The Anatomy of a Music Publishing Split Sheet
A split sheet, when used and filled out properly can save you and your collaborative efforts much trouble. By understanding the what and why of each field, you and your co writers will be off to a good start in the songwriting process.
A split sheet should be used when more than one person is involved in the creation of a song.
The title of the song being worked on, preferably the name of the song that will be used when registering with the Copyright office and your Performance Rights Organization.
The song might have multiple days where it was worked on, don’t skip this step. It’s a log of the songwriting process!
Recording Artist / Record Label
The artist that will eventually sing the song. It could be your band but it could also be another act. If the song is released by a label, make sure you fill this out. There will be times where songwriters have songs with different labels. Very easy to lose track of who has what.
All of the info that belongs to the studio where the song was recorded. This includes your home studio or your friend’s basement.
If samples are used, please make sure they are listed. Samples need to be cleared from the record label and the publisher where the sample originated from.
Put down your writer info. If the songwriter has a music publisher include their publisher’s info and affiliation.
Who made what? Did you write the lyrics and your co-writer wrote the melody? Did the producer provide the music? If so, what percentage of it? Come to an agreement and fill this out.
This is the number BMI, ASCAP, SESAC or other Performance Rights Organizations assign to affiliated songwriters. If you don’t know what your IP number have a look into your PRO’s repertoire website. Performing a search with your name will allow you to find your IP number. This will also work for publishing companies.
Sign and date
Seal the deal, make sure everyone has filled the split sheet and has a copy for their records.
That’s it! Keep a record of all your work and who you work with and when. Keep in mind that this will make any differences between parties involved easier to resolve.