Music Cue Sheet: Template & Guidelines
WHAT IS A CUE SHEET?
A cue sheet is a document containing a detailed listing of all the music used within a television show, feature film, documentary or other audiovisual production.
A music cue sheet lists theme music and background cues associated specifically with those productions, as well as independent songs which are also included in the soundtrack.
WHEN IS CUE SHEET REQUIRED?
Cue sheets are only required when there is public broadcast (on television or live theatre for example).
It does not concern corporate videos, corporate web sites, student projects, personal videos, youtube videos, etc.
It is important to note that there is no additional cost to producer. Filling in the cue sheet does not imply that the production company owes any additional fees or royalties (thus the often-used term Royalty Free Music). These royalties are paid by broadcasters.
WHAT IS CUE SHEET USED FOR?
These cue sheets go to Performing Right Societies (like SOCAN in Canada, BMI/ASCAP in USA), who collect money for public use, so artists will get their public broadcast/performance royalties. Without the cue sheet, these performances would remain unidentified and unpaid. To provide with details about the music used in the production, performing right societies rely on the information provided on the audio-visual cue sheet.
WHAT DOES A CUE SHEET LOOK LIKE?
Though simple to fill in, information must be completed indicating the song title, writer and publisher information, song duration and use type.
The first section of cue sheet provides details about the production including name, date of production, names of director and actors, country of origin etc. This is useful to accurately identify which production should be matched to the performance information received by each PRO. The second section of the cue sheet provides specific details about each piece of music used including title, composer, music publisher, ownership share, and the manner of usage (e.g. theme or background).
Cue sheets details should include:
- names of producers, director, distributor, main actors
- production year
- country of origin
- project title / for a TV series: episode title and number
- total duration of the production
- total duration of all the music used
- titles of the songs and compositions
- the length of music
- the rights owners (writer, publisher)
- the performer
- ISRC if available
- the music use (in background, theme, feature, etc.)
- the music type (vocal/instrumental)
- broadcast and distribution details
Both existing tracks and works commissioned specifically for motion pictures or television programs (e.g. theme music, bumper music or background cues) are indicated on the cue sheets.
The music uses (ex. thème, musique de fond, musique visuelle, etc.) are listed and explained on our page “Basics about rights and licenses”.
Cue sheets are filled in by a music editor, or a composer or a production coordinator for a production company and need to be sent to the performing rights organization of the origin country of the production.
Click here to dowload our cue sheet and instructions.