Composer Interview

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    Art Munson
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    1.) Your name?

    Anonymous by request

    2.) Any credits you care to mention?

    Background instrumentals on various tv shows and channels, usually :20 to 1:00 long clips.

    3.) How long have you been writing music?

    16 years.

    4.) How did you get started?

    I bought a mini guitar when I was in Mexico City, and then went from there. I started writing with the acoustic guitar at a young age (about 13).

    5.) How long have you been writing library/production music?

    About 5 years.

    6.) Are you making a living wage?

    Not with the music alone; not yet.

    7.) Do you care to give any general figures of earnings (low/mid/high 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 figures)?

    Low (on average, I get a BMI royalty check of $500 every 3 months).

    8.) Are you self-taught or have you studied formally?

    I am self-taught for the most part.

    9.) Do you work through music libraries?

    Yes.

    9a.) If so are they exclusive and/or non-exclusive libraries?

    Non-exclusive.

    10.) Do you contact music supervisors, music editors or TV production companies directly?

    I’ve tried, quite a few times. I’ve sent out emails to a number of them. Sometimes it works; most of the time it doesn’t.

    10.a) If so how do you approach them?

    Email.

    11.) How do you deal with rejection?

    Write more music and keep submitting.

    12.) How do you feel about re-titling?

    I don’t mind that aspect. The only part I am not too fond of is the usual 50/50 cut that the music libraries take. I understand they have the contacts in the industry, but I don’t think that’s worth half (I think it should be standard at around 70/30; 70% for the artist, 30% for the library)

    13.) What do you have the most success with, royalty free sites or back end PRO royalties?

    I don’t have my music with any royalty free sites. As far as the most success, it would be backend PRO royalties (I’ve only gotten 2 upfront license fees, but only a few hundred dollars each).

    14.) Any tips about writing descriptions, keywords and/or metadata?

    I think it’s best to be specific, such as mentioning placements in a bio. As for keywords and metadata, again the more specific, the better.

    15.) Any trends you would like to comment on (YouTube Content ID, Internet Royalties)?

    Beware the companies that charge the artist money to submit music and “join” the library.

    16.) What sort of advice would you give to someone just entering the library/production music world?

    After spending a few years submitting to a bunch of non-exclusives, I would say find one exclusive library that is reputed to generate many placements and good placements with sizable payouts. Of course, finding this “library” (and getting accepted into it) is not so easy.

    And finally!

    17.) If you were not writing music what would you be doing?

    I’m a graduate student preparing for a career in teaching, writing, and research.

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