Working for Bärenreiter
“What does a music publisher actually do?”
That is a question often put to those working in the industry. “A music publisher prints music” is the one thing which people seem to know about it. However that is true only in very few cases, for hardly any music publisher today still has its own printing facilities.
According to German Publishing Law, a publishing house is responsible for “the reproduction and dissemination of works of literature and music”. First of all however, a decision must be made about which works will suit a publishing house and the “market”. An important assessment now begins, for the “goods” are not transient things such as screws or jelly beans but cultural property. The decision to take either a particular work or the whole oeuvre of a composer (living or dead) marks a tradition or establishes a tradition. The attraction for a music publisher lies in the balancing act between culture and the market: ultimately a music publisher is a commercial enterprise which needs to make a profit.
Bärenreiter employs about 160 people in Kassel, London, Prague and Basel, working on different, interrelated tasks to develop its publishing programme as well as to produce music editions and books to sell to its customers; musicians, musicologists, music teachers, music lovers and followers of culture. Approximately 13,700 editions have been published, 9,200 are available for sale and 4,500 as hire material.
In addition to the departments directly associated with publishing (editorial, production, sales and marketing, public relations, rights & licences, warehouse and distribution, hire) the accounts, IT and secretarial departments ensure the smooth handling of operational matters.