ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) is a membership association of musicians – lyricists, songwriters, composers, publishers – who make their living writing music of all kinds. A performing rights organization, ASCAP was created by musicians in the United States in 1914. The organization is controlled by its members and now represents over a quarter million musicians worldwide.
ASCAP aims to protect the rights of its members by educating, licensing, nurturing, promotional showcasing of member works, and assisting with permission to use copyrighted music. The ASCAP organization also ensures that musicians are paid for their compositions and receive royalties. Additional member benefits include health insurance, instrument insurance, credit union services, musical accessory discounts, travel services, and more. ASCAP has represented such renowned musicians as Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, and George Gershwin, as well as Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Jay-Z, pop star Beyoncé, and composer Stephen Sondheim. The entire spectrum of music production is represented by ASCAP – opera and symphonic to pop and rock to choral and Christian.
ASCAP represents musical greats as well as fosters creative environments and provides incentives for innovation all music-related arenas – offices, nightclubs, theaters, and in the U.S. Congress. ASCAP provides its members with discussion forums, inspiration, advice on emotional and financial survival in the music industry, opinions, and critiques.
The ASCAP website newsletter offers articles that address issues of copyrighting, income, composing, arranging, performing, recording, royalties, scoring, commercial music, and many more issues that musicians face regularly. Members can read about career development, music, radio, television, and Internet licensing, applications for and information about jobs, press releases, and a host of topics important to musicians of all types.
The ASCAP calendar of events is extensive and inclusive. Subjects can include film festivals, contests, libraries, collaborations, composers and compositions, songwriting, creativity, and more
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