Jody Hughes Music

Professional digital music engraving to publication standard.

About Me

I grew up in Canada, and trained as a cellist and conductor in the US. I’ve lived in the UK (where I was born) since the 1990s. Although I am also a freelance cellist, I have worked principally as a music editor and engraver for the past fifteen years, for music publishers and composers around the world.

I was trained as an editor and engraver by Elaine Gould, author of the modern bible of music notation Behind Bars, at the time Chief New Music editor at Faber Music. I quickly became a regular editor for Faber, and have contributed to a large number of publications of works by composer such as Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Jonathan Harvey, Oliver Knussen, Anders Hillborg and Thomas Adès.

Digital Music Preparation

Music preparation, which for centuries was done either by hand copying or engraving on copperplate, has become almost entirely computerized over the past forty years, along with most everything else. I use the latest version of Steinberg's Dorico and Avid's Sibelius notation software, which are used by music publishers, arrangers and composers around the world.

You can supply music to me in any of a number of formats, from hand-written manuscript to a midi or musicxml file. The final result is high-quality sheet music, typically supplied in one or more pdf documents ready for printing at home, or by any digital printing company. [More Information]

Editorial Work

As an experienced music editor, I can help to ensure that your musical notation is clear and consistent, reflects professional standards, and also that it matches what the composer or arrange wants to hear.

The editorial process is a collaboration between editor and client. Although it can be done quickly, it requires a bit more time than simply doing note entry and preparing the music for use. It’s an essential step in producing sheet music which will give the best chance of an accurate and trouble-free first performance.


I can act as a proof-reader, comparing the content of the digital version with the source, especially important if the source is a hand-written original, to check that the note entry has been done correctly.


I also make arrangements, especially piano reductions of larger works for vocal scores. Contact me to discuss specific requirements.


Remember that permission for any engraving or arrangement will be necessary from the copyright-holder if the music is not in the public domain. If you are unsure about the copyright status of a piece, I can usually help. If you are the composer, then you don’t need to ask the copyright holder (yourself) for permission.


My hourly rate ranges between £32 and £45 per hour, depending on whether I’m working as an editor, engraver, proofreader, arranger, or some combination of these. But I prefer to set a cost for each project as a whole, which won’t change if the scope of the project remains unchanged, to avoid uncertainty for both my clients and me. In order to do this, I need to look through the material, and have a clear idea of exactly what is required.

To know how much your project will cost, please send me a copy of the music (but never send the original!). A digital version is quickest and easiest: scans of reasonably high resolution, or smartphone photos of each page are fine. (If the files are too large to email, you can use one of the free file transfer services.)

Once I’ve seen the music, I may have a few questions, and then I’ll be in touch with a list of what I think needs to be done, and a bottom-line cost. When everything is agreed, I can start.

What if something changes?

Sometimes in the midst of a project your requirements can change: the number of pieces in a collection may change, or perhaps significant revisions are made to the music after I’ve started work. If I think that the changes will significantly alter the amount of work I need to do, then we may need to revisit the project cost, and agree a way forward. But this happens only very rarely.

I usually invoice at the end of a project, and payment by bank transfer, Paypal, or cheque is perfectly fine.

Contact Me

Jody Hughes Music

Email me with your requirements, or any questions that you have: [javascript protected email address]

It's quickest and usually easiest to attach a digital version of the material you want me to look at, but if you prefer, you can post it to me at the address below. (Please do not post the only copy of your work!)

Jody Hughes Music
7 Willow Grove
Nayland, Colchester
Great Britain

Please do not post the only copy of your work!

  07561 523535

  [javascript protected email address]