Trevor A. Edwards Creative Page

The business of PUBLISHING is concerned with developing, protecting and valueing music.

The business is diverse and demands a variety of skills. These range from the ability to spot writing talent and original music that is likely to appeal to an audience, to ensuring that all uses of music are properly licensed and paid for. Music publishers play a vital role in the development of new music and in taking care of the business side, allowing composers and songwriters to concentrate on their creative work.

The role of a music publisher involves:Finding new and talented songwriters and composers and encouraging and supporting them as they develop their skills, whether through helping with opportunities for improvement, providing them with the facilities they need to produce music or offering advice and guidance in writing for particular markets;

The business of publishing is dependent upon there being a strong copyright framework in place. The control of copyright enables a publisher to recover the investment made in songwriters and composers and to ensure that they are rewarded for their creative work. Without copyright there would be no financial incentive for music publishers to invest in songwriters, composers and musical works. This would be to the detriment of these creative people who depend upon publishers to manage the business of exploiting musical works and administering royalty payments.

The relationship between a music publisher and a songwriter/composer is supported by a publishing contract setting out the rights and obligations of each to the other. Under these contracts songwriters and composers assign the copyright of their music to the music publisher in return for a commitment to promote, exploit and protect that music. The publisher agrees to pay the songwriter/composer a percentage of any income earned from such exploitation as royalties.

Licensing your music for use with television, film, advertising, websites, video games and other multimedia will open up your listening audience, provide revenue and introduce a degree of professionalism to your career that attracts the notice of industry reps and A&R.

A music publisher should have:

  • an excellent ear for music
  • thorough knowledge of musical notation
  • good judgment and understanding of what might appeal to particular audiences
  • negotiating skills and a head for business
  • a good grasp of copyright law
  • an interest in the changing trends in new music

Trevor Edwards
WMCAC MUSIC Publishing (ascap)
1 868 312-1121 (Trinidad) 1 646 202-9057 (USA)

Updated:  October 18, 2014

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