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Tom Hughes



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Writing arrangements or compiling a music book from sheet music (music engraving/scoring) is less costly than writing from transcribed material. If there’s no sheet music, I need to do the transcription first, and this time needs to be factored into the bill.  I use sibelius software to provide the finished score and this can be sent in pdf or paper format.



2019 Music transcription fees vary on the internet from £55 per hour of work to £20 per minute of music (melody/chords) or £5 per bar of music.  Music engraving fees alone range from £10-£20 per page of music.


Music transcription is painstaking work, and I aim to do it well.  I consider my rates extremely fair, based on negotiated rates between the Musician's Union and American Federation of Musicians.  My rates are as follows:

£30 per hour - transcription from audio

£20 per page - engraving (scoring from written manuscript)

£100 - transcription of a one off lead sheet or song (up to 2 pages)


I specialise in the transcription & engraving of folk & traditional music,  lead sheets, easy choir arrangements and depending on workload, I will consider easy piano & band arrangements.  A Lead sheet is very simple to follow, but can include a lot of information:




   Song structure



A 48 page tune book of 55 tunes - transcription & scoring (melody line & chords) capped to 2 hours per tune/song.

Design of music book (cover, contents, intro, images, conversion of scores to pdf and placing into book format) - capped at 10 hours

Editing - capped at 4 hours

Barcode & registration on international publications database £50

Copies of 2 sample books £15 - saddle stiched & ring binding


I can offer special rates to folk musicians looking to release a music book of their work.  This would be a joint venture, with myself as publisher (the person that prepares, and issues “printed” original works, compositions and musical arrangements.  This work includes music transcription and engraving/scoring) and keeping some control of the printed publication -  and a way of making back the revenue in the long-term!   So, a project simliar to the example would require a fee in advance of work - usually 50% of the quote provided.   All books to be ordered direct from me (min order of 100).  Books printed on 120gsm paper with colour 300gsm cover - saddle stitched.


Book will include complete design, editing, barcode & registration to international publication database (worth £50 alone), covers, introduction, contents, photos/illustrations (if required) and of course the tunes/songs in melody line and chords format.  Plus, submission to the British Library and 5 others in UK, Ireland & Wales.   A big project such a this could take anything from 6-12 months if transcription is involved aswell as engraving.  If written manuscript is provided, I will base costs at my engraving rate only and completion time should be less!   EACH PROJECT IS INDIVIDUAL &  ALWAYS HAPPY TO NEGOTIATE.  PLEASE ENQUIRE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.