The first time you venture into the word of music, you will quickly start to see just how vast and overwhelming it actually is. To be involved in it, you not just have to be an excellent performing artist, you also have to be a fantastic business person. If you decided to actually study music, and particularly if you went to music business schools, you should already have a concept of this. Music, at its heart, is entertainment, but in today’s world, entertainment means business. Nobody will be interested in what you have to do unless it can be sold. Unfortunately, there are still too few people that study the world of music business, which means that, if they do manage to break through, they often don’t know what to do in terms of legal and business elements. Luckily, there is a lot of help out there for you, particularly in terms of help with a music contract.
What Is a Music Contract?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re signing a multimillion dollar record deal, or coming to an agreement with a local pub to play on their stage for an evening. You need to have a contract in place at all times, both for your protection and that of the other party. Luckily, you don’t need the (hugely expensive!) services of an entertainment lawyer for this. Rather, you can go online and download a contract that is relevant to your particular situation. The exception is, however, if you are scouted by a record label for a deal. In that case, a contract downloaded of an obscure website really isn’t going to be in your best interest. But the contract they offer you won’t be in your best interest either, so this is the point where it becomes hugely important to work with an entertainment lawyer who will fight your corner at all times.
However, if you do need a contract for smaller issues, then there are lots of free resources out there for you. In fact, a popular subject among music business students is the issue of contracts. As a result, it is not uncommon for them to develop contracts as part of a study project, offering these for free to future students or even the general public. Because this is so common, however, you do need to make sure that the contract you choose ends up being a good one.
Hallmarks of a Good Contract
- They should be written in plain English so that you can understand them in full.
- They should have legal compliance in terms of both your best interests and those of whoever you are entering the contract into with.
- If you do decide to use a contract that was submitted by a music business student, do check up with the school in terms of what kind of grade they received for the project, as this will tell you whether it is right for you or not.