Commissioning an Original Musical Composition

A music commission involves paying a composer to write a new work for an event, recital, performance, or other musical activity. The commissioning process allows a patron to become an active part of the music creation process. Typically, these individuals find a composer whose music they identify with and ask them to create a work to fit their purpose.

Some commissioners want music written for a specific ensemble with specific style guidelines. Other commissions will give the composer complete freedom over what type of piece to write. Giving the composer freedom to pick the style and content is usually the preferred method of assigning a commission.

Commissioning music is something that anybody is capable of doing. It is a matter of raising the money and hiring a composer. The range of time it takes for a composer to complete a commission is directly related to the individual composer. It is a good idea to plan giving a composer anywhere from 6 to 24 months from the time they actually begin working on the composition.

For more information, advice on whether or not your commission is tax deductible, and other common questions, please visit the following link:

You don't need to know a composer to start the process of commissioning a work for your project. You can locate composers through Meet the Composer, by attending local concerts, contacting college and university music departments, and by submitting a request through

Look for a composer with a style you enjoy to match the needs of your project. Hiring a composer doesn't have to be a difficult process and allows you to be part of the process of creation and provide the monetary resources to bring new music to the world.


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