The American Music Center recently completed a study called "Taking Note"about the current situation with American composers. Here are the highlights:
- 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 of professional composers perform their own music, not relying solely on others to produce and present their work;
- Composers are utilizing new technologies to connect with audiences directly, and growing numbers are establishing careers through these connections.
- In addition to nearly 100 interviews conducted in 8 cities across the country, Taking Note includes eleven “spotlights” on innovative ways in which composers are crafting careers and contributing to the new music ecology.
Okay, I have to confess that I haven't seen the term "new music ecology" before, but what the heck, I'll go for it. Maybe blogs like this one are seen as a way to create a healthy new music ecology. Hm...