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#1845316 - 02/15/12 03:01 PM What to charge for notation services  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member
8ude  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
Hey all. I was approached by a colleague who has a song he played to an mp3. He wants me to write it out for him in Finale. It's actually quite a mature piece - when I say he "played it to an mp3", he is a good studio musician who laid down a bunch of tracks and provided me with the mixdown, so we're talking guitar, piano, synth, drums, vocals, etc... Point being, this isn't just an off-the-cuff request to jot down a simple tune, this would definitely involve a reasonable amount of effort on my part to listen to the song and write out the parts.

What I'm wondering is, what is a reasonable amount to charge for something like this? The song is probably about 5 minutes long, in a rock genre. It's not harmonically complicated, I'll be able to pick out the tune and chords pretty easily, but it definitely has some interesting rhythmic stuff going on.

I welcome any opinions or feedback...


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
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#1845328 - 02/15/12 03:12 PM Re: What to charge for notation services [Re: 8ude]  
Joined: Nov 2007
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Nikolas Offline
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Nikolas  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,492
UK
This is tricky.

It's not just notating or copying, it's actually transcribing, so there's more involved...

The more important and time consuming part is the transcribing part not the notating. And this is what makes it tricky. How to charge? Usually copyists go by the page, or tens of bars or minute (in film music). In this case I'd imagine that you would go for a per minute pay... Last I heard (in 2006 that is) a similar job from a film composer (mp3 + MIDI files to produce a finished score) was 100$ per minute of music, for 90 minutes of music...

So I would say that you should expect around 500$ (or less probably if he's not well off and you're doing this once, and as a favor, etc)...

Hope this helps a bit but wait for further input from others as well, please.

#1845711 - 02/15/12 11:37 PM Re: What to charge for notation services [Re: 8ude]  
Joined: May 2007
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currawong Offline
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currawong  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
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Down Under
What Nicholas says sounds reasonable to me. You could cross-check the amount by estimating how many hours it would take you to do it, and seeing if you're happy with the hourly rate that turns out to be.

I worked as a copyist in the late 1960s - I got paid 80c a page for handwritten orchestral parts laugh


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