The burst of creativity in music creation due to computing and the internet has become a reality, but so has the persistence of publishing. Sure, you can put your score up on your own web site for others to take for free, or you can invest in software to sell it, but many of us just don’t have the visibility to bring people to our music or the software to capitalize on interest in it. This was a valuable service that publishers used to provide, and which Hal Leonard still does. In fact, they have recently upgraded their service with two new ways to get your original compositions or arrangements into the public eye, and money into your bank account, with ArrangeMe.
Their recent press release says:
“Hal Leonard has announced a massive expansion of ArrangeMe, their program that lets musicians legally and easily upload sheet music of original works or arrangements of popular songs and sell them on market-leading music websites. The newly expanded self-publishing platform provides a much-needed service for composers, arrangers, indie bands, educators, and anyone else who wants to sell sheet music of their own compositions or arrangements for all instruments and ensembles.
Through ArrangeMe, composers can upload their works for free and set their own sale price for the piece to be sold on sites including SheetMusicPlus and Noteflight. ArrangeMe takes care of paying the appropriate fees to the copyright holders and also pays commissions on each sale to the composer/arranger who uploaded the works.”
Of course the publisher is going to take a major cut of the sale price, but then again they take care of copyright and do the bookkeeping, services you would have to pay for in any case. They also have connections to get permissions that you might find difficult or impossible to obtain otherwise.
This is a huge plus for anyone who has a hit on YouTube. Now you can direct your listeners to a site to download the score to play your song or arrangement while they are still hot to play it. Arrangers can benefit from performers searching for arrangements of their favourite songs for their own instrument or ensemble. You can also find out which songs are available for arrangements, rather than working away at a difficult arrangement only to find that you cannot get permission to publish it. You may already be playing arrangements that are in demand, or songs that your fans are clamoring to learn. And now those of us playing unusual instruments can find and share arrangements or compositions from other players and fans.
You can find more details, including information on which songs are legal for you to sell your arrangements, at arrangeme.com.