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Topic: Where to publish piano works?  (Read 285 times)

Offline horowitz_admirer

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Where to publish piano works?
on: January 22, 2023, 07:07:36 PM
I don't know if this is the right place for this kind of stuff, but given its an advice for students page I figured it would be worth a shot.

I'm currently 16, a mid to high level pianist (doesn't really matter for what I'm discussing) and I've ran into a problem where I compose, I compose lots and truly have a love for it, having written a tris of preludes, a Piano Suite and have a few other sketches including one and a half movements of a piano sonata in the works, But I have absolutely no clue where to possibly go, in regards to publishers, and what research I have done has just led me to constant dead ends. I live in the UK, and I know this isn't very much information to go off, but if anyone has any suggestions for publishers who publish piano works, kind of like Romantic/ impressionist, that would mean so much to me (and if you're saying look at ABRSM btw I have checked and certainly from what I've found, but don't quote me I'd love if you can prove me wrong, is that certainly on their home page and everywhere I've been looking they don't have an option where you can send in music for possible evaluation and publishing.)

Sorry for taking your time and if you do reply thanks a lot!

Offline frodo3

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #1 on: January 22, 2023, 09:04:55 PM
I don't know if this is the right place for this kind of stuff, but given its an advice for students page I figured it would be worth a shot.

I'm currently 16, a mid to high level pianist (doesn't really matter for what I'm discussing) and I've ran into a problem where I compose, I compose lots and truly have a love for it, having written a tris of preludes, a Piano Suite and have a few other sketches including one and a half movements of a piano sonata in the works, But I have absolutely no clue where to possibly go, in regards to publishers, and what research I have done has just led me to constant dead ends. I live in the UK, and I know this isn't very much information to go off, but if anyone has any suggestions for publishers who publish piano works, kind of like Romantic/ impressionist, that would mean so much to me (and if you're saying look at ABRSM btw I have checked and certainly from what I've found, but don't quote me I'd love if you can prove me wrong, is that certainly on their home page and everywhere I've been looking they don't have an option where you can send in music for possible evaluation and publishing.)

Sorry for taking your time and if you do reply thanks a lot!

If your piano music is truly great, it will be published eventually.

Having a referral is almost mandatory to be published by a reputable publisher.  Letís start with a short story:

When Brahms was 20 years old, he had a couple piano sonatas, 6 songs and a scherzo for piano written.  When Robert Schumann came to his home town of Hamburg a couple years earlier, Schumann would not even open the package of manuscripts that Brahms sent to him.  They were returned to Brahms unopened.  When Brahms met the Hungarian violinist Remťnyi at age 19 in Hamburg, he went on tour with him playing violin and piano duets at various towns after becoming friends.  On the tour, Remenyi introduced Brahms to the great violinist Joachim that was a school mate of his.  Joachim introduced Brahms to Liszt and referred him to Schumann.  When Brahms arrived at Schumannís house on October 1, 1853 at the age of 20, Schumann listened to Brahms works.  Brahms was invited to stay with the Schumanns for 3 months because they were so moved by his music.  Schumann referred Brahms to his own publisher and Brahms 2 piano sonatas, 6 songs and Scherzo were published within a couple months as his op. 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Without a referral, Schumann would not even open the package of music sent to him by Brahms.

If you are interested in being a composer, I suggest you continue to write music and prepare for a piano performance degree audition.  After being accepted at a music college, take composition courses and show your works to your composition professor.  You can choose to major in composition.  You do NOT need to go to a top-notch music performance school to have composition professors that have published works.  But you need to go to a college with a strong music department.  Your composition professor will refer you to a publisher if he feels your work is worthy of publishing.  Good luck!

P.S.  See if you get suggestions from others.  The above is the best advice I can give.  Are there quicker ways to get music published by a reputable publisher? - Not to my knowledge.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #2 on: January 23, 2023, 09:33:35 AM
I have seen some people also do this successfully with YouTube and other social media + self-publishing.

