How To Publish Pop Arrangements for Choirs and A Cappella Groups

J.D. Frizzellcomposition Leave a Comment

“How do I publish my arrangement of *insert pop song*?” 

This is one of the most common questions I’m asked.

There are a few ways to do it, but none of them are very realistic.  Therefore, I’m only going to tell you about the best method BY FAR to get your arrangement of a pop song published, ArrangeMe from SheetMusicPlus.  (Updated 12/4/18– Noteflight, also purchased by Hal Leonard, offers similar benefits)

Here’s how ArrangeMe works:

  1. Create an SMP Press Account. Don’t worry– it’s free and easy.
  2. You find a piece from their pre-approved list of over 1,000,000 songs.  Yes, it has to be on this list or they will not approve it.
  3. Copy and paste the full copyright onto your Finale, Sibelius, or Noteflight file’s first page.
  4. Upload your PDF using the “Add a Product” button.
  5. Add information like categories, description, mp3, price, etc.  I highly recommend uploading an mp3 demo if you have one.  Pieces with recording demos have a 60 percent higher purchase rate than those without.  Choose the choral category plus whatever voicing your arrangement contains.
  6. Submit!  It will take a few hours to a few days for your piece to be approved.

Your piece is now on Sheet Music Plus and can be legally purchased by customers all over the world.

What percentage do you get?  10 percent.

Before you start complaining that 10 percent isn’t very much, remember that the industry standard royalty rate for published compositions is 10 percent and the rate for published arrangements is only 5 percent.  The deal that SMP has set up here is actually quite good (and it’s LEGAL!).

How are they able to do this?  Hal Leonard, the company who owns a majority of pop music print licenses, recently purchased SMP.

As I mentioned earlier, there are other more expensive and much harder ways to publish your pop charts.  However, this is the way that I and many other arrangers like Deke Sharon and Robert Dietz are doing it now.

Check out Deke’s arrangements on SMP

Check out Rob’s arrangements on SMP

See my stuff on SMP

Read the full ArrangeMe FAQ

For Noteflight, the process is similar.  Check out their list of approved songs and get started!

About the Author

J.D. Frizzell

Dr. J.D. Frizzell is an award-winning educator, director, composer, arranger, author, and entrepreneur. He is the Director of Fine Arts at Briarcrest Christian School in suburban Memphis, TN. Winner of the Integrales Composition Contest, Dr. Frizzell has best selling works with dozens of publishing companies. His vocal ensembles have performed at state, regional, and national conferences and have collaborated with numerous GRAMMY winning artists.