Say you were a composer of the mid 18th and early 19th century during the time of composers such as Beethoven and Mozart. How would you go about getting yourself discovered by others?

Was it through family connections or did your tutor set you up?

Also, let's say you had the money back then to hire composers. How did you go about finding someone to hire?

Did you go down to the local theater and pick up the address from a list of composers seeking employment and then send them a letter basically saying "I want you to compose such and such for me, how much will it cost me?"

  • 1
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    – MCW
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 12:07
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    ". . . like most 18th-century musicians, Beethoven was born into the profession." Brittanica. Similarly "Just before [Mozart] was six, his father took him and Nannerl, also highly talented, to Munich to play at the Bavarian court, and a few months later they went to Vienna and were heard at the imperial court and in noble houses." Britanica
    – MCW
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 12:33
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    Were composers really hired as composers? It seems more as though they start out as performers (Mozart, Beethoven) and then compose. Composing seems to be mostly an entrepreneurial activity, like writing, rather than a job one is hired to do.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 16:11
  • Beethoven and especially Mozart were rare exceptions.
    – Jos
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 0:38
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    @Jos: Were they that rare, though? How many people actually worked primarily at composing during their lifetimes? And again, remember that they (and many other famous composers) first made their reputation as musicians, and often added conducting to their work. Some, like Handel, even ran entire opera companies.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 4:13


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