- Experience – Composing is a skill that develops with practice. Just like with other skills, experience pays off. An experienced composer should have a fairly substantial body of works for you to listen to and assess.
- Background – Depending on what type of composition you are looking for, you may want a highly specialized composer or a composer that has been exposed to a large variety of musical styles and genres. Deciding whether to hire a specialized composer or a jack-of-all-trades composer will depend largely on your expected audience. Also, consider what instrument the composer performs on. Composers tend to write well for their specific performing instrument.
- Style – Listen to samples of compositions created by the composer. Do you like the style that you hear? Will your audience be able to connect to music in the style that you hear?
- Reliability – Most people who need or want to hire a composer are working on a deadline. Will the composer produce a quality composition in the time frame that works for you? Or, is the composer so over-loaded with commissions that he/she will not be able to complete the music for your project on time?
- Communication – A quality composer will find out exactly what type of music you are looking for. If the project takes more than a few days to complete, a good composer will give you updates. Often a composer will share a portion of the work before it is completed to make sure it meets your expectations before moving on.
- Meeting Your Expectations – Hire a composer that will create music that meets your expectations and desires. A composer that does not meet your specifications and is not willing to change the music because it goes against his/her artistic beliefs, is not a composer that you want to hire. Art is subjective but you are paying for it so be sure the composer is aiming to please you.
- Price – As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. Find a composer that fits within your budget but don’t expect a quality composition for next to nothing. Also, if you are working on a short timeline, you may need to shell out more money.
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