The Artist & Repertoire department of a label or publishing company is responsible for signing composing/songwriting. The A&R person's roles vary depending on the type of publishing company or label. At some, the emphasis is on signing acts with their own material, at others, the main aim is to source suitable songs for pop acts.


Overseeing the collection of royalties where copyrights are used, and ensuring the appropriate payments are made.


A sum of money paid up front to a composer/songwriter/band which will come out of anticipated earnings.


The Association of Independent Music is the organination which represents the independent record labels in the UK.


A version of somebody else's composition, which involves changes to the structure, or a significant alteration to the original.

Blanket License

A license which allows the holder to use all music covered by it, and does not require additional permission from the copyright holder.


The British Phonographic Industry represents the major record companies - EMI, Universal and Warner - as well as some independents.


The electronic database which allows registered compositions to be electronically tracked


Cover Version

A version of somebody else's composition which does not radically alter the form of the original.

Featured Performer

A key musician playing on a recording, for example the guitarist in a rock band.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property law is the set of rules which protect the creator of a specific idea or image, painting, song or written work from it being copied by other people without the creators‘s consent. It is called Intellectual Property because it is a creation of the brain or imagination and the law treats it as property despite the fact it has no physical existence.

Intellectual Property includes copyright, patents, trademarks and industrial designs.  The creation must be written down or recorded in some way in order to be protected and certain rights need to be registered to obtain full protection. A copyright however does not need to be registered to be protected from the moment it is recorded or written down. The creation also needs to have some degree of detail to make it more than just a concept as general concepts or ideas are not protected by Intellectual Property law.


The International Standard Recording Code is embedded in a recording and allows it to be identified internationally throughout its life.


Mastering equalises the sound levels of a recording making it suitable for playing in different devices and preventing speakers being blown.


The final version of a recording, from which copies will be made. Also known as master tapes, although these days the master recording might be on a CD.


Mechanical Royalties

The royalties applicable when a piece of music is copied.


The adjustment of the different tracks on a recording, making some instruments or vocal louder than others. The final mix had a stonger bass and toned down the trumpet solo.

Moral Rights

The rights of the composer/songwriter, or copyright holder, to refuse the use of their music. For example, not granting permission for a song to be used in an advertisement or by a political party.

Performance Royalties

The royalties paid for music played in public



Production Music

Music made available for audio visual use where no permission is required from the composer/songwriter.


The term used when sufficient royalties have been earned to pay back the advance.


The money paid for the sale and use of a piece of music.


The division of income between two parties. For example, the split between publisher and writer was 25/75.


Where a piece of music is used for audio visual purposes, for example a synch in an advertisement, film or documentary.


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