Production Music Explained

What Is Production Music? And What Is A Production Music Library?

Production Music forms an increasingly important part of the global music industry. The origins of production music can be traced back to 1927 and the company De Wolfe, who set up the first music library providing music to silent films. Many other companies followed suit and, just like in any industry, there are large companies and scores (excuse the pun) of smaller libraries competing for business around the world. Most of the companies we know as major "Record Companies" operate successful production music libraries.

What's the difference between Production Music and "Normal Music"?

Increasingly, not much really, in terms of quality of music and the genres and styles of music produced, assuming that you're purchasing from a quality production music library of course! There are a few crucial differences however, and we'll explain them here. Let's define "normal music" as the music that we all like to listen to on the radio or on our Ipods. The main consumer of this type of music is the public, and it is written and marketed with the public being the target customer.

Production Music is different in that the purpose is not to sell directly to the public, but to provide the music to companies and individuals who want to use music to enhance their product - for example a film, tv programme, tv commercial or computer game. If you think about it, the potential uses for this type of music is huge, everything from being "on hold" on the phone through to major Hollywood films are enhanced by the use of music. Over time, production music companies have built up large libraries of music, so that their customers can access music immediately to use in their productions, as opposed to having to wait for it to be composed and delivered. Hence the term Production Music Library. Of course, there is nothing to stop companies or individuals using "normal music" for their product (assuming they are granted permission by the owner of the music and can afford to pay for the use of it). Lot's of companies do use normal music, and you can hear it on TV for example everyday. Using production music however is often more cost effective, easier to use (because obtaining permissions to it is easier) and finally, production music from a good company is produced with synchronisation to TV, film, video etc in mind. So you should find that it is mixed for that use, comes with alternative versions of the same track and can be looped and edited. Of course, production music companies still need to bear in mind the public when they are producing production music. After all, the public is normally the ultimate consumer of the music, albeit through a TV show, advertisement or film. In that respect, production music should be as "commercial" and of the same standards of quality as any other music sold to the public.  

The requirement by law to obtain permission to use music is a key reason why production music is a popular choice for producers of tv programmes, advertising, radio etc. Generally, a production music company (like Cinephonix) will own the copyright to their music tracks and therefore you only need to seek one single permission (from them) to use the music in your production. Now, the way in which production music companies grant permission to use a piece of music varies considerably. Click on the link below where we explain the different types of production music companies that are out there. Click to understand some of the "jargon" that the industry uses or check out how Cinephonix has made using production music simple and straightforward.

Types Of Production Music LibrariesProduction Music: The Jargon ExplainedProduction Music From CinephonixSearch Our Music Library Now


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