module specification

LT5012 - Music Industry Management and Music Business Practice (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Music Industry Management and Music Business Practice
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   1,500 word report
Coursework 25%   1,500 business plan
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen Exam (2 Hrs)
Running in 2018/19

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module offers an overview of the artist and business management process within the modern music industry. It will cover all key areas from recording agreements, composition and music publishing, through to live music, artist management, performance, digital distribution, social media, promotion, marketing, copyright and legal issues. The aim is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the scope and nature of the music industry management processes, from the development of the creative ‘product’ to its management, distribution and promotion. Setting up new music business ventures, financing and business planning are also considered. Students will have the opportunity to consider how management and business practice is applied across key music industry sectors, from independent businesses to large corporations.

Module aims

1. To explain the role of management and managers in the music industry

2. To explain the roles of managers in the various music and media entities

3. To explain the contractual relationships and legal and financial implications

4. To enable students to understand how to manage the business affairs of performing artists, enterprises and start-up companies in the music industry

5. Recognise the tension between managing the creative process and meeting end consumer needs

5. To enable students to express the depth of their discipline intrinsic knowledge and transferable discipline skills.

6. To develop the attributes of self-evaluation and a creative and ethical approach in a variety of contexts


1. The pivotal role of the music industry manager

2. Setting up a management company, protecting and developing the manager’s business interests

3. Advising performing artists on their careers – the manager as entrepreneur and svengali.

4. Maximising a performing artist’s longevity and earnings potential

5. Composition and recording, music publishing, live music and gigs, A&R, promotion and development, marketing and social media and digital business, independent artists, major corporations, legal and contracts, royalties, copyright, retail and distribution.

6. The relationship between the manager, performing artists, and other parties and how to structure the necessary contracts between them all.

7. Business ideas and opportunities; enterprise start-up; market analysis; forecasting; legal forms of business entity; sources of funds

8. Business models in the modern industry incl; fan-funding sites, record labels, social media, digital music providers, streaming, downloading, internet radio, cloud services, brands and licensing

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered as a series of 1.5 hour lectures and 1.5 hour seminars. The lectures will focus on key topics each week with a related weekly seminar which will focus on group and individual activities – research, case study, presentations, and problem solving questions in relation to music management and business practice issues. Where possible, guest speakers will be invited to lecture.

The module will use a blended learning strategy where student learning is supported and enhanced by both classroom contact and on-line support.

Reflective learning will be based around assessments where students will be invited to submit work plans which will generate comments for the students to reflect on as they work on the preparation of assessments.

The module and assessment process effectively assists in improving student employability through: understanding how music businesses are run, professional experience, reflection on personal development, consideration of career goals and articulation of skills and knowledge gains.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will:
1. Analyse the role and importance of the music industry manager.

2. Be able to propose managerial advice for performing artists in hypothetical situations, including how to break an artist.

3. Understand the complex relationships between the manager, record company, promoter, lawyer, agent and performing artist.

4. Understand how to set up and run a new artist management business 

5. Comprehend the importance of good contractual drafting and arrangements between the manager, artist and third parties.

6. Demonstrate the application of the subject specific knowledge and transferable academic skills using different problem solving approaches requiring an external awareness

Assessment strategy

There are three (3) components to the assessment strategy.

Assessment 1: Coursework
There will be a report forming a business and management analysis of an artist’s career or specific phase in their career.
Word count: 1,500
25% of total marks

Assessment 2: Coursework
An individual business plan detailing an opportunity for a music business start-up. This will require students to critically evaluate music management strategies and the ability to evaluate business risks and opportunities.
Word count 1,500
25% of total marks

Assessment 3 : Exam
Unseen exam testing students understanding of a range of music management and business practice topics as outlined above. The exam will feature a range of short form questions as well as an essay section.
2 hours
50% of total marks


Passman, D. (2011) All you need to know about the Music Business. Penguin Books

Harrison,A (2010) Music The Business: The Essential Guide to the Law and the Deals. Virgin Books

Krasilovsky, W. and Shemel, S. (2010) This Business Of Music. Billboard Books, 10th Ed

Music Managers Forum (2010) The MMF Guide To Professional Music Management. Sanctuary Publishing

Davis, S. & Laing, D. (2009) The Guerilla Guide To The Music Business. Continuum International Publishing Group

Kemp, C. (2005) Music Industry Management and Promotion. 2nd edition. Elm Publications

Kusek, D & Leonhard, G (2005) The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution (Omnibus Press)

Bagehot , R. & Kanaar, N. (2008) Music Business Agreements. Sweet & Maxwell, Second edition

Music Week
The Financial Times – Tuesday edition – Creative Business

Websites  (Music Managers Forum)  (The Association of Independent Music’s site)