What are "Grand Rights"?

They’re not the province of PROs.

Grand rights (aka dramatic performance rights) cover such theatrical settings as ballets, musicals, and operas. A dramatic performance is usually when the work is being used to tell a story or propel a plot. Some examples are:

  1. A “dramatical-musical work” like the Broadway hit Hamilton.
  2. One or more musical compositions from a “dramatical-musical work” accompanied by dialogue, pantomime, dance, stage action, or visual representation of the work from which the music is taken. For example, a performance of Hamilton’s “My Shot” with costumes, sets, props, or dialogue.
  3. One or more musical compositions as part of a story or plot, whether accompanied or unaccompanied by dialogue, pantomime, dance, stage action or visual representation. For example, incorporating a performance of “My Shot” into a story or plot (whether it’s the original or not).
  4. The performance of a concert version of a “dramatic-musical work”. For example, singing all the songs from Hamilton without any costumes or sets.

Performing Rights Organizations (ASCAP, BMI, etc.) do not issue licenses for grand rights or monitor this type of performance.

If you write music for a Broadway show or ballet, then either you or your publisher must negotiate this license directly with the show’s producer.


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