Public funding

Public funding plays an important role in the creation of new musical works

In their survey of a sample of practising professional composers and performing musicians, Throsby & Zednik found that composers were more likely than performing musicians to apply for a grant and be successful.

Grants are often linked with the creation of new works, and Throsby and Zednik found that grant income is more significant for composers than for performing musicians. Composers’ grant and prize earnings represented 10 percent of all composing income. In contrast, for the performing musicians in the study, grants, prizes and fellowships represent just one percent of their creative income.

In terms of Australia Council funding specifically, Throsby and Zednik report that 11 percent of professional performing musicians and 22 percent of composers applied for Australia Council funding at some point during the five years up to 2009 – a smaller proportion than most other art forms. Despite this, the large population of musicians means the Music Board receives amongst the highest number of applications of any art form board.