We all want to be acknowledged for the awesome content we choose to put out into the world. The problem is, how can we get everyone else to realize that a certain piece of genius is our own? That is where copyrighting comes into play.
Copyrighting is the act of having some organization, a copyrighting committee, acknowledge that you have created something on a certain date, giving you sole proprietorship over the work and the authority to be able to distribute and use that piece of work however you see fit. Ina constantly shifting technological world, where content can be distributed at the touch of the button, it is important to give an important piece of work an origin, an originator.
Now when it comes to music it is important to realize exactly what can and cannot be copyrighted. A few of the things that people often think can be copyrighted but actually can’t are chord progressions, themes, and small phrases. For example, think of how popular the phrase “wish you were here” is, and how many artists have used something like that (Incubus, Avril Lavigne and I shouldn’t even have to mention Pink Floyd, just to name a few). So what you are trying to protect are the more technical aspects of the work. The composition and arrangement of the melodies, a certain succession of notes, are what can actually be copyrighted.
To better understand what can be copyrighted we should at least have a casual understanding of the different kind of copyrighting forms. First there is the Performing Arts copyright. With that particular copyright you can protect compositions. That is to say, you can protect that actual music that you have created, and that certain composition will thenceforth be recognized as your creation. The other form is the Sound Recording copyright.
That one is used when you have recorded a performance of some music and you wish to copyright that performance. For example, artists selling covers of other artist’s songs on their albums. So basically what you would be protecting is your sweet, sweet melody and the composition or the cathartic performance of someone else’s composition.
More importantly, as with anything that you take seriously, it is important to take the proper steps necessary to protect your work. If it is something you genuinely care about and feel has potential to be proliferated, then visiting the website and finding out the most pertinent and relevant information for your particular case is incredibly beneficial (http://www.copyright.gov).