Archive for July, 2013

License vs. Purchase: What’s the Difference?

In the Christian music publishing world, you’ll find both cantatas and Broadway-style musicals, though the latter are much fewer in number. Some of the music available on our website ( is music that was originally published through the major Christian music print companies and some of it is music from other smaller companies or individual copyright owners. The musicals from the larger publishers are for sale and musicals from the smaller publishers are available through licensing only. So, what’s the difference? Why is there a difference?

The publisher (large or small), as the copyright owner, has, by law,  the exclusive right to determine and control how his music will be distributed, licensed and even performed. You may be used to dealing with the major church music publishers (Brentwood Benson, Word, Lillenas, Praise Gathering, Lifeway, Shawnee Press, Integrity Music, etc. ) whose music is sold either directly to churches or through distributors (Kempke, Christian Supply, Pine Lake, etc. ) or through Christian bookstores such as Lifeway, Mardels, and so on. Most typically, these publishers create cantatas (commonly called “musicals”) which are sold to be performed in a church setting. These cantatas (musicals) are usually based on a collection of songs threaded together with narration or in some cases, short dialog.