Offline robertus

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #3 on: January 25, 2023, 06:25:10 AM
I suggest playing it on Youtube, then uploading it on IMSLP. Of course, you won't make any money, but it will (or may) get your music to people who are interested, and fulfill your own wish to share your creative work.

You can then easily make money by teaching or performing. There's always a small chance your music may be a big hit, and then you can make money. Traditional publishing is a moribund industry.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #4 on: January 25, 2023, 12:15:18 PM
If you are not known to the public no publisher will publish you no matter how good your writing is. Self publishing is the way to go and you can then sell on places like Amazon. There is a pittance to be made though.

You can get published through educational avenues like for examinations. You could contact the examination board and send them your music. There should be music teacher associations for your area where you can network with the right people, they can be often found on social media platforms like Facebook.

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Online lelle

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #5 on: January 25, 2023, 12:54:25 PM
As others have said, the best way to get the ball rolling might be to post your compositions to YouTube and making your own scores that you self-publish and sell. I have several composer friends/colleagues who do things like that. MuseScore 4 is free and powerful enough that you can make professional looking scores, assuming you are meticolous and take care to learn the art of music engraving.

Second thing is to network with people in the industry, such as other composers, professors, musicians so you can get your music performed etc.

Offline horowitz_admirer

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #6 on: January 26, 2023, 10:00:59 PM
If your piano music is truly great, it will be published eventually.

Having a referral is almost mandatory to be published by a reputable publisher.  Letís start with a short story:

When Brahms was 20 years old, he had a couple piano sonatas, 6 songs and a scherzo for piano written.  When Robert Schumann came to his home town of Hamburg a couple years earlier, Schumann would not even open the package of manuscripts that Brahms sent to him.  They were returned to Brahms unopened.  When Brahms met the Hungarian violinist Remťnyi at age 19 in Hamburg, he went on tour with him playing violin and piano duets at various towns after becoming friends.  On the tour, Remenyi introduced Brahms to the great violinist Joachim that was a school mate of his.  Joachim introduced Brahms to Liszt and referred him to Schumann.  When Brahms arrived at Schumannís house on October 1, 1853 at the age of 20, Schumann listened to Brahms works.  Brahms was invited to stay with the Schumanns for 3 months because they were so moved by his music.  Schumann referred Brahms to his own publisher and Brahms 2 piano sonatas, 6 songs and Scherzo were published within a couple months as his op. 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Without a referral, Schumann would not even open the package of music sent to him by Brahms.

If you are interested in being a composer, I suggest you continue to write music and prepare for a piano performance degree audition.  After being accepted at a music college, take composition courses and show your works to your composition professor.  You can choose to major in composition.  You do NOT need to go to a top-notch music performance school to have composition professors that have published works.  But you need to go to a college with a strong music department.  Your composition professor will refer you to a publisher if he feels your work is worthy of publishing.  Good luck!

P.S.  See if you get suggestions from others.  The above is the best advice I can give.  Are there quicker ways to get music published by a reputable publisher? - Not to my knowledge.

My gosh I'm surprised so many people responded XD, but particularly to you thank you so so much for the advice and the story about Brahms, yes I'm currently preparing for multiple auditions which would be in roughly 14-15 months and I'm applying (at least these are the main two schools/ conservatories but I will be applying to many more) the Royal Northern and the Royal college of music, to possibly major in composing and performance on the side, or undergraduate, I don't really even know how all that stuff works yet, but you have certainly encouraged me with this response, although I don't know any well known musicians unfortunately, although that might change in the near future as I'm playing Mozart 21 with my local orchestra and perhaps the conductor, an old bloke, has some connections. But sorry for rambling, I will take on your advice, including advice further below which suggested to post on youtube. If I do so it will be my tris of preludes (what I intend to be Opus 1 as they were my first complete works) which are emotive pieces designed to be played together one after the other, and if I do ill make sure to post the link here.

anyway, I wish a good day to all of you!

