How do you find out if your music is being performed?
Date: April 9, 2012
Over and above simply tracking your music sales and/or downloads, how do you find out if your music has been or will be actually performed, by whom, and when and where? Do conductors ever communicate this information to composers? I have received a few emails these past several months from individual conductors telling me that they like a particular piece and plan/hope to perform it, but have not heard anything more. (I realize the spring concert season is not quite upon us, but the holiday season is long past.) Being able to provide specific (and, I assume, verifiable) information about at least one public performance of a work is necessary for applying for membership in ASCAP, for example. And being able to simply note that a certain piece has been performed by a certain choir is, I also assume, helpful in generating more interest in the piece on the part of others.
I attended a local spring concert given by a very good women's choir last year, and after finding ChoralNet in the summer and beginning to communicate with other composers realized that the choir had sung not one but two pieces by a composer with whom I had been communicating, and I emailed him and told him so. I think he appreciated my email, but did not say if he already knew what I told him.
Is it appropriate for composers to contact conductors who have purchased/downloaded music and simply ask? Or is this considered to be completely annoying and gauche? How DOES one discover if one's music is actually being performed anywhere? I am assuming here that a music purchase does not always guarantee a performance.
I have been considering adding a written note to each of my pieces somewhere, saying something like: "Are you performing this piece? If yes, please tell me the name of your choir, and when and where the performance will be." And of course then I would provide my email address. Is this a totally stupid idea? Has anyone else tried it, or another creative way of finding out about performances? I have a similar message on my website, but so far I think it is not working...
I often think that conductors are so used to performing works by no-longer-living composers that it never occurs to them that we still-living composers would sure like to know if our works are being performed.
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