If you’re looking for some new original flute music, consider hiring a flute composer. You can hire a generalist composer, but that may lead to a few problems.
Not all composers have expert knowledge on how the instrument works. And they can’t all provide a live recording of the final piece.
Read on to learn why you should work with a flutist-composer.
What’s a Flute Composer?
A flute composer is a music composer and/or arranger who specializes in writing music for the flute or the flute family. They’re also most likely going to be a flute player, which helps them write good flute parts.
Some flute composers may write music for other instruments, while others may solely write for flutes. It depends on the composer’s background and interests.
Why Hire a Flute Composer
When you’re looking to commission new music, you want to make sure it’s enjoyable and playable. Working with someone who focuses on writing for the flute is a great option, and here’s why.
They Know the Instrument
Assuming the composer in question is a flute player, they will have a great understanding of how it works. For example, I’m a professional flutist as well as a composer.
I know what’s easy on the flute and what’s not. That helps me write pieces that suit the needs of my clients without being to difficult or too boring.
Some generalist composers may write what sounds good. That’s nice, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the music will work on the flute.
They Specialize in the Instrument
Some flute composers write for other instruments, but some specialize in composing flute music. You can view a composer’s portfolio and learn about their style specifically when it comes to the flute.
I can write for other treble clef woodwinds and piano. Yes, I’ve played those instruments and know how they work.
However, I’ve decided to write for the flute as my main thing. That way, you can get quality flute music from someone who understands the nuances of the instrument.
They Can Provide a Live Recording
Another reason to hire a composer who plays the flute is if you also want a recording of the commission. If you’re a flute player, you can use the recording to help learn the piece.
Or if you’re not a performer, you can commission a new piece and a recording to use in your business. Maybe you want to start a podcast or YouTube channel and need unique intro music.
Working with a flute composer ensures you can get the composing and recording done in one place. Then, you can use the music how you please.
Just as with composers in general, flute composers come from all backgrounds. We’re a diverse group of flute players and music composers.
So whether you’re looking for music by women or LGBTQ+ composers, you can find someone to work with. And you can find a composer whose style you love.
What to Look for in a Flute Composer
Whether you want to hire a flute composer to write a piece for you to play or to use in your online business, you should consider a few factors when choosing the right musician.
Start With Their Experience
Before you hire anyone, you want to make sure they have some experience. You can take a look at the composer’s website and social media profiles.
See how long they’ve composed music and if they’ve specialized in the flute during that time. Working with a student or new composer isn’t necessarily bad, though.
Even if a composer is new, if they have years of performing experience, they can use that. Then, they can write you an amazing flute piece.
Review Their Portfolio
You’ll also want to review the composer’s portfolio to get a sense of their style. Some composers may have a portfolio page where you can find examples.
Alternatively, see if the composer has self-published any sheet music on their website. You should be able to preview the piece and/or find an audio recording.
If you like the composer’s existing music, that’s a good sign you should hire them. Otherwise, keep looking for a composer who has music you enjoy.
Consider Whether They Compose or Arrange
Another thing to think about is whether the flute composer you want to hire writes original music, does arrangements, or offers both. I love both arranging and composing original works.
If you’re looking for a flute choir arrangement of your favorite Bach cantata, you want to make sure someone offers arranging services. Or maybe you want something completely new, in which case you’ll need a composer.
Ask for a Quote
When commissioning a flute composer, you’ll need a decent budget. Once you find someone you want to work with, you should contact them and ask for a quote.
Be prepared to also give your budget so that you and the composer can agree to a project. If your budget is a big smaller, for example, you may only be able to pay for a short single-movement work.
But if you have some more money to spend, you could commission a larger piece.
What to Hire a Flute Composer For
If you’re not sure whether you should hire a flute composer, consider a few types of music they can create for you.
Your Own Repertoire
You can commission a composer to write a new piece that you can add to your repertoire. Then, you’ll get a piece you know will be playable on your instrument.
Typically, the composer will give you an exclusivity period where only you can perform the piece. But after that period ends, they may sell the sheet music to other peformers.
However, as the commissioning performer, you should get credit for bringing the piece into the world.
Repertoire for Students
Another great reason to work with a flutist-composer is if you want new music for your students. You can commission someone to write a piece at a specific level.
That way, you’ll know your students will be able to play the music. This is a great way to add new pieces to your next studio recital.
You can also use this type of music for competition repertoire requirements. I’ve seen some competitions where the organization will commission a work for the entrants.
What sets me apart from other flutist-composers is that I also write commercial music. Whether you’re looking for music for an actual commercial or for a podcast or YouTube channel, I can help.
Commissioning original commercial music ensures no one else will use the same audio. That can help you brand yourself and your content so that you stand out.
And since I both compose and record, you can get a live recording of the music. That will sound a lot better than the audio rendering you may get from other composers.
A flute composer can also help you arrange a flute part to accompany a church choir. If you want to add a little something to the choir, work with a flute player and arranger.
They can make sure the flute part fits with the vocals. Then, you can give the flute part to whoever lives near your church and is your chosen flute player for the next worship service.
What If You Can’t Afford a Commission?
If you can’t afford to commission a composer, you have a few other options. Here’s how you can still work with a composer on your next project.
Ask About a Consortium
A consortium is where a group of people come together to pay the commission fees. As many people can join as there are people who want to join.
The composer may set different fee levels for students and professionals. That makes it a lot more practical for students and younger players to join in.
But since there are more people paying, the composer still gets paid what they’re worth. And everyone who participates will get to perform the piece before the public.
Shop Their Current Titles
You can also see if they composer sells sheet music on their website or through another avenue. If you like any of their current music, purchase it.
Buying a piece of existing music will almost always be more affordable. Plus, you may even be able to buy a couple of pieces from the composer.
And you won’t have to wait for the composer to finish your commission to get the music.
Apply for a Grant
Another way to work with a flute composer is to apply for a grant to fund the commission. You can look online to find different grant sources.
Then, you can apply for the money that you need to hire the composer you want. Once you get accepted for a grant, you’ll get the money, and you can pay the musician.
Start With a Smaller Work
Maybe you have enough money to commission a single movement of a work. You could agree to do a few commissions over the next couple of years.
That way, you can pay a bit of money each time and get a little bit of music. By the end of it, you may have a full multi-movement sonata.
However, you won’t have to pay a large lump sum for the work all at once.
Hiring a flute composer is a great option for flute players and teachers. You can get music that you and your students can enjoy playing.
It’s also a nice option for creative entrepreneurs looking for intro music. If you’re ready to hire a specialist, learn more about commissioning me.