Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture, 1 laboratory per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in MUS 60C.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Post Production, manufacturing, graphic design, marketing and managing all the aspects of a CD release from the mastering of an audio recording to sales and promotions of the final product. Creating a business, a publishing company, obtain copyrights for sampled audio or works of other artists, protect and promote original music. Create an image, photography and press kits for promotional campaigns, marketing, merchandise and sales. Making artistic and business decisions, working with manufacturing companies and graphic artists to create the final product for sale.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Understand the process of mastering audio, prepare a master for manufacturing
B. Obtain Copyrights, get licenses, start a publishing company
C. Identify their musical niche and create promotional materials, press kits, logos, branding for marketing the product
D. Understand how to work with a CD manufacturer and graphic artist to decide on the product look and design
E. Start a business, handle the sales of the musical product, work within a budget and license the music for profit
F. Create attractive promotional materials, create promo campaigns and write press releases and increase sales of the product

Course Content

A. Mastering your CD
1. What is mastering?
2. What actually happens when mastering
a. EQ
b. Compression
c. Song order
d. Fades
e. Master effects
3. Mastering for the manufacturer
4. What to bring to a mastering session
a. Song order
b. Song timings
5. Archiving your project
B. Manufacturing your CD
1. Choosing a company
a. Check for "value added" features, promotional compilations
b. Package deals
2. Packaging
3. Style/materials
4. Duplication vs replication
5. Cost and budget
a. Funding your CD
C. Artwork and graphic design
1. What do you want for your CD cover design?
2. Pages, written text, how much?
3. Photos, art
4. Layouts and types CD containers (eco-pack, jewel case, etc.)
5. Working with a manufacturers template, software for design
6. Working with the graphic artist
7. Design with your genre in mind
D. Copyrights, sampling, publishing
1. What is a copyright? What is copyright infringement?
2. Protecting your music
3. Getting permission to use others' music
a. Harry Fox Agency
4. Licensing your music
5. Performing arts organizations
E. The business of music
1. Writing a business plan
2. Creating business accounts
3. Business name, getting a fictitious name
4. What type of business do you need?
5. Keeping track of income, creating a budget
6. Start a publishing company
7. Government regulations, taxes
8. Hiring a bookkeeper and lawyer
F. Marketing
1. Deciding your musical genre/niche
2. Logo
3. Promo photos
4. Creating press kits
5. Keeping mailing lists
a. Connecting with fans via database
6. Creating press releases
G. Sales and online promotions and management
1. Pricing and creating a sales plan
2. Selling at gigs
a. Credit card machine
b. Package deals
3. Merchandise and sales at shows
4. Online retailing
a. iTunes and more
5. Arts and crafts fairs
6. Mail order via website
7. Discounts and consignment
H. Other sales, distribution and licensing
1. Using "TAXI" and other services
a. Getting your music in commercials, film and TV
2. CD Baby
a. Using independent distribution websites
3. Licensing your music
4. Working with a distributor online

Lab Content

A. Create proposals for marketing, promotional campaigns and press releases
B. Researching manufacturing costs, requirements for CD replication/duplication
C. Explore the graphic design software for CD covers and promotional materials
D. Write a business plan
E. Detail the process of starting a publishing company
F. Explore options for online promotions of CDs

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and hardware; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Quizzes
B. Midterm and final exams
B. Essay exams
C. Class discussion forums
D. Written assignments
E. Projects based on class materials

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Weekly reading of class materials
B. Participating in class discussion related to weekly reading
C. Researching and writing projects related to the class reading
D. Sharing the results of research projects on forums

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

All materials provided by instructor. Materials are drawn from printed and online resources and are frequently updated to keep current on trends and changes. Examples of resources used to create instructor-provided materials include, but are not limited to:

Passman, Donald S. All You Need to Know About the Music Business 8th ed. Simon & Schuster, 2012.

DIY Musician:


Avid Pro Audio Community forum:


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Review videos and articles on music business, promotions and marketing

B. Research costs and requirements of CD production, prepare a written budget

C. Explore ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Harry Fox and manufacturing websites for information

D. Writing promotional materials and press releases



Commercial Music