According to copyright law, royalties must be paid on all recordings even when they are for educational purposes and even though there are few copies made.


CD Recordings will be happy to handle royalties for you at an additional charge. Check Ala Carte for pricing.



The current statutory mechanical royalty rate is $.091 (9.1 cents) per song per unit for recordings of compositions up to five minutes (5:00) in length.


For example, if one were to make a recording of a song that is less than five minutes in length (e.g. 4:07) and then manufacture and distribute 500 units of the recording, the total amount of royalties due would be $45.50. ($0.091 X 500 (units) = $45.50).


For songs over five minutes in length, the rate is based upon $.0175 (1.75 cents) per minute or fraction thereof as demonstrated below:


              5:01 to 6:00 = $0.105 (6 X $.0175)

              6:01 to 7:00 = $0.1225 (7 X $.0175)

              7:01 to 8:00 = $0.14 (8 X $.0175)


For example, if one were to make a recording of a song that is six minutes and thirty-eight seconds in length (6:38) and then manufacture and distribute 500 units, the total amount of royalties due is $56.25. ($0.1225 X 500 (units) = $61.25).



To arrange payment of royalties, follow these steps…


· Find the copyright owner of the selection. It’s usually located on the first page of the score at the bottom. The owner of the copyright and the publisher are often the same.

· If the owner’s contact information is not available on the score, you can usually find it at the web sites listed below. If you need additional assistance, contact the publisher.

Music Publishers Association - Directory

Music Publishers Association  - Copyright Imprints

· The copyright owner will want most if not all the following information…

CD Title

Date Recorded

Tune Title



Length of recording

Quantity of CD copies

Here’s a sample letter or email that you can download.

· Many publishers have web sites where you can get information on royalty payment for quantities less than 500. You can search for these websites at Google or DogPile. For example, here’s Hal Leonard’s.

· Though there’s a charge, you can easily make payment of royalties for most tunes with a credit card through Harry Fox.


Barry Lumpkin, Owner

Nashville: 615.262.0951

Toll free: 800.579.1264


2512 McGinnis Drive

Nashville, TN  37216

Contact Information: