School Recordings – What to do about Copyright?


When Recording in Schools our aim is to make the whole process as easy as possible.   Our School Recording Prices are all inclusive so you only have to focus on the music

One of the most common questions we are asked in relation to school and choir recordings, is what to do about copyright.   Potentially, copyright is a very complex area and  whole minefield so there is no one simple way of dealing with it.

However, our premise is to keep things as simple as possible for our clients.   Generally speaking we have two approaches when it comes to dealing with copyright.

Copyright for School Recordings

Obtaining copyright clearance for school recordings is often the most straightforward.  At least in a relative sense!  The majority of our school recordings will be covered by a PRS Limited manufacture licence.  This is a blanket clearance which will apply to most of the music being sung or performed in Primary Schools.   However, it is not quite a one size fits all. There are still some pieces of music and genres which this does not cover.

In such circumstances we will either apply for a slightly difference licence or we will deal directly with the licence holders.   In some cases schools might also have arrangements in place with some copyright holders for the performance of music.  Of course, do bear in mind there is a huge difference between performing music, even in public, compared to recording it and selling the CDs or digital albums.

Copyright for Choir Recordings

The main premise of our approach is similar to that of school recordings.  However, the difference will be the type of licence needed.  This will be dependent upon what music you record and, most importantly, what you plan to do with the album.  Will you sell copies of CDs? If so, how many?   Then comes the question of Digital audio – will you want to sell digital audio tracks or will they be ‘given’ away.

Understanding what you want to do with the end product, helps us to determine the type of copyright licence you need for your project.


The most important thing is to deal with copyright correctly when recording an album.  This is an area where 4 Part Music have 20 plus years of experience.  No matter what your project, large or small, the chances are fairly high we have been there, done that.    We can therefore help to ensure you obtain the correct and necessary clearance for your album recorded with us.

To find out more please get in touch via our contact form.

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