Give the Beginners a Chance

by Alyssa

It has emerged in the United Kingdom that professional composers are asked to produce new music for fees well below the average price.

A report by Sound and Music in the UK revealed startling statistics that showed “66% of the 466 composers who responded stated they do not find commissions to be a significant proportion of their income. Given that the respondents had an average of 2.65 commissions in 2013 with an average fee per commission of £1,392”, as stated in an article by The Guardian.

These results raised questions about what the future of music is going to look like, particularly for budding composers.

If we see trends like these appearing in the Australian music scene, there becomes less incentive for people to pursue music as a viable career path. Particularly, with there being restrictions to who can receive the dole and how accessible it is, not having a sustainable income is going to drive people away from starting a career in music.

As The Guardian article states,

“It… means that new voices are blocked from emerging… It takes heroic commitment to become a composer if you’re from a working class background, with higher education courses charging fees in the thousands of pounds and remuneration for your compositions so low.”

Cutting the dole, making it harder for people to access it removes the possibility of people abusing the system but it also punishes people who rely on it so that they can contribute to the arts and culture industry.

We need to keep the welfare system as it is so that people can continue to add to the cultural landscape in Australia or we risk living in a society where arts and music is created by only those who can afford it.