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What is the difference between Song and Recording?

songs and recordings

It’s very common to find artists and musicians who doesn’t know to difference between Songs and Recordings. I’ve been in this same situation recently that’s why I want to share with you guys the knowledge.

Well, outside the music industry, normally people use “song” when they want to refer a recording. For example, Hey, Have you listened to this song? people don’t use, have you listened to this recording?. There is a lot of confusion with this topic.


What is a song?

In music industry, a song is the idea, the composition, the original piece of work. It can a paper with music scores, lyrics even an audio file with music and vocals.

This song have a songwriter/composer behind it, sometimes more than one.

In fact, you can do multiple recordings from a song if you have the permission of the writer.

Let’s make an example, imagine a cover version of a famous singer like Rihanna. Then, there is a totally different singer, with totally different instrumental, singing the same song as Rihanna. We can say that is the same song but it’s a different recording.

difference between songs and recordings

What is a Recording?

A recording, also referred as “Master” is the recording of a performance over a composition/song. It includes voices, instruments etc.

That means, if you are an artist, you have your song/composition, you go to the studio and you record this song/composition into a final track, aka Master, you will have a recording.

If you didn’t write the lyrics or any part of the song, but you are the main singer, you will only have rights on the recording but not from the song. It apply the same to performers ( like a guitarist ).

In Hip Hop music industry, if the rapper writes the lyrics and the beat is composed by a beatmaker, normally, the new song would be 50% from the artist and 50% from the beatmaker.

When the PROs collect the money, they will collect royalties from the recording and from the song separately.

I will talk about kind of royalties in the future.

what is the difference between song and recodings

There are some much money involved with songwriting and the next blog article I will explain it.

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See you next week!

Firstclass Bangers
Firstclass Bangers
Founder and Beatmaker

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