51 Music Contract Templates

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  • Artist Management Agreement Artist Management Agreement Artist Management Agreement Form: An Overview An artist management agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines the terms and conditions between a talent agent or manager and an artist. The agreement includes details on the services provided by t
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What Are Music Contract Templates

Music contracts are unique agreements that are used in the music industry. They can be very long and contain various terms and conditions. It is best to use ready-made music contract templates to simplify the workflow and speed up the conclusion of transactions. They already have predefined conditions that are standard for a particular situation, but at the same time, there is enough space for customization.

For example, you can set the terms by yourself, enter the amount of compensation and interest, and even supplement the basic text with additional conditions. These templates are indispensable if you are a musician or work with performers, arrangers, producers, and publishers.

Types of Music Contracts

There are a huge variety of types of contracts, the features of which depend on the specific situation and the parties’ involvement. Despite this diversity, five main categories are most often used:

Music Production Contracts

Such agreements can be concluded between authors, musicians, bands, and music producers for a long period. In such relationships, producers act as investors and manage the whole production process.

Music Recording Contracts

These contracts for music artists involve the musicians and the record company/label. The latter is engaged in the distribution of a record (-s) and has commissions of their artists’ performances at third-party events.

Music Publishing Contracts

By signing the agreement, publishers undertake not only to publish the recordings of artists and distribute compensations but also to promote music, look for venues for performances, seek opportunities to create cover versions, etc.

Artist/Band Management Contracts

Managers act as intermediaries between musicians and venues. On behalf of the artists, they deal with events, defend their rights, and conduct other complex negotiations.

Music Licensing Contracts

Musical works are protected by copyright. To be able to use the tracks in movies, TV shows, and other events, you need to obtain a license through such contracts.

Most Popular Music Contract Templates

If there are many types of music industry contracts, then there are even more templates. Here are just a few popular ones that you should look out for when choosing the right agreement format:

  • Recording and Personal Services Agreement. This eight-page contract is signed between the musician/band and the production company. It can be compared to a contract signed when hiring independent contractors. It specifies what each party promises to do for the other, for how long, and to what extent. They determine sound recording, the production process, and the participation of the musicians themselves in solving key issues in particular detail.
  • Artist Management Agreement (With Master Rights). This contract formalizes the relationship between artists and companies providing management services. An important part of this document is the so-called “master rights.” According to this provision, the products that have been created since the contract signing are the company’s property. At the same time, profits from streaming sites and other purchases are distributed according to agreements between the parties.
  • Music License Contract. Such agreements are somewhat different from standard music producers’ contracts. They are usually shorter and contain only formal permission for the use of tracks and other musical products by third parties. In exchange for the public use of the material, musicians receive certain royalties from sales. It can be either a one-time compensation or recurring payment, for example, for each application or a certain period.
  • Producer and Artist Development Agreement. It is a standard contract for production services and recording equipment access, which can be used in addition to the main agreement. It describes the additional services the producer must provide to the artist and the terms of termination with reference to the main document. There are no specific amounts of compensation or interest. The duration of this agreement also depends on the main contract.
  • Live Performance Side Artist Agreement. It is common for artists to hire session musicians for recordings or live performances. Such free music contracts describe the conditions of this type of work, in particular that the hired worker cannot claim the copyright of the music they performed. The text must also specify the amount of compensation and the period during which session musicians must provide their services. As a rule, such agreements are short-term or one-time and are re-signed if necessary.

How to Draft a Music Contract

Drafting the perfect music business contracts is really not an easy task. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Start by discussing the key terms orally. Pay attention to the following:

  • the validity period of the agreement;
  • payment, compensation, and interest;
  • planned release date of the album/recordings;
  • the degree of influence on certain creative stages;
  • intellectual property rights;
  • conditions for contract termination;
  • force majeure;
  • promotion and advertising, etc.

2. Get these agreements in writing.

3. Each party must read the text and sign the document if they agree with all the conditions.

It can be tricky to foresee all the key aspects on your own. That is why it’s best to use templates that already contain all the necessary conditions.


  • Why are contracts important in the music industry?

    Musical works are copyrighted products. The one who owns the rights makes a profit and can dispose of the tracks. For each party to know their rights regarding the use of materials and receive due compensation for their work, formal agreements are signed.

  • How do music contracts work?

    Based on such agreements, artists create music (in the agreed volume and on time). In exchange, the production company undertakes to provide comfortable conditions for recording, mastering, and promoting music. The profit received from such cooperation is distributed according to the contract.

  • How to get a music publishing contract?

    Getting an agreement with record companies or publishers is not easy. As a rule, major brands have their own system of scouts looking for talented artists. Musicians can search for companies themselves and send their demos electronically or visit various showcases.

  • How long does a music publishing contract last?

    Any conditions, including the validity period, can differ, but such a contract is usually signed for 3-5 years or more. The reason is the agreement includes composing, recording, mixing, mastering, releasing, promoting, and other long-term processes, which is impossible to do for a lesser time.

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