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The Composer Toolkit
Please send an updated biography to ACA for publication on your gallery web page. We also need a good quality photograph of you to scan (can be returned to you), or a high-res (300dpi) jpeg image by email. Make sure ACA has your updated email address and website information, to keep your ACA page listing current. Your approved web-format photo will work as a substitute, if a high res photo is not available.
These guidelines are for members of ACA whose music is published and distributed by American Composers Edition (BMI).
Upon completing a score, including editing and proofreading, it is necessary to register the new title with BMI for tracking performances. In order to do this, fill out the ACA New Work Registration Form, and send it to ACA at info [at] composers [dot] com.
Once received, ACA will complete the BMI registration on your behalf, and ACA will also add this title to the ACA online database in your works list at http://composers.com/composerlist. Current members can also add titles, notes, and edit their composition info online.
Your scores need to be formatted in a way that is clear and easy for performers and conductors to read.
Please deposit to ACA a printing master that is clear to read, properly sized and formatted, and unbound, or a PDF file.
You have 2 format choices for submitting scores to ACA.
1. If you submit a paper score master, it will eventually be deposited into Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland - ACA Collection.
2. If you submit a PDF digital image file, it will be deposited into the ACA digital scores collection, and made available for sale or rental, and used as a master for printed order requests. PDF files may also be offered as electronic download for sale. Your signing of the updated Grant of Rights can stipulate your instructions to ACA for this service.
If you have a large number of electronic files to submit, contact ACA for access to our secure ftp upload webpage for your scores and mp3 files.
Paper copies - must be single sided master quality pages of score, parts, text. These materials can be digitally scanned by ACA, at your request, for an hourly or per-score fee.
Please do not send bound "rental" copies of your music scores and parts to ACA.
ACA requires single side "camera ready" master sheets in order to provide professional copies of your music to customers.
PDF files must be high resolution taken directly from Finale or other software. If you have to scan your music, please have it done professionally or ask ACA about doing this for you.
Staff lines, notes, and text need to be absolutely clear, without any blurring, in order to be useful to performers. Resolution settings should be 600dpi scanning directly to PDF, or 300-400 dpi for raster (tif,jpeg) scanning on your home flatbed scanner.
TITLE PAGES AND FRONT MATERIAL IN YOUR SCORE
*** More information in your scores will enhance the value and interest of your work***
- For works with poetry texts, please include the full printed text in your score, separate from the underlay, and be sure to credit the author or poet on the title page, even if it is yourself.
- Every use of a text or translation that has been written since 1923 needs to have permission granted to you by the copyright holder before you have permission to set the text into your musical work. The permission should be in writing from the author, estate, or publisher. Try to obtain permission to perform the text with the music publicly and to record it, so that you don't have to go back for additional permissions later on. The permissions and text credit information should appear on the page with the printed text.
- Your title page itself should contain the title exactly as it should appear in a formal concert program, including appropriate capitalization and diacritical markings, along with movement titles in their order. There should be a page number given where each movement begins, like a table of contents.
- If your work requires audio or visual playback, specific instructions on the use of the recorded material-format should be given in your score, and a copy of the accompanying material should be provided to ACA with the score. Imagine that someone is looking at your score 50 to 60 years from now, and create instructions and descriptions that are more general and universal.
- Your score should indicate the approximate duration for each of the movements, in addition to the total duration of the work. This will help get your piece programmed. Indicate if individual songs or movements can be performed as stand-alone pieces.
- Other information to include in your score: story source material (if any), dedications, for whom the piece was composed, if anyone specifically, info about recordings of the work, and details of instrumentation, including number of percussion players, and whether a conductor is required, if not already obvious.
- For instrument abbreviations and score order, please consult this instrumentation document.
- Any special instructions, special equipment, special effects to be used, as well as special staging or dramatic movement should be mentioned in the opening front matter of your score. If there are any deviations from standard notation, an explanation should appear following the instrumentation page.
