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Music Business

Music Business Exam Number One The music publishing industry at a glance would seem to be those who print sheet music, method books, lead sheets, and all of the texts or notated music that musicians (and those aspiring to be musicians) use. Years ago, this was what most music publishers did, but as the industry has evolved the process that become much more complex. Music is not just ink and paper, intellectual material and property to the individual who writes it. Therefore the song does not become “a song” when it is written down. This is not an easy concept to grasp because the song by itself has no physical makeup. A song could exist once it is played for the first time, and songs can even exist inside the mind of a songwriter. This concept is why the publishing business can be so complex; we are dealing with intellectual property.The heart of the music publishing business lies in the rights to the original music. After the music is successful enough to financially support itself the music is printed in mass quantities in a variety of ways. This could be everything from guitar tabs to choral arrangements for a junior high choir. The publisher’s main source of income is through record royalties, performance royalties received from companies like the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) for performances of music copyrighted by the publisher. These royalties could be from many different types of performances but most are though radio and songs on television. The success of a songwriter lies in the greatly in the hands of his/her publisher. Normally we hear of a band’s success when they are “signed” with a record deal, but most record companies not only produce and promote an album, they also act as the publisher who, when contracted, owns the rights to the music. ...

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