Music Recording Contract Template

Looking for a free Music Recording Contract template? Then look no further. You’ll find one here. Our team has crafted an Music Recording Contract template that will help you create a contract between yourself and your client.

contract template

Free Music Recording Contract Template Samples


To help you grow your Business we have made a quite simple yet reliable Music Recording Contract template in Word and PDF versions so you can use it repeatedly.

What’s in this template?
  • Recording company details (name, contact info)
  • Artist details (group name, names of each artist, contact info)
  • Production details, e.g. studio address, recording session dates, control over song selections on the recording, and control over album title
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What is a Music Recording Contract?

A Music Recording Contract is a deal or a legal agreement between a record label and a recording artist so that the artists could make a series of records for the label to get a right to sell and promote that record. The agreement has a set of predefined rules that both the parties need to abide by.

Why do I need a Music Recording Contract?

Contract follows proper legal terms for you to show the consent for the sound recording copyright for the company and other recording services for some specific time period.

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Important Terms

What should be included in a recording contract?

The record deal consists of getting music videos, albums, and singles onto the personal digital channels of the label. It further includes the payment deal from the label for making, distributing and marketing the recordings, where a label agrees to pay the decided share of money from the sales of the recordings to a recording artist. It is called the royalty rate and is earned through downloads, streams, CDs, vinyl, licenses for music in TV programs or films, compilations, soundtracks or even MiniDisc sales.

Have a look on the important things that are in a record deal:

  • Recording company details (name, contact info)
  • Artist details (group name, names of each artist, contact info)
  • Production details, e.g. studio address, recording session dates, control over song selections on the recording, and control over album title
  • Recording details, e.g. number of tracks, length of the album, release date, notification of record rejection, re-recording date (if applicable)
  • Exclusive agreement clause (a clause binding the artist(s) to the recording company, prohibiting them from entering a similar recording agreement with another company for the length of the contract)
  • Payment of recording and promotional costs
  • Percentage breakdown of royalties
  • Promotional appearances (maximum number of appearances, appearance fees, etc.)
  • Termination Provisions (on written notice in the event of non-performance by either party)

How do you create a contract for a record label?

In order to create a contract for a record label follow the steps given below:

  • Set the format of document:

Your document must be easy to read for that you need to set a comfortable font size and style like New Times Roman12 point.

  • Add title:

At the top of the first page, you should center “Artist Recording Contract” between the right- and left-hand margins.

  • Identification of both parties of the contract:

You should identify the artist and the recording company. It is really helpful if you create the contract as a template that can be used multiple times. For that you should insert blank lines for the date and the artist’s name.

  • Add the main clauses of contract:

Clauses describe the basics or background of the contract. You may include recitals that describe the desires of both parties under contract. It is standard for recitals to be fragment sentences.

  • Add a definition section:

Definition section is important if you are using some difficult terms in your contract. It basically includes the definition of the terms used in a contract.

  • Add contract terms:

The contract terms are the main part of the whole contract where you must include the following things:

  • Artist’s recording obligations where an artist needs to present you with some songs before you agree to market him or her. You also need to explain the initial recording obligation.
  • You must identify the costs which you don’t charge back to the artist.
  • An “overcall album” provision which means that if you get a deal for an album from one of the major labels or major independent record labels during the 12-month term of the contract and the contract might have expired before you can record it, in that case you should include a provision where the artist agrees to come back and record the album
  • Exclusivity provision is needed when you don’t want an artist to perform for someone else during the period of contract with you.
  • A non-compete clause states that an artist must not record a contract or promote a recording for another label for a certain time frame after your contract ends.
  • Describe payment terms and policies:

It includes :

  • Identification of any deposit made by an artist or music company for recording initial tracks.
  • Explain how the artist will pay the remaining costs before starting the recording session.
  • Explain how the artist can cancel the recording date and whether he will get a refund or not on his deposit.
  • Clearly explain about the ownership of recorded tracks, that in most of the cases is record label.
  • Identify your distributing rights of recorded tracks to the artist in order to avoid any confusion.
  • Also talk about the royalty rate.
  • Add Covenants:
  • Include a covenant that the artist’s work is original.
  • Add an indemnity provision where the artist agrees not to sue you for any misunderstandings in the agreement.
  • You can include a provision that you will mediate any dispute with the help of a mediator.
  • You can also  include some provisions which explain to the artist that the music industry is risky.
  • Finalize the contract:

Finally you will add the terms of termination of a contract. Where you can keep the right of termination of contract with you or set any other condition for it.

  • Address of Both parties:

Add the following details of both the parties:

  • name
  • address
  • daytime telephone
  • evening telephone
  • fax number
  • email address

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about our Music Recording Contract Templates

 We recognize that your contract layout conditions may need to be changed to be in line together with your client’s needs. That’s why we have made Contract in Word format as well so  that you’ll be able make adjustments as you like. If you want to make important changes to the template, we propose you to get help of  a lawyer or conveyancer to make sure you still have protection.

ou can not break a contract or a record deal very easily. It needs the consent of both parties under the contract to break it. There are some other conditions where you can freely detach yourself from the contract like when an artist or band fails to fulfill the terms of contract or when the contract is invalid after a certain time period or age of consent has expired.

It depends on the type of deal or contract you have. Most deals have a royalty of nearly 18% to 20% of the net price of sales (a download or any physical CDs etc. that you sell). So the music labels are taking 80% to 82% along with some additional deductions.