Do Marching Bands Pay Royalties for Songs

Do Marching Bands Pay Royalties for Songs? [Learn Top Facts]

Royalties are a significant source for song creators to collect or earn money from their published songs. So whoever in the big audience uses their songs has to pay a fee of royalties.

Similarly, marching bands have to use songs for marching; thus, they are also in the category of royalties payers. So you might have the question about whether marching bands pay royalties or not.

YES! Marching Bands do pay royalties for using songs in their events. If someone is publicly using any copyrighted songs, they do have to pay royalties. So the schools and universities pay royalties to the music owners, but the cost is relatively low.

So let’s check below to know how much the schools pay and how they manage everything.

Topic Discussed

How Much Does Marching Band Pay as Royalties?

I didn’t know much about royalties in the Marching Band. But then, as some of you asked, I researched and listed all the data here. While researching, I also learned that many schools and colleges don’t pay any royalties, but most do.

The cost of the royalties depends on the school or college. But, it can start from as low as $50 to $500, depending on the song. Although often the song owners give free use of their songs for a limited period, so often they don’t have to pay royalties.

So, the charges highly depend on the song and the song owners. Many colleges can have other systems, but this is how the royalties system work.

Also there are many publisher who serve free use to their music without any royalties but if the organization of marching band edit they music they also need additional license to adapt the song.

Whom Do Marching Band Pay for Royalties?

Although you might have figured out the process, for more clarity, I’ve discussed how the process work and who handles and pays the royalties to whom.

So, the marching Band director will need to submit all the license details about the song they’ll be using in an event to the event organizer. Therefore the director has to pay the royalties to the owner of the music or the music distribution officials, or the publisher. Simply, director buys the license from publisher.

Thus, it is essential to pay the royalties to the music publisher to use the music in any event, or they can’t be able to perform their Band.

What Will Happen If they Don’t Pay the Royalties?

Now you might wonder what will happen if the marching Band doesn’t pay the music publisher the royalties. However, you might have an idea of what can happen if they don’t pay, but there are a few extra things to know.

If the marching Band doesn’t pay the royalties for using the song to the song publisher, then they’ll not be able to perform in events; as I told you earlier, the event organizer will check the license of the music of every school or colleges. If they don’t do so and allow any Band to perform with copyright music, then the whole organization will suffer from legal actions from the song publisher.

Hence, the marching Band needs to give proper credit and royalties to the song publisher to stay safe from legal issues. And so most of the schools and colleges pay the royalties.

Is there any Royalty Free Music for Marching Band?

YES! There are so many sources you can collect royalty-free songs or music from for Marching Band. So if the schools and colleges use those music [royalty-free music], they don’t have to pay the royalties. But, now it is the choice of the university to choose what music suits their Marching Band.

Here you can also seek some great royalty-free marching band music from pixabay; also, it is good to mention the creator of the music as royalty.

You can find other resources to get more as I’ve seen many sources online from where you can get many royalty-free songs for Marching Bands for any competitions.

Although Marching Bands don’t have to pay royalties to the song publisher while practicing, they do for events or when they perform publicly.


So I hope now you have a lot of knowledge about royalties in the marching Band. You can share this post with your Marching Band junior if they have questions about royalties. And if you think there is something we’ve missed in this post, please let us know by contacting us.

You can also share with us what system your school or college has for the royalties; we will listen to your experience and list them here. Thanks for reading.

Sources: [read this PDF for additional information]