ascapA friend in the Music Business is the story of ASCAP which is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.  I have heard of this before and knew a little bit about what they do – basically relation to getting artists royalties when their songs are performed.  I have used their website many times to look up what songs Hanson has registered there (sometimes finding unreleased items listed).  But A Friend in the Music Business really goes in to why and how it was created – and actually right here in CT in Bridgeport in 1914!

It talks about how ASCAP has had to change with the ever changing music industry and it’s kind of hard to believe that ANYTHING in the industry is still around from 1914 considering how rapidly everything seems to be changing.  But it seems to keep changing as well and it talked about how to deal with digital downloads and the like and how copying music is stealing and that artists only get paid for the initial recording and nothing for the additional copies that are made when things are burned or digitally passed around.

Certainly an interesting read for anyone interested in the industry or thinking about being a composer, song writer, etc. Very interesting to see how it all works out and how royalties are figured out and everything like that.  Far too complicated for me to figure out,that’s for sure!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

On February 13, 1914, a group of the nation’s most distinguished and popular songwriters gathered in New York to support the mission of ASCAP, a new organization for publishers and songwriters. A few years later, ASCAP received its mandate from the Supreme Court to collect royalties for the public performance of copyrighted material.


Over the course of the next century, ASCAP has been as prominent a force for the advancement and nurture and financial well-being of songwriters as any record label or publishing outfit one could care to name. With a responsive board of directors made up entirely of songwriter/composer and publisher members, ASCAP has defended creators’ rights at every turn against those who would seek to devalue music.  Today, with copyright under renewed assault, that mission is as resonant and vital as ever, along with its relatively new role as nurturer of the young artists who represent the future of music.


Award-winning music writer Bruce Pollock explores the growth and changes within this complex society and its relationship to emerging technologies, in the context of 100 years of an ever-evolving music business, to see how ASCAP has become, for those who hope to make a living making music, now more than ever, “a friend in the music business.”

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