A Resource from National Association for Music Education and National Federation of High Schools

The primary permissions provider for a musical work is the copyright holder(s). In most circumstances, the music publisher holds the copyright for the work and can grant synchronization, mechanical, and public performance licenses. Public performance licenses may also be obtained from the appropriate Performance Rights Organization (PRO), such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. It is important to identify all potential rights implicated on a per-use basis, and to secure the appropriate permissions.

This guidance includes examples of different performance scenarios and the licenses required for each. Updated 2023.

Advertisement: Support Music Education. Click to donate.


  • Copyright
  • Educational Topics

Year Added


Standing ovation awaits: Tri-M grants now open for applications! Presented by National Federation of State High School Associations
Charleston International Music Competition. Join 3000 plus past finalists from 50 plus countries. Apply now. Online monthly competitions. CharlestonCompetition.com
Gator Cases new Largo series. Image of high school girl sitting next to music cases in front of green lockers.