Orchestral Music Score Transcription

Our staff is capable of producing accurate Orchestral Music Score transcriptions from recorded material.

Score Transcription

Music Transcription is a two-step process.

The first phase, known as “takedown” in the jargon of the industry, involves pencil and paper and as many repeated listenings as it takes to transcribe individual parts accurately.

Takedown is billed as hourly work at $75/hr (in conformity with the Orchestrator’s rate sheet from Local 802-NY of the American Federation of Musicians).

The second phase is music copying (also known as ‘engraving’), consisting of the entry of the pencil transcription into music notation software, which can then output the score and the individual parts.

Billing RatesTranscribed Orchestral Music

Orchestral transcription has traditionally billed at double the orchestration rate (rather than the lower copying/engraving page rate). It’s painstaking work.

We actually enjoy this work, so we base our services on the Orchestration rate without the multiplier. Orchestration billing is based on the number of bars, as determined in the initial estimate using the factors of time and tempo. By determining the tempo using a metronome, and the time signature by listening to the music, we determine the likely total number of bars in the piece. The base rate we work from is 72¢/bar times the number of instrument staff lines, based on the Orchestration rate sheet. For more than 10 staff lines, the per-bar estimate rate is 60¢/bar.

Transcription time estimates vary depending on the density of the material. For orchestral material, a rule-of-thumb is one hour of transcription time per one minute of recorded music.

Please allow us to quote your next transcription project!

About Jon Burr

Jon Burr is a composer, arranger, producer, recording engineer, bandleader, bassist, and educator from Yonkers, NY.. and a Finale user since 1996. As owner/operator of Arranger for Hire, he serves music arranging and production customers from around the world. A veteran touring bassist, his performance credits include Tony Bennett, Buddy Rich, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Eartha Kitt, Rita Moreno, The Hot Swing Trio, Stephane Grappelli and many others. Arranging customers have included the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Chilean Astronomy Society, The Milpitas Community Concert Band, The Honey Taps, The Montclair Kimberly Academy’s annual musical, and many others. He writes for and leads his own ensembles, including the Jon Burr Quintet. His arrangements for Swedish YouTube artist Kim Andersson have received over 5 million views on Facebook and YouTube.