Glossary of terms – M

Master Use License

This refers to a license of the Master rights (i.e. the recording that is to be used in the commercial or film) of a song. If you want to license a song for a commercial, film or other audio-visual project (a synch license) a master cannot be used without a proper license or permission of the copyright side.

MFN / Most Favoured Nation

In a typical case the MFN rule implies to treat all rights holders to a song equally (typically master and copyright owner) for the same license. In other words, in relation to the right percentage being held, all owners shoudl receive the same fee for the same buyout package.

Mood Film

Similar to an animatic, a mood film refers to a preliminary version of a film, often compiled of stock footage and similar to convey the feeling and tempo of the story board

Music Administrator

The person that is supporting the music supervisor and/or music coordinator and handles all paperwork related to the project.

Music Arranger

A person to adapt an existing composition to prepare the creating of a new recording in altering the vocals, instrumentation or the style to match it to the project.

Music Breakdown

An initial review of the screenplay or a rough edit by the music supervisor to give the director an idea of how and when which kind of music shall be placed in a movie. Sometimes it includes a suggested budget, a number of how many source cues may be needed and also some specific songs that may be used for specific scenes.

Music Clearance

Describes the process to research and contact the respective rights owners of a song and getting the permission of all of these rights owners to the specific use at the terms provided. In short, the music clearance is the “Go” by all rights owners to use the song in the project. This is the basis of the actual licensing of the song that comes thereafter.

Music Coordinator

When there is no music supervisor the music coordinator often takes over the taks of the supervisor. If there is, the music coordinator is repsonsible for properly document the music that the music supervisor is suggesting for the music as well as delivering it to the people needed (e.g. director) and make sure that all credit information is available. They also prepare the cue sheet of a film.

Music Editor

The person responsible for organising, documenting and timing the several music uses in a project. He is present at the score recordings (to make sure the cue is being recorded in the right timing) as well as in the dubbing sessionsin his responsibility to have the music placed correctly in the film.

Music Publisher

A company that is representing, promoting and marketing copyrights of songs. This includes synch licenses as well as the supervision of the performance royalty collection.

Music Supervisor

The person that is commissioned to take care of picking, clearing and licensing the music for a specific project. In film this includes score (including picking the composer in a lot of cases), source and soundtrack (i.e. Non Score Music).