Songwriting links

Blogs, magazines, resources

  • American Songwriter (The Craft of Music) magazine – great interviews, articles, lyric analyses etc.
  • Billboard – Music charts, news, photo, video
  • The Lefsetz Letter – click on the categories for the music, and music business
  • NME – online magazine
  • Performing Songwriter – online magazine
  • Rolling Stone magazine (music section)
  • Sodajerker Podcast – A great set of free online audio interviews by Liverpool songwriting duo Sodajerker (Simon Barber & Brian O’Connor). Interviews of such as Joan Armatrading, Mike Batt, Stephen Bishop, Don Black, Billy Bragg, Chris Difford, Lamont Dozier, Graham Gouldman, Neil Innes, Alicia Keys, Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez (Frozen), Barry Mann & Cynthia Weill, Johnny Marr, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Willy Russell, Carol Bayer Sager, Neil Sedaka, Harry Shearer, Richard M Sherman, Paul Simon, PF Sloan, Mike Stock, Mike Stoller, KT Tunstall, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus Wainwright, Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams … well, you get the picture! Sodajerker made a documentary for the BBC that can be heard free on iTunes, called Secrets of Songwriting.
  • Songwriting Scene – a well-established blog by Sharon Goldman on songwriting and songwriters
  • Songwriting Magazine (UK) – “Songwriting is a quarterly digital magazine aimed at songwriters and at fans of song-led music – of all genres. We take advice from successful songwriters, producers and industry experts to provide you with tips, techniques, ideas and inspiration to keep the music flowing, from writing lyrics and melodies to advice on how to promote yourself and your songs. Plus you’ll find interviews with big name artists and rising stars, and reviews of new music from pop to hip-hop to soul to rock …”

Organisations and competitions

Performing Rights organisations (PRO)

These are responsible for helping protect your intellectual property, collect your royalties and send them on to you.

UK
  • Performing Rights Society (PRS) – “representing the rights of over 118,000 members. We license organisations to play, perform or make available copyright music on behalf of our members and those of overseas societies, distributing the royalties to them fairly and efficiently. We promote and protect the value of copyright.” “PRS for Music is a society of songwriters, composers and music publishers. We license the use of our members’ musical compositions and lyrics when they are played in public, broadcast on radio or TV, used on the internet or copied onto physical products such as CDs or DVDs.”
  • PPL (UK) – “Established in 1934, PPL exists to ensure that those who invest their time, talent and money to make recorded music are fairly paid for their work. … PPL licenses the use of recorded music where played in public, broadcast on radio or TV, or used on the internet, and then distributes the licence fees to its performer and recording rightsholder members.”
USA
  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) – “A professional organization of 565,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music, owned and run by its members, and the world leader in performance royalties, advocacy and service for music creators.” “Through agreements with affiliated international societies, we also represent hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide. We are the only US performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors elected by and from our membership. We protect the rights of ASCAP members by licensing and distributing royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. Our licensees encompass all who want to perform copyrighted music publicly. We make giving and obtaining permission to perform music simple for both creators and music users.” Has a song search facility.
  • BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) – “BMI supports its songwriters, composers and publishers by taking care of an important aspect of their careers – getting paid. BMI supports businesses and organizations that play music publicly by offering blanket music licenses that permit them to play more than 10.5 million musical works. Both relationships save each time and money.” Has a song search facility.
  • SESAC (Originally called Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, but now just known as SESAC) – includes a free song search facility. Membership by invitation.

Educational