The UK’s music publishing sector is hugely dynamic – covering a wide range of roles, from creative to legal, across all genres of music.
If you’re currently looking for a new employee or are seeking a paid intern to join your team please get in touch and we can send you over potential candidates from our job seekers list. We’ve got some great candidates for you! We support the UK Music Internship Code of Conduct and do not support unpaid internships.
Then MPA encourages members to post any existing vacancies on our jobs page. You can also find regular listings in the UK’s music media, including Music Week, Record of the Day and Music Business Worldwide, Complete Music Update. Specialist recruitment agencies for music include Handle, The Music Market and Career Moves Group. All are worth checking out – as are MPA members’ websites and socials. You may also want to contact some of the music publishers directly and ask about vacancies. You can find a list of contact details for music publishers by going to our Member’s Directory. If you are a member of the MPA and are currently seeking a job within one of our MPA Publisher Member companies you can fill out a job seeker form and upload your CV by clicking here. All information collected here will only be shared with MPA Publisher Members and will be destroyed after 6 months.
If you’re a student or recent graduate currently seeking work experience or a paid internship within one of our MPA Publisher Member companies you can fill out a form and upload any supporting documents by clicking here. All information collected here will only be shared with MPA Publisher Members and will be destroyed after 6 months. There are many different websites that advertise work experience and internships within the music industry, such asThe Big Music Project, UK Music and Arts Council England. You can take a look at UK Music’s Careers Pack here. We endorse UK Music’s Internship Code of Conduct and do not support unpaid internships.
The music business has always attracted entrepreneurial self-starters, particularly in the digital era. The MPA fully supports anyone who wants to start their own music publishing business and will provide support and assistance where possible – as well as template contracts and other commercial assets. Our staff frequently appear at industry events and conferences to provide guidance for would-be music publishers, and we would advise anyone looking to start a business to attend the MPA Induction Course. For people who have more knowledge in music publishing you can book onto the Modern Music Publishing Practice: The MPA Intermediate Course which expands on topics explored on the MPA Induction Course. It will also provide more extensive training for people who are at the mid-level stage in their career.
Although the industry does not employ a great number of people, it caters to a wide range of interests and, in many companies, staff flexibility is essential. Often, a lively interest and willingness to accept any job available may be the key. You can then survey the music publishing business from the inside, and learn which particular department best suits you. Practical experience, as well as formal education or training, is important in the majority of vacancies that occur. Music publishing jobs tend to fall into a number of broad categories, the majority of which require musical knowledge/experience. The various activities generally covered by each category are outlined below:
Where did you start/how did you get into the industry?
I was first drawn in by the printed music publication process, particularly the conceiving and commissioning of new publications: turning a loose idea into a professionally produced, commercial book. I worked first as a freelance editor and proof-reader for a number of different publishers, later becoming Editorial Director at Faber Music, then into the Rights side of the business and running the company. Like many CEOs in knowledge/experience-based industries such as ours, I’ve stayed in one place and have no problem being labelled by my industry colleagues as ‘the Faber guy’.
Your top tip for those wanting to get into publishing?
If you’re a practical musician, remember that the representation of music in print – something with which you’ll be very familiar – is one of the most specialised niches in the industry, and opportunities are few and far between. In the end, publishing is about connecting music (i.e. the creative) with revenue. Not everyone can do it. But copyright legislation is the rock on which the industry is built, and therefore administration and legal are big drivers. Develop skills in these areas and you’ll be in demand.
I worked for a pop manager in Birmingham who also ran a small publishing company. The Management Company went bust but the publishing company survived and that’s how I found out all about the importance of copyright retention.
It doesn’t matter where you start out within the Music Industry - make sure you learn all about music publishing - it is always relevant and you’ll always be employable.
I studied Music at Goldsmith’s College; towards the end of my degree I responded to a job advert on the college notice board for a Production Assistant at Edition Peters, printing and making up performance materials in-house. This led to a junior editorial position, and I then progressed to become a full-time Music Editor. I moved on to Music Sales Limited and then made the switch from classical scores to rock and pop transcriptions. I now run the Product Creation division at Music Sales, publishing printed and digital music books.
Be prepared to start at the bottom. Use every opportunity to learn the business through your own research – there’s a lot out there online and no excuse for not investigating. See every event, gig, meeting and introduction as a way of expanding your knowledge. Network! Introduce yourself. You’re going to meet a lot of dedicated, experienced professionals – make sure you can match their work ethic, drive and passion for music. You’re not entitled to anything except what you earn for yourself. Be good, work hard, make yourself indispensable, make the tea, good things will come.
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