“Taking Note” of contemporary composers

Posted on: February 3, 2009

An article Thursday (1/29) on NewMusicBox.com states, “The American Music Center and American Composers Forum have just released Taking Note: A Study of Composers and New Music Activity in the United States. Taking Note is the first major undertaking of its kind in decades, and was conducted by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at Teachers College, Columbia University. According to the study, three-quarters of American composers surveyed have indicated that their activity has increased in the last five years. In addition, the study shows that: Being a professional composer is a three-quarter time job. Composers spend 27 hours per week on average on composition activity. They earn a median annual income of $45,000 from all of their activities, not exclusively from composing; Three-quarters of those surveyed considered themselves to be professional composers, but only 10% made their primary living from that work.” Two-thirds also perform their own works, and many “are utilizing new technologies to connect with audiences directly, and growing numbers are establishing careers through these connections.”