CoMA has commissioned over 380 works across 30 years. We primarily commission instrumental and vocal works in an open-scored, flexible format. Works written in a flexibly-scored format mean that the parts are not instrument-specific; instead, the composer specifies the range of the instruments (for example, high, medium and low) and it is up to each ensemble to distribute the parts to suitable players. Instrumental parts are provided in a range of transpositions.
Open Score works are suitable for ensembles of varying sizes and instrumentation, making them accessible to many different types of ensembles. Writing in a flexibly-scored format also allows for a variety of interpretations of a single work.
Learn more about approaches to CoMA Open Score writing below from composers Diana Burrell and Howard Jones.
CoMA hosts an ongoing call for pieces for open-score pieces. Works submitted should consider CoMA’s Open Score Guidelines, provided below.
CoMA is particularly looking for artistically exciting, yet technically accessible works for flexible ensembles including amateur players. Submissions are welcome from composers of any age and nationality. Selected works will be available for performance by CoMA ensembles and included in the CoMA Music Catalogue, which will promote them worldwide.
Submissions are assessed by the CoMA music panel on artistic strength, suitability for performance by amateur musicians and legibility. In order to submit a work, complete a submission form and copyright form and send with the score in PDF format to email@example.com.
The Partsong Project
The Partsong Project is central to CoMA’s aims, responding to a need to create a repertoire of flexible pieces for multiple (but solo) voices. The paradigm of a small group of people singing together – the chanson, the madrigal, the partsong – is one of the most archetypal in Western music, yet little contemporary repertoire exists in this form for amateur or non-specialist singers.
The project sets out to create a repertoire that addresses this lack. Although described as ‘partsongs’, we are not seeking backwards-looking pieces, but instead wish to cultivate new repertoire that is absolutely 21st-century in spirit.
We believe there is a real need for this repertoire and the possibilities it offers to make a real impact on amateur, student and even professional music-making. We see many contexts in which really high-quality work of this nature will flourish, from campus to concert hall and as such, the CoMA Partsong collection aims to be the catalyst for an entirely new vocal scene to emerge.
Specifically, submissions should be 3-5 minutes in length for 3-6 voice parts in Open Scoring. We are looking for fresh, exploratory, experimental approaches to the vocal medium (not a traditional-style partsong) and welcome non-conventional notation, unusual vocal techniques, speech, movement, auxiliary instruments etc.
Open Scoring means that the pieces should be non-specific with regard to voice-part, and therefore suitable for any group of voices available: male/female division is acceptable if necessary, but nothing more specific.
Bear in mind that voices may or may not be trained, and reading ability may or may not be strong: successful pieces will cater for the wide range of abilities and experience within CoMA and beyond.
CoMA is looking to increase our collection of vocal repertoire, and hosts an ongoing open call for flexibly scored vocal partsongs. All works submitted are assessed by a vocal panel, headed by Janet Oates. Works of particular merit will be promoted through CoMA’s online music catalogue.
In order to submit a vocal work, please complete the submission form below and send with the score in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
CoMA provides ongoing development opportunities for composers at all levels to learn about open-score writing, and extend their their skills. Please visit CoMA’s ‘Projects‘ page to find out more.