The most important single thing you need to know about how much this might cost and how long this will take is simple:


Yes, there are lots of numbers I could toss around, largely based on the suggested commission fees as set by the music organization, Meet The Composer, as most in this business do. But since every need is different, every price will be different. Besides, I think they charge too much for all the hyped up crazy music you so often get, and it is so often more to the liking of the composer than of the client! I find that unacceptable. I know that music is a luxury, especially in this crazy economy. So I want you to tell me exactly what you feel would be the right price for you to spend, and I will do everything that I can to give you as much as you ask for what you have budgeted. If your budget is low, my quality of work will still be high. And if your budget is flexible, together we will create artistic magic to last you a lifetime, and more.

Here are all of the elements needed to create a full commission budget:

My fee. (I am creating your music, and physically writing down parts for each instrumentalist.)

I usually figure this out last, after we have agreed on all of the other aspects of your music.

Once we decide on a full budget, I take cash or personal or business checks, 1/3 in advance, 1/3 upon your approval of my demo, and 1/3 upon delivery. My staff and I will take care of paying the musicians, studios and taking care of expenses, so that you don’t need to worry about anything except getting the music of your dreams!

Copying fees. (Someone needs to extract individual parts from my full score for musicians.)

This is optional for smaller pieces, mandatory for larger ones. A small fraction of your total cost. Approximately $.25 per page of music multiplied by the number of musicians.

Musician fees. (I use seasoned professional union musicians to record and perform.)

A good rule of thumb is approximately $300 per musician per session, with soloists, section leaders and contractors making substantially more.

Star fees. (In the event you wish to have your music performed by someone of note.)

Honestly, you will no doubt get what you pay for here. Plan on an extra $5000 and up.

Studio Fees. (For realizing your music as a recording.)

A small studio will run from $150 to $250 per hour, and include an engineer, and a dedicated hard drive for recording your piece, as well as use of vintage and state-of-the-art equipment.

A larger studio will reun from $250 to $500 per hour and include all of the above plus an assistant engineer, astonishing acoustics, and more amenities.

Venue fees. (Depending on where you might wish to have a live performance.)

This naturally varies considerably.

Some of these are optional, depending on your needs. And all prices vary greatly depending on the type of commission, the type of final performance, whether there is a recording, and of course any extras you may have in mind that I haven’t even covered, such as multiple CD pressings, framed signed scores, etc.


This is a partial list of what you might desire for a musical commission, listed from relatively inexpensive ($1,000 - $5,000) to relatively expensive ($10,000 - $50,000).

Composing a song to your lyrics in the style of your choice.

(Rock, Jazz, Pop, Swing, Country, Adult Contemporary, Dance, Ballad, etc.)

Composing a song and lyrics to your specifications in the style of your choice.

Solo or Duo Instrumental piece.

Piano Solo or Duo with instrument or voice.

Classical Trio or Quartet.

Ensemble of 5 to 10.

Chorus or Choir a capella.

Small Chamber or Jazz Orchestra or Band (10-22 players).

Large Chamber or Jazz Orchestra or Band (22-40 players).

Full Symphonic Orchestra. (40-60+ players).

Full Orchestra as a Concerto or with a Chorus.


As above, there are a myriad of ways to realize a piece of music. Here are a few LIVE options:

Performing the piece live yourself. (Free!)

Using a live professional soloist or vocalist.

Using a live professional ensemble.

Using a live professional choir.

As I mentioned above, a good rule of thumb is approximately $300 per musician per session, with soloists, section leaders and contractors making substantially more. And stars will cost significantly more.

Each of the above also require at least one REHEARSAL at approximately 1/2 scale.

And here are a few RECORDING STUDIO options listed in order from relatively inexpensive ($50 to $150 per hour) to, well, still not that expensive. ($250 to $500 per hour.)

Recording your music with synthesizers at my home studio.

Recording your small ensemble, or contemporary song at a small studio.

Recording your large ensemble at a large studio.

Each studio recording session is a minimum of 3 hours, during which time as much as 15 minutes of music can be rehearsed, adjusted, recorded and re-recorded. Then the mix and an initial pressing counts towards time as well. Plan on at least 6 hours for a comfortable, enjoyable recording session.


Do you want a souvenir recording for a field of guests? I can make that happen.

Do you want your piece to be a surprise? I can set that up for you.

Will I work in conjunction with your event planner? Absolutely.

Contact me, and let’s get started making your very own musical masterpiece. Let me know your budgetary needs, and I will find the best solution to give you the most possible music for what you have to work with.