Music Submissions - Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to provide a recording?
While helpful for review, a recording is not required. Recordings should be mailed as a clearly labeled CD or e-mailed as an MP3.
How do I protect my music by copyright?
For each title, include the year it was composed at the bottom of the first page. A valid copyright is effected by writing the symbol "©," the year, and the name of the copyright owner on the first page of music. Only the author or proprietor may secure a copyright. The composer(s) must be named in the copyright line, regardless of who submits the manuscript. The word "Copyright" may be used in place of the symbol "©" but the symbol is preferable, as it is internationally recognized. For your own protection this copyright notice should be placed on all copies of your manuscript.
Titles that use text or music from another source (e.g., a hymn text or hymn tune) must include the source (e.g., Hymnal title), the full name of the text writer, composer and/or hymn tune, and complete copyright information. It is the composer's responsibility to research the copyright status and ownership of the text or music including contact info for all copyright holders before submission. See Composition Info Form.
Citations are necessary if using a text from sacred scripture (e.g., John 4:7–15). Include the translation source (e.g. New American Bible (NAB), The Jerusalem Bible, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), Revised English Bible, etc.) and complete copyright information.
Under copyright law the original creator of the text and melody own all derivatives of the work, including translations, arrangements (both choral and instrumental). You must secure permission from the owner, publisher or administrator of the copyright to create any derivative works.
How long will it take to review my work?
OCP makes every effort to review all music submissions in a timely fashion. During convention season and summer months the review process may take longer. Please allow six months from receipt of your submission acknowledgement letter/e-mail to make inquires about the review of your work.
How should I present my submission?
OCP publishes a wide variety of music, for this reason there are several different formats that are acceptable dependent upon a composition’s instrumentation. All music submissions must include:
- Include key/time signature, melody, accompaniment, dynamics and tempo markings
- Be correctly notated in Finale, presented as a PDF or in neatly copied manuscript (do not submit original manuscripts)
- Include full text and music citation including hymn tune sources and copyright info
Find helpful information and submission formatting resources on the Music Submissions page.
If my work is accepted, how long will it take to be published?
Once a composer’s work is accepted, a publishing plan is developed based on current liturgical need; this time varies from 18 months to 3 years.
If published, how will royalties be determined?
All OCP composers are paid at the same contractual rate. In general terms a royalty of 10% of the net receipts of all copies sold is paid to the composer or their estate for the life of the copyright (the copyright lasts until 50 years after the death of the author.) In addition, we pay a 50% royalty of net receipts for licensing of a copyright- protected work to another publisher or for private reprint. Use of public domain or other copyright-protected material may affect overall royalties. Specifics in reference to these matters are determined in detail when a contract is issued.
What happens if my work is not accepted?
All rights to the music remain with the composer during the review process. Should your work not fit our current needs, you will be notified in writing. Due to the large volume of manuscripts received, OCP is unable to return your submission.
Why will OCP only accept three compositions from new composers?
Because of the volume of submissions received we must limit the number of works reviewed per composer. For this reason, we request that you choose three works that best represent your compositional output.