Music Publishing : An Integral Part Of Their Professional Lives Essay

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For songwriters and composers, music publishing has been an integral part of their professional lives, and quite possibly one of their most valuable and lucrative income streams. At its core, music publishing can be defined as the promotion, sale and administration of music catalogs and copyrights. (Strasser, 2010 p.18) However, historically - in the late nineteenth century, before musical recordings existed, publishing was based around the distribution and sales of printed sheet music for people to perform. (Rutter, 2011 p.92) Soon after though, the development of alternative entertainment such as radio and TV would also call for the duty of the music publisher to be widened to what it is today. (Strasser, 2010 p.18) At the turn of the nineteenth century, music publishers were selling millions of copies of printed sheet music for songs. For example, In 1893, the song “After the Ball” became the first song to sell one million copies, which was a huge milestone. (Hull et al., 2011 pg. 112) From the late 1800s to the early 1950s, 28th Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway, became known as Tin Pan Alley. Tin Pan Alley was a major publishing hub. Publishing staffs included piano demonstrators, arrangers, staff composers and lyricists. (Passman, 2006 pg. 255) As Flattum describes it, “Tin Pan Alley became an assembly line.” (Flattum, 2006) However, with the invention of the gramophone, a new form of music publishing was born which marketed the recorded performance of music.
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