Offline frodo3

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #7 on: January 27, 2023, 05:59:28 PM
Sounds like a great plan!  Look forward to hearing your works!   :)

Offline horowitz_admirer

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #8 on: February 05, 2023, 09:23:29 AM
Sounds like a great plan!  Look forward to hearing your works!   :)

Hello, this is my second piece in the piano suite I wrote, if you like it Iíll upload more, but enjoy

(Sorry for the tinny audio Iíve got an old IPhone 6s)

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #9 on: February 05, 2023, 09:55:52 AM
Just being honest but that doesn't sound good enough to be a published work.
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Offline frodo3

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #10 on: February 05, 2023, 05:22:53 PM
Hello, this is my second piece in the piano suite I wrote, if you like it Iíll upload more, but enjoy

(Sorry for the tinny audio Iíve got an old IPhone 6s)

Hello Horowitz_admirer,

I listened to your composition.  It is in pop style (i.e. non-classical).  It is very static in nature that basically just uses diatonic notes of D major and it has free rhythm.  I am having trouble believing that this is not an improvisation.  Did you really write this out?

Here are a few thoughts:

You will need to figure a way to make a quality sound recording.  If you are expecting your audience to listen to something for 5 minutes, you need to make sure you have good quality recording equipment, a quality instrument that is tuned well and is in a good acoustical environment.  I suspect that the problem is mainly with your recording device. Hopefully you can find something better.

When you become a music major, you will go through several music theory courses.  My music theory courses had us write music in different styles that correlated to the music theory that was being taught at the time.  Compositions we were assigned to write:  2-part invention in the style of Bach, 4 part chorale in the style of Bach, Theme and variations in the style of Beethoven, etc.  At the end of the theory courses, we wrote piano compositions in the style of Debussy and works in the style for Hindemith, for example.  These were done in the music theory courses.  There were other courses that I took that taught writing counterpoint in the style of Bach: fugues, canons, chorale preludes, etc.  Then there are of course actual composition classes that you will take as an elective or as a composition major.  Here you will work to developing your own style of composition.

The direction you take with your compositions will be greatly affected by what you learn in your theory and composition classes as well as music history classes.  Letís look at the composers Schoenberg and Charles Ives. Both were born 1874.  Both wrote a string quartet when they were about 22 years old (Schoenberg  quartet #0 in D major written 1897, Ives quartet #1 written 1896 when he was sophomore at Yale).  Both quartets show a mastery of the compositional style of Brahms.  I actually prefer the Ives, but both are great.  These works were just stepping stones to the paths they then traveled.  Schoenberg of course went on to develop the 2nd Viennese school and atonality.  Ives (who remained an actuary by profession) went in his own direction.  Here is a listening assignment if you like:  Listen to Schoenberg 3 piano pieces op 11 and Ives Concord sonata for piano sonata (Sonata #2).

At this time, keep working on your piano playing and composing.  I also suggest that you listen to a variety of classical music.  Get to know Bach, Beethoven and Brahms thoroughly.  How many times have I heard all 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven or all of Book 1 and 2 of Bach WTC or all 24 chamber music compositions of Brahms?  Hundreds perhaps.  But Iím old.

Here is a short list of composers to add to the current composers you listen to: 
Renaissance: Josquin Des Prez, Palestrina, Monteverdi
Modern:  Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Bartok, Hindemith.  Also Ė Debussy preludes book 1 and 2.

Best of luck.  I will look for your Mozart concerto performance if you post this.

Offline frodo3

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Re: Where to publish piano works?
Reply #11 on: February 05, 2023, 09:37:57 PM
I took another listen to this.  I was not prepared to hear something like this because you said it was romantic/impressionism - so I was thinking Chopin or Debussy in style. This music has nothing in common with Chopin or Debussy.   I don't know what to call this style that you are playing here.  It's some kind of pop music.  Phillip Glass and minimalism (which I do not consider to be classical) is not the style, although you use limited or minimal musical materials.  Sorry I'm not being of more help here.  I would refer you to my prior post.  You should develop your ear by listening to a large variety of classical music - unless classical music is not your main interest.   I know nothing about pop music.
 

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