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MUS 137 Music As A Business Class learns WordPress

Overview

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress was used by more than 23.2% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.

It was first released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, as a fork of b2/cafelog. The license under which WordPress software is released is the GPLv2 (or later) from the Free Software Foundation.
WordPress users may install and switch between themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website or installation without altering the information content or structure of the site. Themes may be installed using the WordPress “Appearance” administration tool or theme folders may be uploaded via FTP. The PHP, HTML (hyper text markup language) and cascading style sheets (CSS) code found in themes can be added to or edited for providing advanced features. Thousands of WordPress themes exist, some free, and some paid for templates. WordPress users may also create and develop their own custom themes if they have the knowledge and skill to do so.

Themes
WordPress has a web template system using a template processor.Plugins

WordPress’s plugin architecture allows users to extend its features. WordPress has a database of over 30,000 plugins, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customizations range from search engine optimization, to client portals used to display private information to logged in users, to content displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars..

Other Features

WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign multiple categories to articles; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardized formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes). WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or an article.


Richard Kahn New Music

Richard Kahn at the Steinway Concert Grand Piano

Richard Kahn at the Steinway

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

 


“Fundamentals of Music, a Modern Approach,” by Richard N. Kahn, published by Kendall-Hunt Publishing.

Written by veteran music educator Richard Kahn, Fundamentals of Music: A Modern Approach is the perfect introductory music textbook for high school and college students.

Featuring 14 detailed chapters, Fundamentals of Music: A Modern Approach is both comprehensive and comprehensible, delivering a fresh perspective on music fundamentals. By infusing century-old content with his rich experience in the jazz and commercial music industry, Richard Kahn effectively bridges the divide between classical music pedagogy and jazz and commercial techniques. In this way, Fundamentals of Music: A Modern Approach provides even-handed coverage of a wide variety of musical styles from Medieval to Motown.

Included in the text are original tools for studying, memorizing, and practicing at and away from the keyboard:

  • Skills Worksheets
  • Group Activities
  • Chord Visualizer Tools
  • Detachable Flashcards

Textbook Cover

To order a copy, visit http://www.kendallhunt.com/store-product.aspx?id=26263 or http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Music-A-Modern-Approach/dp/0757594921.  Payments accepted include VISA and PayPal


Blues and the Pentatonic Scale


Starting a Nonprofit Organization

Below is a list of the questions that are most commonly asked by individuals who are starting a nonprofit organization. For those of you who are going through this process, visit the website of the Society for Nonprofit Organizations as a way of learning skills now that will be crucial to the future success of your organization.

Q: What is a nonprofit organization?

A: The difference between nonprofit and for-profit organizations is that nonprofits use their profits to advance their programs, while for-profits distribute their profits to their owners or stockholders. Nonprofit organizations fall into five main categories:

  1. Trade associations, which advance a group of people who have a profession in common
  2. Charitable organizations, which must generally demonstrate a benevolent component. This is a diverse category, including religious groups, museums, environmental and educational organizations, libraries, and the many helping groups referred to as “charities.” They are also referred to as 501 (c)(3) organizations, because that is the number of the IRS Code under which they are described.
  3. Social clubs, such as country clubs and fraternal organizations.
  4. Governmental groups, including city, county, state, and federal agencies.
  5. Political groups, generally organized to promote certain policies, issues, or candidates.

Q: Should I start a nonprofit organization?

A: The key question to ask is, “Who will benefit from the activity?”  If the answer is that you or your family will benefit, then it is a good idea to start a for-profit company rather than a nonprofit organization. If your answer is that the community or the public at large will benefit, then a nonprofit structure may be the best route. The second question to ask is, “Will I allow the board of directors to set policy, including my salary, benefits, and even my employment by the organization?” If your answer is “No, I want to keep control of the organization,” then you want to make your corporation for-profit. If, however, you want the board to be autonomous, then a nonprofit organization can be a good fit. Remember, you can sit on the board and you can have a vote when it comes to determining policy. However, on issues that affect your employment, salary, and benefits, you must excuse yourself from voting.

Q: Where can I find support and resources to help us?

A: Visit the website of he Society For Nonprofit Organizations.  As a member of SNPO, you will receive a bi-monthly magazine, monthly e-mail with current grants and funding opportunities, free job listings on NonprofitCareers.org, discounted nonprofit training, and other resources to help your nonprofit organization to succeed.  Consider reading the following books:

  1. Starting and Managing a Nonprofit Organization: A Legal Guide by Bruce R. Hopkins
  2. Starting and Running a Nonprofit Organization by Joan Hummel
  3. A Nonprofit Organization Operating Manual: Planning for Survival and Growth by Arnold J. Olenick & Philip R. Olenick

 

Q: What are the first steps to starting a nonprofit?

