A composer creates, above all. Today’s composers must nevertheless navigate a myriad of factors including commissions, licensing and copyright, distribution and digital streaming, on and on. Perchance in Bach’s day it was easier: toiling in obscurity and poverty, or gaining fame—if not riches—most composers labored under the patronage of a wealthy and influential benefactor. Then again, Bach didn’t have the option of sending a performer MIDI files via Dropbox. Composers in the 21st century possess countless options, although most of us will still be unlikely, except under near-miraculous circumstances, to receive rich recompense for our work. Composing can be rewarding and worthwhile in and of itself, but whether an established or aspiring composer, attention to practical aspects and business details may have a great influence over your ultimate success.
Note: This article first appeared in Classical Guitar magazine's Summer 2017 issue.