- If ACA is the designated publisher or distributor of a particular work, you need to deposit a copy of the score and any and all required performance materials to ACA together with the registration, or immediately following a premiere performance for which the registration has already been done, and after final edits are made.
- ACA can no longer list items on its website www.composers.com that are not published by ACA or available for immediate purchase. We try to avoid leading customers and researchers into a hopeful and then ultimately dead end search situation. ACA also may not be able to contact you or your estate every time we receive a question about your music, so please remember to deposit all revised materials at the time they are ready. ACA might not be able to locate you and your score materials in time to provide timely requested materials for performers and other customers.
- If there is a recording of your work available, please submit this to ACA via audio CD, downloadable mp3 link, or by ftp transfer of mp3 files.
Scores should be printed on paper that is 11 x 17" (Ledger or Tabloid) or smaller, with at least .5 to 1 inch of white space around the edges of the music. Page numbers must be inside this margin. Leave a generous amount of blank space on all margin sides. This will enable a clean copy or scan to be made for any future re-printings of your music. Re-formatting PDF files to accommodate necessary printing margins or special hand-placement scanning jobs may incur fees to your composer account with ACA.
Most conductors and performers prefer portrait, not landscape format. Very few conductors want to use legal size or 8.5 x 14 format for orchestra or choral scores. Please format to letter size, or enlarge to 9 x 12, 10 x 13, 11 x 14, 11 x 15, or 11 x 17--all of which are more desirable in almost every case than is the legal size format.
Don't try to squeeze a piece for full orchestra onto a legal-size page template.
Writing names of instruments, important instructions or page numbers in the margin or near the edges of the paper is risky, as this is easily cut off in print duplication.
Remember, odd numbered pages should be on the front (right) side of the page. Page 1 is your title page. If necessary, insert blank sheets to keep odd numbered pages on the right side. Work out your measures layout such that the page turns are optimized for the performers.
FILE NAMES: When you save a file to your computer, whether it is a Finale, PDF, mp3, etc. Please start the file name with your surname, followed without any space or punctuation by the title. Truncate as needed, to keep the file name to a useable length of not more than 12 or 15 characters. Example: HowePrism.pdf or SaccoSonataBsTbnpart.mp3
If you email a file that does not have your name at the start, it can get lost after being downloaded by the recipient. Name your score and parts files carefully.
COVERS: If you are distributing your own ACA-published scores, please use an official ACA cover (see example here) available by download in the various size formats at the end of this page. The files are MS Word compatible, and must be saved (downloaded) to your own computer. Once you open it on your own computer, click in the title area to activate the text box, with title page information that you edit for your own scores and then re-save with a new title to your own computer. These can be printed as such or converted to PDF. Thanks to Jack Melby for working on these covers for us!
CONTACT INFO: Be aware that ACA is no longer listing its address and phone number on score covers. Our website URL and EMAIL is sufficient for contact information. Please revise your own cover templates to reflect this, as it is confusing to performers who try to contact us, or to order scores by contacting an old ACA mailing address. We are doing our best to revise addresses on your previously submitted score materials.
At the bottom center of your first page of music, we require this line:
Copyright 2012 Composer's Name; Publishing license granted to American Composers Alliance, Inc. (BMI)
If you are making your own covers, the following information is required at the bottom of the score front cover:
If you are a composer who logs in and edits your works on your composers.com works list, we thank you very much for taking control and being involved in this important process.
**However, please be aware that anything you write into the fields of the work record in "Publish Composition" mode will be viewable by the public. These fields are not intended for you to write notes to ACA. Any comments to ACA should be sent by email to info [at] composers [dot] com separately. Any member who mis-uses the online database consistently may lose login privileges. ACA is able to make changes to your ACA webpage at your request.
|Orchestra Librarian Score guidelines (MOLA)||77.63 KB|
|Text agreement template||114.04 KB|
|Instrument abbreviations we use at ACA, score order||657.2 KB|