They believe that conditions are getting worse:66% of composers stated that they do not find commissions to be a significant proportion of their income. Given that the respondents had an average of 2.65 commissions in 2013 with an average fee per commission of £1,392 it is easy to see why.
Although there are more commissions, the amount of money composers receive appears to be less.49% of composers feel that there is less rehearsal/preparation time for new works.
The ISM report appears to support this view. In 2011, it published these results to a survey of composition commission rates:74% of composers received the same amount or more commissions in 2013 than in 2012 but only 15% earned more income. We also discovered that those who had been undertaking commissions for more than five years were likely to get more commissions but get paid less per commission.
|Choral (with orchestra)||12,119||21|
|Orchestra (with soloists)||9,215||30|
|Ensembles (large chamber)||4,974||45|
|Ensembles (symphonic wind)||3,440||15|
|Jazz big band||3,667||6|
Although it is difficult to compare across slightly different fields of work, it can clearly be seen that all of the average commissions for 2011 are well above the average of £1,392 reported by the Sound and Music survey in 2013. In fact the overall average, for 2011 according to ISM is £7142. The conclusion is clear; the amount of money spent on commissioning music is being reduced while the number of commissions are increasing. Therefore, composers are going to have to work a lot harder for the same money. If this trend continues, it won't be long before they will be expected to work for next to nothing.