Recorded Music Operations – CMUS 355

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 03/20/2024

Course Description

A study of the operational principles of recorded music distribution for independent artists and for mainstream record labels. This includes monetization of recorded music through streaming, special events, merchandising, and other methods.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


With the ever-changing music industry, music industry professionals and recording artists must be equipped to find and sustain success. The task has been complicated due to consumer shifts to new technologies for music consumption. The era of major record label dominance is making way for independent and “do it yourself” (DIY) entrepreneurs to compete in the recorded music space. This course will explore strategies for artists and record labels to find success in the crowded DIY marketplace.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be 150 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge through at least 2 scholarly citations. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 100 words and include at least 1 scholarly citation.

Each Short Answer Assignment will cover the Learn material for the assigned module: week. Each assignment will be open-book, and contain short essay questions. Responses should be in the student's own words, not copied directly from the course text, and each response should be at least 150 words.

The student will write a 1,500 word proposal, including a business, marketing, and distribution plan, for a DIY label and its artist’s release. The student must include a bibliography with at least three sources and two examples from scripture.

The student will write a 1,000 word research-based paper in current Turabian, format that focuses on a Christian worldview of entrepreneurship and DIY record labels. The paper must include at least 3 reference(s) in addition to the course textbooks and examples from the Bible.

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned Module: Week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 45-minute time limit.