What is your selection criteria?

What is your selection criteria?

To maintain the quality of our library and the integrity of our service, we maintain exacting professional standards. Quality is such a personal choice that often appears to defy logic or traditional 'good musical taste'. This is certainly the case where music licensing is concerned. 'Good' really means 'most suitable' for a specific context. There have been occasions when we have recommended music which we've considered to be strong melodically and harmonically only for the client to choose something that in our opinion seemed pretty average. Sometimes TV executives will deliberately overlook the song with the clever chord sequence or catchy chorus as it would detract from the visual scene that they have in mind. Sometimes, they might choose the song which seems banal or unbearably irritating, but works perfectly well for a specific product commercial.

Having said this, from our experience, music displaying poor musicianship and dubious sound quality is almost always overlooked. Producers and musical supervisors will avoid music (even great songs) that contain noticeable sonic faults, e.g. Inappropriate EQ, balance, compression, quantisation, distortion, noise issues. They will similarly avoid music that has noticeable musical faults, e.g. Intonation, timing, and synchronisation errors or is lacking in required musicality, i.e. musical expression- dynamics, rubato, colour or phrasing for example.

Therefore, we ask our artists to ensure that there are no obvious sonic or musical faults in the material submitted. Irrespective of genre, final uploaded versions should resemble well-balanced master recordings. We do not accept monophonic songs, i.e., just a melody without any harmonic accompaniment. The only exception, a brilliant vocal acapella or piece of choral plainsong. Vocal with guitar only accompaniment songs, unless exceptionally strong and well recorded, are less popular amongst buyers than songs with full arrangement and instrumentation. Such songs can often sound very 'samey', especially those with commonplace chord sequences that have not been professionally recorded. 

We do not accept any material displaying poor recording quality, low composition or arrangement standard, poor musicianship (such as noticeable tuning and timing issues) or inappropriate or offensive language. We do not accept anything designed to provoke racial, gender, cultural or religious hatred. Any unsuitable material will be removed from our site within 24 hours.

We notify all subscribers by email if their material has not met our selection standards. Users will then receive credits to allow further upload opportunities.


What makes a Good Lyric?

A good lyric is not the same as a good poem and a bad lyric is not the same as a bad poem Often the two are confused. Inexperienced lyricists, sometimes forget the purpose of a lyric- to work with a song, to create a feeling, to create memorable hook lines-It is not a Shakespearean sonnet or earth-shattering piece of prose. The later-it certainly can be, but that's not the main purpose. Rhythmic potential, catchy hook lines, the ability to create a vibe, is often more important than a wordy, intellectual poem set to music.
'She loves you, yeh, yeh, ye,', 'We all live in a yellow submarine', 'I can't' get no satisfaction', 'I'm a Barbie doll, in a Barbie world'. At first glance, terrible lyrics? Not so, terrible poems perhaps, but catchy phrases that work so effectively with the song. In this regard, it's almost impossible to say what is a good lyric and what is a bad lyric. It's how the lyric is used and brought to life within the song that defines its success. Imagine the same lyrics used in an introspective dull ballad-such terrible lyrics we hear you say!

In the same way that a composer must understand the fundamentals of song construction, i.e., melody, harmony, rhythm and arrangement, a lyricist needs to know what makes a strong and catchy lyric. In that regard, lyrics on their own are often difficult to access without being voiced through their intended outlet-music. That said, we try to look for the well crafted and catchy, or those using devices such as alliteration, simile, personification, onomatopoeia. Rhyme, and humour, work well too.