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Learn the music business with online courses and programs

Contribute to the cultural landscape and the global music economy through the production, distribution, and promotion of music and musical artists. Learn more about the music business today with edX.

What is the music business?

The music business encompasses the industry and activities surrounding the creation, production, distribution, marketing, and management of music. It includes various sectors such as:

  • Music recording and label services

  • Publishing

  • Live performances and concert promotion

  • Artist management

  • Music licensing and sync 

The music business is a complex ecosystem of artists, managers, producers, lawyers, agents, and more who work together to support a dynamic music economy. Combining artistic expression with entrepreneurial and business elements, this industry offers opportunities to work with talented artists, shape careers, promote creative works, and connect with audiences worldwide.

Music Business | Introduction Image Description

Music business course curriculum

In a music business course, learners could encounter a variety of topics related to the music industry and its commercial aspects. The specific content may vary depending on the institution and program, but some areas of study might include:

  • Structure, functions, and key players in the music industry

  • Copyright law, licensing, publishing contracts, and intellectual property rights

  • Operations of record labels, including A&R (Artist and Repertoire), production, marketing, distribution, and revenue models

  • Role of artist management in handling career development, contracts, and negotiations

The curriculum may also incorporate case studies, guest speakers from the industry, practical projects, and opportunities for networking and internships to provide hands-on experience and industry connections.

Start building the knowledge you need to work in the music business with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. Busy professionals can even take advantage of executive education courses tailored to those in leadership and management positions. Find the right course for you.

Explore jobs in the music business

Learning about the music business opens up a range of career opportunities within the industry. Some examples of careers that someone can pursue include:

  • Artist manager: Represent and guide the careers of musicians and artists, overseeing bookings, contracts, marketing, and overall career strategy.

  • Music producer: Work with artists in the studio to develop and produce their music, shaping the sound and creative direction of recordings.

  • Concert promoter: Organize and promote live music events, including booking artists, securing venues, marketing, and managing logistics.

  • Music publicist: Manage the public image and media relations for artists and music releases, coordinating press campaigns, interviews, and publicity opportunities.

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some employers may seek candidates with a degree in business or music depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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