Recording and Distribution
Traditional Music Distribution
Once an album, EP or single has been recorded, multiple options are available for the recording to reach the general public. Whether an artist is working independently or with a record label will dictate how funds generated by record sales are distributed.
Digital Music Distribution
Over time, the music industry has migrated towards digital distribution, which now has several outlets:
Music Audience Exchange
According to U.S. Copyright law, a new creative work is copyrighted at the moment of creation and all rights for that work reside with the creators immediately. However, registering your copyrights with the U.S. Copyright office provides a level of proof as to the creation of the work.
Every song contains two copyrights:
1) Musical Composition: consists of music, including any accompanying words, and is normally registered as a work of performing arts. The author of a musical composition is generally the composer and the lyricist, if any. A musical composition may be in the form of a notated copy (for example, sheet music) or in the form of a phonorecord (for example, cassette tape, LP, or CD)
2) Sound Recording: results from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds. The author of a sound recording is the performer(s) whose performance is fixed, or the record producer who processes the sounds and fixes them in the final recording, or both.
Copyright in a sound recording is not the same as, or a substitute for, copyright in the underlying musical composition.
Although they are separate works, a musical composition and a sound recording may be registered together on a single application if ownership of the copyrights in both is exactly the same.
To copyright your work:
All copyright applications are handled through the Library of Congress.
The electronic form eCO is the most current form for song registration.
Please see this list of frequently asked questions regarding copyrights.
Publishing and Liscensing
Music licensing refers to the process of obtaining permission to use a copyrighted work.
More information on music licensing can be found using the resources below:
Performing Rights Resources
Other Music Publishing Resources
HFA is now the nation’s leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry and issues the largest number of mechanical licenses on behalf of its affiliated publishers for the use of music in both physical and digital distribution formats.
SoundExchange is the independent nonprofit performance rights organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties to featured artists and copyright holders.
International Standard Recording Code (ISRC)
The ISRC is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording, independent of the format on which it appears (CD, audio file, etc) or the rights holders involved. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments and is recommended for all music producers by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
- Fundraising & Grants
- Associations & Membership Organizations
- Educational Opportunities
All successful musicians must market themselves to some degree. Whether promoting a new release or upcoming performance, there are several resources that can be considered. Please note that this is not a complete list, but offered as a starting point.
Electronic Press Kit (EPK)
Creating an Electronic Press Kit is the easiest way to compile all the information you’ll need to pass along to venue owners, promoters, producers and agents. Whether you create your own website or use one of the available online templates, your kit could include the following:
- biography or the history of your band
- high quality music samples / downloadable mp3’s (make sure your metadata is complete and correct)
- high resolution color photos
- album cover art
- poster art
- press release (pdf)
- press quote sheet (pdf)
- one sheet (pdf)
- RIYL (“Recommended If You LIke”) list
- contact information for your label, manager, publicist or other representative
Some of the most popular EPK sites include:
Planning a live music event involves plenty of forethought and many communities require permits for such events. See below for permit information in some of Oklahoma’s largest cities. If you do not see your community listed, please contact your local municipality or chamber of commerce for more information.
Artists have a variety of resources available to assist with fundraising for music projects. Depending on the nature and scope of the project, the following are offered as a starting point for artists looking to raise funds for their music projects. Please visit the links below for more information.
Art Deadlines List
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards Programs
BMI Foundation, Inc.
Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
The Frank Huntington Beebe Fund for Musicians
Jazz Masters Fellowship | National Endowment for the Arts
Musical Online | Funding Resources
Music Performance Trust Fund
National Endowment for the Arts
New Music USA
The Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund
Social Services and Financial Assistance | The Actors Fund
United States Artists
If you are looking to access or join an organization with ties to the music industry, please visit the links below for more information.
Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa
Blue Dome Arts District
Country Music Singer’s Association of Oklahoma (CMSA)
Enid Arts Council
Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society
Norman Arts Council
Oklahoma Arts Council
Oklahoma Arts Institute
Oklahoma City Arts Council
Paseo Arts District
Plaza Arts District
Red Dirt Relief Fund (RDRF)
Songwriters Association of Norman
Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (TFMAC)
National Membership Organizations
American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
Americana Music Association
Country Music Association
Folk Alliance International
Gospel Music Association
Harry Fox Agency
International Bluegrass Music Association
National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)
National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP)
National Music Publisher’s Association (NMPA)
Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI)
SAG / AFTRA (American Federation of TV + Radio Artists
Songwriter’s Guild of America
ACM@UCO At ACM@UCO, students connect directly to the music industry through auditions, live performances, showcases and an online database of talent.
Guide to Hearing Loss Prevention Approximately 30 million American workers are exposed to dangerous noise levels at their job – putting them at serious risk of permanent hearing loss and tinnitus over time. Without proper awareness and protection, musicians are especially at risk. Concerts and practice often greatly exceed safe decibel levels. Overtime, this contributes to the loss of a musicians most important asset – their hearing.
Northwestern Oklahoma State University The music program of Northwestern Oklahoma State University prepares students majoring in music to accept the challenge of leadership in music and the arts amid the ever-changing face of society. The dedicated faculty help students experience the highest aesthetic order, thereby empowering graduates to be outstanding performers and dedicated educators.
Northeastern State University NSU’s Music Department has a mission to provide undergraduate education leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree (with options in Musical Arts, Music Business, Performance and Jazz Studies) and Bachelor of Music Education degree.
Oklahoma City Community College OCCC’s two-year Associate Degree program in music develops skills in important areas such as theory, performance and individual and group applied music, all while enjoying modern facilities, including a Kurzweil Electronic Piano Laboratory with individual MIDI stations, practice rooms and a 250-seat theatre for performances.
Oklahoma City University – Wanda L. Bass School of Music With two undergraduate tracks, Oklahoma City University’s Wanda L. Bass School of Music programs are designed to develop comprehensive musical skills and literacy with subjects such as instrumental performance, music theater, vocal performance, music education, composition, music business and piano pedagogy.
Oklahoma State University – Department of Music The Department of Music at Oklahoma State University is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, and is proud to offer a wide variety of degree programs that prepare students as emerging music professionals in a wide variety of career paths.
Oral Roberts University Students who wish to major in music at ORU are preparing for one of three degrees: Bachelor of Music Education; Bachelor of Music with a major in Performance, Sacred Music, Composition or Composition Technology; or a Bachelor of Arts in music with emphasis in Music Arts or Music Technology.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Southwestern Oklahoma State University is home to one of Oklahoma’s largest music schools. SWOSU offers undergraduate degrees in Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Music; the Graduate Division of the department offers the Master of Music in Performance, the Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy and the Master of Music in Music Education.
The Halsey Institute Offering online courses, the Halsey Institute’s programs are designed to educate, stimulate and motivate those interested in pursuing a career in the music and entertainment business. This includes important curriculum, firsthand methods, formulas and practical knowledge from internationally respected Impresario Jim Halsey, with in-depth interviews via video, advice and instructions featuring other industry V.I.P.’s.
University of Oklahoma – School of Music The OU School of Music offers degrees at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels in all areas of music performance, composition, education, history and theory.