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What is a trackwriter?

2 min read

Understand the role a trackwriter plays in songwriting.

A trackwriter composes instrumental music that lays the foundation for new musical works.

The created by a trackwriter can include , chords, and a clear structure outlining the , , and – the building blocks of a new .

In some genres, such as rap or dance music, a trackwriter is also known as a , or someone who composes musical beats. And often, the trackwriter is also the .

Unless the musical work is written to be an , and are then added — potentially by a , , or .

Where a may write a musical work in its entirety as an instrumental, a trackwriter's starting place is to craft a foundation of the musical work for other songwriters to build on.

Copyright ownership for trackwriters

Trackwriters and all additional songwriters, such as composers, lyricists, topliners, etc., who make an contribution to the musical work are considered under . Therefore, they can all own a share of the in the musical work; it's like sharing a pie.

Agreeing and properly documenting each author's share, also called , is the first step for each author to receive a share of earnings if the musical work is used. Learn more about this in the Songwriter Splits and Registering Musical Works pages.

Trackwriters who have multiple creative roles

If you are a trackwriter, you might also have additional roles when writing or recording a musical work, in which case you might also have additional shares in the ownership of that musical work and the .

Explore how this works in the Recording topic. To understand authors' rights in more detail, visit the Music Creators’ Rights topic.

Image Credit: Eric Ivar Persson, Parapix