how you feel about their
concert abilities and state why you want them in particular
to record your composition(s).
Mention how proud you are of your new work and give them a score,
preferably with an accompanying midi recording.
Being part of a grant proposal is prestigious not only
for the composer, but for the performer as well. The
performer is being recognized by the composer as a desirable candidate
and is being “name-dropped” to a grant agency…
a win/win situation for a performer.
Offer the potential pianist a free swim in your swimming
pool. Of course, you probably don’t have a swimming
pool so tell them that they’ll be the first “special”
non-family person to have a dip in your future pool; the one that
you’re going to have when you make all that extra money
from your composing career. If they insist on a dip right away,
you could get a little blow-up pool from a retail store and fill
it up with some fresh hose water.
first three bullet points are sound advice. However, occasionally
you will find your requests for interest in your music denied. The
trick is not to take this personally. Often times, a concert pianist
is simply too busy to take on any more work. There are also performers
who specialize in only one type of music. In both of these cases,
the rejection of your manuscript
is not a reflection of the quality of your work.
one final thought with respect to pianists’ desire for new
music fits well into concert programs as a contrast to traditional
music. As a composer/pianist, I have often programmed new music
just after an intermission. Audiences generally find a debuted work
exciting… it’s a conversation piece, to say the least.