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Music Contracts and Clauses

Nov 25, 2007
There is no perfect music contract for every single situation. First and foremost, it is important that you have a wide variety of music contracts to choose from and that you and all parties involved understand the content within each specific music contract. There are hundreds and hundreds of music contract clauses to pick from but we are going to review some of the standards that should always be included. If need be, you can add clauses or take away where is needed.

1. Clearly define the time, date, amount of compensation of performance and have a signature from both parties.

2. Precisely define the expectations of the performance. What do you expect and what does the performer expect? How many breaks? How long should the minimum performance be?

3. Set the location, date and time. This is obvious but necessary so everyone is on the same page.

4. Payment. How will the parties be paid? Is it a fixed amount, percentage of door? When will the artist be paid? What is the method of payment? This is a crucial part of a music contract because after all, money can cause people to become angry if the terms are not unmistakably defined.

5. Identify who has the recording, reproduction, transmission and photography rights in the music contract.

6. A merchandise clause is always essential. Some venue have different terms for the sale of merchandise so this needs to be revised to match the venue they will be performing at.

7. If the gig is out of town, you need to define who will cover the cost of meals, transportation and lodging.

8. In a music contract, sound and production, how and who needs to be stated. Do you provide or do you allow your artist or band to choose who?

9. Acts of God are often mentioned to protect everyone involved. This includes weather and/or illnesses.

10. What if there is a cancellation? How will it be handled? Will there be a penalty? Cancellation policies need to be clearly defined in all music contracts.

11. Depending on the performer, royalties and licenses is a clause that needs to be added, especially if the work is copyrighted.

12. Next, in music contracts any specific requirements or restrictions directed toward the performer needs to be undoubtedly stated. Dress, language, smoking, drinking or anything along those lines.

13. If there is an agent involved their terms need to be included as well. What kind of compensation do they receive? Do they have any sort of obligations?

14. Finally, a clause for insurance and security should be written. Who provides or should have what?

Obviously, there are many more types of clauses that can be included in music contracts. These are your very basic but should always be included in your basic music contract. It is up to you to decide which clauses apply to each situation. But as long as everyone is clear on all terms then your music contract will be fair and of high-quality.
About the Author
Owner of Platinum Millennium publishing, former record label owner & national music industry seminar speaker/panelist. Author/creator of best-selling music biz books, courses, audio products & "How to" resources that helped 1000s. Go to http://www.Order-Yours-Now.com for more info on music contract & music contracts.
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