Career Building in the Music Business

Sony Headquarters, Japan

Today’s music business is complex and multi-faceted.  The following resources offer practical guidance toward building your own music career.

The Established 'Record Industry' 

The powerful music business model that evolved and flourished throughout the second half of the twentieth century faltered at the beginning of the twenty-first.

The New 'Music Entrepreneur'

The digital revolution has made many working musicians into 'do-it-yourselfers' and entrepreneurs, with the world as their marketplace.

  • In "The Brave New World of Today's Music Professional" several young artists talk about the new rules of career building in music. 
  • "6 Qualities That All Successful Musicians Have" is from Sonicbids, an online service matching bands with promoters looking for acts.
  • Majoring in Music isn't the only way to get into the music business, but for High School students who may be thinking about taking a music degree in college (and their parents), this site has some great information about choosing a school and using what you learn there to build a successful career. 
  • Hypebot.com is a news site for independent musicians, with notes on the business, music technology, social media, and an associated music blog, Music Think Tank. After registering you can even post an mp3 of your own song for free on MTT radio.
  • Music Business Glossary is a source for terms and concept definitions from Bemuso.com, a U.K website on the music industry and the DIY music entrepreneur.
  • The Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit "supporting a musical ecosystem where artists flourish and are compensated fairly" conducts research, submits comment and testimony to appropriate rule-making bodies, tracks legislation, and hosts conferences and workshops on the intersection of music, law, technology, and public policy.

Careers in the Music Business

Studio musician longshot

From performance, to teaching, to production, to administration, there are a lot more career paths in the music business today than you might imagine.

Databases for Researching the Music Industry

Several of the Library's databases, including ERIC, General ProQuest (both of which can be used from home with a library card), and JSTOR (for in-library use only), should be among your first stops when looking for information about today's music business.

Contact Us

If you'd like more information, please visit us, email us through our Ask-A-Librarian service, call us at (410) 396-5490 or mail your question to:

Fine Arts & Music Department
Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore MD 21201