September 12, 2016

#MusicMonday // What You Learn as a Music Business Minor

Coming at you with another #MusicMonday post! Today I'm talking about what you learn in school as a music business minor. Not a lot of universities offer this major/minor— actually, I think my school was the first to offer this course of study— so it's a pretty unique discipline. As a music business minor, I have to take 12 total credits (four three-credit classes), which isn't bad.  If you want to work in music, too, or you're just curious about the classes I take as a MBEI minor, I wrote this for you!


Music copyright 
There is an unholy amount of information on music copyright. Did you know that the owner of a song (the sheet music/lyrics) often does not own the master recording? Usually, the record label owns the rights to the song, and the publisher owns the rights to the master recording. So, in layman's terms, if you go and obtain permission from a record company to use a song, but you don't obtain permission from the publisher for the sample you intend to use... you can, and probably will, get sued. How do you avoid a lawsuit? A license. Compulsory licenses, public performance licenses, mechanical licenses, synchronization licenses.... So. Many. Licenses.

Live music and arts industry
One of my classes last semester combined an overview course of the recorded music industry with a music business/entrepreneurship course, so I got a taste of another course that I'll be taking in the spring (Artist Development and the Live Entertainment Industry). I found this topic really interesting because it pertained to my internship at the time, which involved booking bands for events at a local museum and assisting with contracts and promotion. We went over what goes into putting together a music festival; the relation between venues, non-profits, and artists; the organizational structure of the live performance industry; and the connection between artist management and artists.  

Entertainment industry contracts
I won't lie: this is not a course I'm looking forward to, but it's either this one or a 500-level recorded music operations course, which is definitely not happening. I have a very loose understanding of contracts, but I know that a good contract in the entertainment industry, as with any good contract, must specify any possible contingencies and provide for everything from how/if the venue will promote events to equipment provided to even how behavior backstage will go.

I hope this bit of insight into my minor was interesting! 

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