Want to Publish Your Music? Use Silver Clef Music.
Silver Clef Music is where you want to be. We offer the most generous commission schedule available, but we are selective about our listings, concerning both the “musical value” of our submissions and the professionalism with which they are presented.
This page will give you a summary of our guidelines, with links to pages detailing more explicitly what these guidelines are and how to follow them. There will also be a link through which you can submit your work, once you feel you have met all the guidelines.
Types of Music We Publish
Silver Clef Music was founded principally on band music, specifically music for concert bands and marching bands. We have branched out to include music for band instruments, such as brass quintets, trombone quartets, flute ensembles, clarinet ensembles, etc., and keyboards. However, we are willing to consider just about any kind of music, provided it meets our quality and format guidelines.
We understand quality is usually a subjective thing. Each person has different tastes. That being said, we reserve the right to reject (or return for rewrite) any submissions that in our view do not meet minimum standards for quality and originality.
For example, one of the first submissions we rejected was a brass quintet arrangment of “You’re A Grand Old Flag” done entirely with I, IV and V chords. If you’re considering submitting music, then you should know what that means. Try playing that tune using only those chords and you’ll see why we rejected it.
To meet our quality guidelines, arrangements and original works must have bass lines and accompanying chords (where applicable) that fit appropriately with the principal melody line. Strange is okay. Weird is even okay. Awkward is not okay.
Bottom line, anything we accept must sound good.
To sound good, it must (well, should very probably) follow all the rules of music theory – they are rules for a reason.
As we said, it’s a subjective thing, and it will be our judgement call as to whether a submission meets our musical quality requirements.
Format of Submissions
PDF FORMAT: We require all submissions to be in well-laid-out PDF format. You can find our guidelines for formatting submissions here.
AUDIO FILES: Additionally, we believe that potential purchasers will be much more inclined to purchase a work if they can hear it before they buy it. To that end, you should be aware that your submission has a much greater chance of being accepted if you accompany it with either an audio or video where people can hear what it sounds like.
The acceptable ways of submitting these ways for prospective customers to hear the music are, in order of preference:
- A link to a well-produced YouTube video of a live performance
- A link to a well-produced audio file on SoundCloud of a live performance
- A well-produced MP3 audio file of a live performance
- A link to an amateur YouTube video of a live performance
- An amateur MP3 audio file of a live performance
- A computer rendering of the score done through Finale with Garritan Instruments
- A computer rendering of the score done through a notation program using MIDI instruments
- A MIDI file of the score
Note the higher up that list you go, the more likely your submission is to be accepted, and the more likely it is that a prospective customer will actually buy your work.
PROGRAM NOTES: It will also enhance your chances of your submission being accepted and your work being purchased if you will include some Program Notes about the work and yourself as writer/arranger. Please see our Program Notes page for guidance on this.
You must own the copyright to any work you submit.
This means it must be your original work OR it must be a derivative work (arrangement) of verifiable public domain material OR you must submit documents giving you permission to create a derivative (arrangement) of a copyrighted work, from the copyright administrator of that work.
There will be no exceptions to this requirement.
Purchasers frequently like to know some details about the people who write the music they buy.
Therefore, it would also be good if you could make sure you provide us with a headshot photo and a biographical sketch of who you are, your musical career, any awards you have won, and anything else you’d like to share with your potential customers.
Pricing and Commission Structure
You get to set the price on whatever you submit.
If you like, you can give your work away by setting the price as $0.
We suggest a price of under $50 for arrangements or transcriptions you make of others’ work, based on how much effort and creativity you have put into it.
For example, we have a listing of “Alamo March” by Will Huff that does little more than format the march onto concert-sized music instead of march-sized, and homogenize dynamics and articulations. The price on this one is $25.
A different example is our arrangement of Sousa’s “Liberty Bell,” which is specifically arranged to feature a guest bell-ringer, and adds a brand new countermelody in the trio. This one will be listed at $45.
For original works, we suggest a price of $55 and up, depending on length and effort taken to create it.
Whatever price you set, you will receive 70% of the revenue received for all sales of the tune. To receive this rate, you must furnish us with publication-quality PDFs of your work (all scores and all parts) and an audio or video file (or link to such) that we can post on the listing page. Including program notes and bio info will enhance the probabililty of your getting a sale.
At this time, all payments are accepted through PayPal, which charges a small fee for each transaction. Whatever the net receipt is for any sale, you will get 70% of that, and Silver Clef will keep 30% as our administrative fee.
If Silver Clef Music is required to do, or even help you with ANY of the above (PDFs, sound files, program notes, etc.), your royalty payments will decrease from 70%, depending on the amount of work required.
For example, if we have to create a condensed and/or a compressed score, or if we have to reformat any parts according to our Engraving and PDF Guidelines, that will decrease your royalty percentage. For example, if we have to produce or find the audio or video rendition, that would be another reason for altering the royalty schedule. You can maximize your royalty percentage by taking care of as much of making your work publication-ready as possible.
For an explanation of why our base percentage starts at 30%, please see Work Involved In Adding Works to our Catalog.
We do have a limited staff, so the more complete your submission is, the greater the chance we will accept it for publication.
Finally, you will receive your payments more quickly if you can furnish us with a PayPal account to which we can transfer the money.
The button below will take you to the form through which you can submit your work.