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Commissioned Work

Negotiating a fee and benefiting from MU guidelines

On this page you will find information about:

  • Advice on negotiating a fee
  • MU guidelines for live and recorded commissions
  • Commissioning contracts
  • Other costs

There are no absolute rules when it comes to negotiating a commissioning fee, however factors such as a project’s overall budget, how integral the music will be to the project, and of course the complexity of the work commissioned all come into play with regards to the final figure.

The Union does provide guidelines for both live commissions (theatre, orchestral concerts etc) and recorded media commissions (film, TV, advertising, online etc) to assist you as well as specimen commissioning contracts.

You should ensure that any commissioning contract you are offered is submitted to the MU’s Contract Advisory Service before signing.

It is also important that the composer and the commissioner are clear about who will be liable for any other costs that may be associated with the project, such as preparing parts, contracting musicians, studio costs, attendance at rehearsals etc.

Contact your Regional Office for more information.

Related downloads

Concert Music Commissioning Fees (PDF 50.12 bytes)

Concert Music Commissioning Specimen Contract (PDF 77.47 bytes)

Media Commissioning Fee Guidelines (PDF 182.32 bytes)

Specimen Composers Commissioning Agreement (Media) (PDF 134.2 bytes)