Frequently Asked Questions

Who or what is MAGA Incorporated?

We are a national not-for-profit organisation of freelance professional Music Arrangers, Orchestrators, Music Copyists and Engravers who set and maintain the industry standards for these professions within Australia. We have been in operation since 1961.

Does MAGA Incorporated have a Mission Statement?

  • To advance and protect the professional status and interests of Orchestrators (Music Arrangers), Copyists (Music Type-setters) and Electronic Arrangers throughout Australia.
  • To maintain excellence in the professional standard of Orchestration (Music Arrangement), Copying (Music Type-setting) and Electronic Arrangement throughout Australia.
  • Seek to heighten industry and public awareness of the importance of our national membership's skills.

What is a Guild?

Guilds were very common in the Middle Ages, formed for mutual aid and protection or for a common purpose, most frequently by persons associated in trade or industry. Nowadays, guilds (as distinct from trade unions) are organisations and/or associations of persons with common professional or cultural interests formed for mutual aid and protection.

How is MAGA Incorporated 'governed'?

We are administered by a biennially elected, twelve (12) member National Executive and three (3) Trustees. National Executive Members and Trustees are representative industry professionals from NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.

If you are truly a national organisation, does that mean your MAGA Incorporated's membership has professionals throughout the whole of Australia?

Well nearly. The Guild has music professionals throughout NSW, ACT, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

Can I become a MAGA Incorporated member?

Of course. We have membership categories to suit most needs.

I am currently a music student and have not yet commenced a professional music career in Orchestration (Music Arranging) and/or Music Copying. I am interested to learn more about this industry. Can MAGA Incorporated help me?

The Guild has a tailored membership category for the music student. Whilst studying, you can apply for a Certificate of Merit. Upon successful admission, Certificate of Merit recipients have the opportunity to enter the Guild's trainee professional ranks for the duration of their course (some mentor programs are also available). After which they may further enhance their standing in the industry to a Full Membership.

I am not a professional Orchestrator or Copyist but have an interest in this particular industry. Do you have a facility that would keep me in touch with industry matters and developments?

We have a 'Friends of MAGA Inc.' membership category for both individuals and business partners. Our 'friends' become part of our mailing list and are regularly kept abreast of news and issues pertinent to our industry. The Guild also offers its Corporate 'friends' many targeted marketing benefits.

What is an Orchestrator or Music Arranger?

One who creatively adapts the composer's ideas for performance, by instruments and/or voices via written or computer-generated manuscript.

What is a Copyist, Music Engraver or Music Type-setter?

One who transcribes the individual instrumental and/or vocal parts from a musical score. And often upon request, in reverse, a Copyist will compile a Full Score from written parts. Copyists can also act as proof readers for Composers and Orchestrators (Music Arrangers) .

How does an Electronic Arranger differ from an Orchestrator (Music Arranger)?

The Guild has specifically separated these 2 categories of membership. An Electronic Arranger prepares, adapts, paraphrases, develops, alters or adds to the audio structure of a composition only. An Electronic Arranger is not merely an Orchestrator (Music Arranger) who transfers a written arrangement into an audio file. The Electronic Arranger works solely with sounds.

I have a song that I have composed and I want to get it written down. How do I proceed?

You have come to the right place! You need an Orchestrator (Music Arranger). The Music Arranger will realise your dreams if it is only for a Lead Line with Guitar Chords, a keyboard accompaniment or for any size musical ensemble that you may want.

I have a piece of music that I have composed. How do I go about its copyright?

Copyright of all original music is automatic and protected under Australian law.

I have a piece of music that I need arranged. If this music is to be publicly performed, recorded or published should I bother with copyright?

You must always consider copyright issues! Our members will be able to steer you in the right direction and the appropriate course to take. This often involves seeking permission from the legal copyright holder before any musical arrangement can be undertaken. If in any doubt, directly contact the Australian Copyright Council and/or APRA-AMCOS.

I have a piece of music that I wish to be put into another key. How do I proceed?

This is called 'transposition' and any Music Arranger and/or Music Copyist can readily help you out.

Can you help me with backing tracks of songs?

Sure can. Many of our Orchestrator (Music Arranger) members can prepare any musical combo or style that you desire and in many formats (CD, mp3 etc. etc.).

How do I find the right person for the right job?

We have an online database of members throughout Australia who you can directly contact to discuss your needs. Otherwise please either drop us an email at or telephone the Guild on 1300 132 610 if you require further assistance.

How much does it cost?

MAGA Incorporated has a scale of Recommended Fees that its membership uses as a 'base rate' for Music Copying and Music Arranging in ascertaining charges. (These are available to members only) Whilst this can be mainly viewed as an indication, it is often best to make direct contact with the specialist that you require. Our members will assist you with appropriate quotes for the work intended. Please note that our Recommended Fees are only a cursory guideline for an estimation of costs.

Does MAGA publish music?

Not specifically. But many of our members do. Check out our online database first.