Music Lingo

3 minute read

Ever been unsure about the exact meaning of music industry terms? Wonder what "EP" stands for? Lucky for you, this edition of Tune Up Your Mind is about just that. After reading this, you will be able to talk shop with the best of them.

360 music deal:  While continuing to provide record labels with a percentage of CD and digital download sales, this deal also provides a cut of concert ticket profits, merchandise sales, endorsement deals, and and anything else using an artist's brand or music. Many new artists are now required to sign this deal.

A & R: Stands for Artists and Repertoire; it is the division of a record label that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label. Duties include finding songs or songwriters to work with the artist, finding a producer for the artist, and supervising the artist's recording project

B-side: Song released as an extra or bonus; doesn’t usually appear on the artist’s album

Certified Diamond: An album is certified “Diamond” if it sells over 10 million copies

Certified Gold: An album is certified “Gold” if it sells over 500,000 copies

Certified Platinum: An album is certified “Platinum” if it sells over 1 million copies

Demo: A recording that is meant to give a sample or an introduction to an artist’s music; could be done by a songwriter to pitch a song to a recording artist, to work out an arrangement, or for promotion

EP: Extended Play; a record containing at least 3 songs, but not as many songs as an LP

EPK: Electronic press kit; serves the same purpose as a regular press kit, but comes in the form of an email, website, video, or other electronic means

Fan: A person with an intense liking and enthusiasm for something

Feedback: High pitched noise that occurs onstage; the sound is created when the sound from an amplifier is taken in by an instrument (eg, guitar) or microphone’s pickup, and is “fed back” into the amplifier

Groupie: A person who seeks emotional and sexual intimacy with a musician or other celebrity and/or crew members; not to be confused with a fan

Headliner: An artist that performs last at a concert; this artist usually the most well-known of the performers

House: The audience portion of a concert venue

LP: Long Play; typically vinyl records that spin at 33â…“ revolutions per minute

Opener: Artist who performs before the headliner, thought to “warm up the crowd”; this artist is frequently considered to be less well-known than the headliner

Press kit: A professional package containing materials that support an artist’s professional viability. Contents may include the artist’s biography, headshot, CD, press samples, and contact information. This kit is sent to publications to encourage new publicity

Roadie: A somewhat outdated term used to describe a member of an artist’s road crew; new terms include “crew member” and “tech”

Set list:
A list containing the song titles that an artist will perform at a particular concert

Typically, a song that is released separately from an album, but can still appear on an album. Singles tend to be the artist's most popular songs released separately for promotional use

A rehearsal before the actual performance; this ensures the sound levels are appropriate at the concert venue

SP: Single Play; an early term used to describe Singles

Supergroup: A music group conposed of artists who are already notable and/or respected in their fields

Venue: Place where a concert is held