Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)


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What is your motivation for composing?

It will not be re-recorded. The primary exceptions are songs that play over the credits at the beginning or the end of a big Hollywood movie; the opening or closing of a TV show; or a song included in a commercial. In these instances, a new version of the song might be recorded. For example, Celine Dion might be hired to record the song to be used as the credits roll during the sequel to Titanic. This is sometimes referred to as broadcast quality. Many people can, and much of the music heard on TV shows and in movies is indeed produced in home studios.

To generate recordings that sound good enough to be placed in television shows and films, you need the capability to record, engineer, and mix your own tracks to the professional standard—as well as create and execute the parts and performances that the best musicians and singers can perform. Thanks to the Internet, top-notch musicians and vocalists are available to you regardless of where you live. By searching online you can find musicians and singers who will record in their own studios and send you the files.

The music supervisor meets with the director to identify where songs might augment and underscore the emotion of the scenes, as well as to identify the source music that is needed, such as songs coming from a car radio or a jukebox. Most music supervisors compile enormous amounts of music from artists, writers, and music publishers. They review the songs in their catalog that they believe might work for the current project, and they put the word out to music publishers, writers and artists with whom they have established relationships.

After narrowing down the options, they present the director with multiple choices for each place that music is needed.

Songwriting For Dummies

Music libraries sometimes referred to as production music libraries are essentially music publishers, but instead of pitching songs to recording artists, they pitch and license songs and instrumental pieces for television shows, movies, commercials, and video games. The top music libraries have catalogs comprised of tens of thousands of songs and instrumental cues. Some of the larger music libraries contract composers to provide large quantities of material; other companies acquire music one composition at a time.

When choosing a company to work with, one consideration is the length of time your song will be tied up.

When you place a song with a music library, the contract will usually have a time limit—for example, two, three, or five years. Another important consideration is whether the agreement is exclusive or nonexclusive. For nonexclusive deals, the music library typically re-titles your song and registers the new title with your performing rights organization. This allows the PRO to identify the placements that the library secured—and pay them only for those.

The sync license and master use license are often each referred to as a side. In many instances, the sync and the master use licenses are combined into an all-in license. This simplifies the licensing process, and one payment is typically made for both the sync fee and the master use fee.

How To Make Money As A Songwriter (Songwriting 101)

In most instances, the fees for both sides are equal. In addition to money earned from sync and master use licensing, after television shows air, the performing rights organizations pay a performance royalty to the publishers and songwriters.

SONGWRITER

The amount of performance royalties earned when a song airs on TV is determined by factors including: the licensing fees paid by the station with major networks paying the highest fees ; the length of the music cue; how the song is used; whether it is vocal or instrumental; and the time of day that it airs. Note that when songs included in movies play in theaters, performance royalties are paid only for screenings outside the U. However, if the movie subsequently airs on television, the songs and instrumental cues in its soundtrack do earn performance royalties.

Songs and instrumental pieces represented by music supervisors, and those included in music libraries, typically must be pre-cleared —meaning that all copyright owners agree to—and have the right to—issue synchronization and master use licenses. However, it is not a problem to include pre-recorded loops that come with programs such as Garageband. You paid for the studio, the engineer, the musicians, and the vocalists—so now you own the finished recording, and have the right to license it for inclusion in TV and films—right?

Not necessarily. If you recorded the song in your home studio, played or programmed all the instruments, and sang the vocals, you clearly have the right to license your recording. The solution is to have all musicians, vocalists, and producers sign a work for hire agreement —a document that you and the performers sign, stating that in exchange for payment, you own all rights to the performance—including the right to license the recording for television and film, and that the performer is not entitled to any additional compensation.

As an incentive, you might consider offering to pay your vocalist a percentage of any income you earn from master use licensing. Your option is to upgrade their payment according to the rules prescribed by their union. Presuming you can pre-clear your songs and recordings, you will want to get them to music supervisors and music libraries. Music libraries acquire a tremendous amount of their material from independent songwriters and composers meaning writers who are not signed to publishing deals and from artists who produce their own independently released CDs.

Therefore, many of them are open to receiving unsolicited material. It is typically tougher to find an open door with a music supervisor—unless you have established credits. An online search will yield listings of music libraries. Fair Use is a much more dicey proposition than many would have you believe. There has been an increase in lawsuits RE Fair Use — with most of the judgments falling in favor of the copyright owners.

You can always hire a music supervisor — their job is to pursue ALL types of music rights. But truly, just write a lyric and suggest a style to it. Please note the date refers only to US lyricists. For any other country you must check on the details of both the copyright detail, and the life of the writer. Most countries worked to the life plus 50 years terms of the Berne Convention long before the US got round to signing up Since the term has changed to life plus 70 years in most countries.

So long as these are neither the exact words nor with only minor changes there should be no problem. Reflecting on a song poses few hazards — and those are mostly about libellous statements! I would very much like to know the correct current legal interpretation on this subject. I did quote a lyric in one of my e-books, and treated it as I would any other quote, i. Which should be a win win situation. When quoting lyrics, I feel, that this is the right approach, i.

You can mention titles of songs as much as you want. However, in my debut novel, there were a few tunes for which I wrote my own lyrics. If you can assume that your readers know the song, then you can assume that the songwriter already has publicity, and would rather have the money. I am a songwriter. I emailed the official fan club and got in touch with a lovely lady who asked Tony Clarkin who wrote the song if I could do that. He agreed and all he wanted in return was for me to acknowledge him as the author of those lyrics. It all depends on who the copyright belongs to I suppose, but I was really pleasantly surprised not to mention very grateful by how easy going he was about it.

So as a first recourse, just ask.


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I sent him a signed copy of the book as a small thank you. What if the lyric is lifted from something else that is already in the public domain? I wanted him to sing one line from a Jim Croce song — just one line. What makes song lyrics so special?

Songwriting: Music Pro Guides by Weissman, Dick | eBay

Napster, Limewire, DRM — the RIAA is a greed-driven entity that caters to the egos of the ultra-famous and those who want to be, so they have a mandate to keep every penny in the right pocket, and all the music publishing companies act in the same way. Once a song falls out of rotation on the radio, and CD sales fade, its profitability is only in things like covers, or book quoting. If you were to quote a whole chapter of a book you would have to get permission and pay.

Proportionally, that is the same as quoting a line or verse of a song. I get that mentioning the song title is fine, what about mentioning the band name along with song title? Is this okay? Just want to clarify, thank you. I believe mentioning the band is just fine. Question is whether I can still say her daughter was names after Stevie Nicks, as the song is playing on their radio. Must I add Procol Haram?

From reading this blog, I believe I do. How about paraphrasing the story of song? I quote title, author and singer then I paraphrase the story of the song and do not use actual lyrics. I use song lyrics a few times in my unpublished book.

Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)
Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)
Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)
Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)
Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)
Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)
Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)
Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)
Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides) Songwriting: The Words, the Music, and the Money, 2nd edition (Music Pro Guides)

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