A: Here are the basic things you need to do to get started:

  1. Define your organization’s purpose and form, and write a mission statement. Your mission statement should explain why people would want to invest in your organization (as donors. volunteers, or recipients of service).
  2. Form a board of directors.
  3. File articles of incorporation. If you do not incorporate, board members and other individuals in your organization may be held personally liable in case of a lawsuit. Articles of Incorporation should be filed with your Secretary of State (or other department that has authority for this filing in your state).
  4. Write your organization’s bylaws, or the rules to which you will adhere.  An excellent source for sample bylaws and other forms needed to start a nonprofit organization is a book called How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation: With Forms by Mark Warda.
  5. Apply for nonprofit status from the IRS. (Ask your local IRS office for publication 557 and form 1023).
  6. After you have received your letter of determination from the IRS, apply to your state department of revenue and your state department in charge of regulations (often called the Department of Regulation and Licensing).
  7. Register your organization with the state. Contact the Secretary of State (Corporate Division) and Attorney General (Charities Division).
  8. Apply for a solicitation license from your city. Check to see if your city requires you to have such a license before you can solicit funds.
  9. Apply for sales tax exemption from your state.
  10. Apply for nonprofit bulk mail permit from your post office.
  11. Obtain liability insurance, including Directors’ and Officers’ (or D & O) insurance. D & O liability insurance is necessary to protect your board members’ assets.

Ten Nonprofit Startup Mistakes

  1. Poor Initial Research
    While passion for your cause may be strong, research is essential before determining if a need exists for a new organization to address it. Can the need be addressed if you partner with an existing organization? Do you have any idea of the operational aspects of a nonprofit organization? Would the organization qualify for tax-exempt status? Read everything you can before starting.
  2. No Business Plan
    You will quickly discover that a nonprofit organization is a business. In order to survive, it must have at least as much money coming in to the business as it has going out in services and expenses. Have you written a realistic business plan?
  3. Not for a Charitable Purpose
    Sure it’s a great idea, but does in qualify as a charitable cause? The basic definition of a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is one that serves the public good and is organized for religious, charitable, educational, scientific or literary purposes. If you are unsure, research similar organizations for information.
  4. Failure to Register
    Registration of nonprofits is required in most states. Some people think they don’t have to register and since they are “nonprofit” they really won’t get in any trouble. Wrong! I spoke with the head of a state charity bureau who used to be a prosecutor and he looks forward to being one again any time it is necessary to protect the interests of the people. Registration protects citizens of states from becoming victims of fraud and registration of charities, paid solicitors and fundraising counsels helps to maintain a responsible environment for charitable work.
  5. Failure to Keep Good Records
    As a business, the organization will be required to file various reports of business activity. You just can’t make things up thinking that you won’t be held responsible. (see Failure to Register) If you are not organized, learn to be before starting a nonprofit.
  6. No Funding Plan
    Raising money is a tough and competitive requirement of most nonprofit organizations. If your experience with raising funds was through attending a dinner, golf outing, bake sale or car wash, you need help with fundraising. Without funding, there is no way to sustain a nonprofit organization.
  7. Not Complying with IRS Statutes
    Yes you must file a federal tax return and yes you do need to learn what the federal government requires of nonprofit organizations. You receive great tax breaks by being a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and complying with reporting is a fair deal considering the benefits you receive. To help you, the IRS has a Web site dedicated to exempt organizations – http://www.irs.gov/eo
  8. Misjudging Time Requirements
    Running a nonprofit is not a hobby. If you think that you can run a nonprofit organization part-time, you need to have others helping you or you will fail. When you consider that it is a business and is subject to filing and reporting requirements in addition to service work, you quickly realize it requires a full-time commitment.
  9. Not Building an Effective Board
    Leadership is critical and an effective board is one that is composed of talented, dedicated and working people. Your board should add integrity to your work, offer access to funding, provide some of the expertise you need and be dedicated to your mission.
  10. Not Investing in Professional Talent
    At a minimum, you will need a lawyer and an accountant to help you get started. They don’t need to be on staff and instead can be retained only as needed. The same is true for fundraising counsel. There are a few critical areas that will make or break an organization and you will be better able to survive by paying a professional well only for the time you need rather than paying an inexperienced worker to muddle through. Having certain systems set-up by experienced professionals will save money in the long-run.

Ten Tips for Songwriters: Credits, Copyrights, and Coauthors

You may have written an outstanding song with a fabulous melody, great lyrics, and memorable hooks. Yet your work doesn’t stop there. Songwriting raises many legal issues such as: who gets the credit for a song, how are royalties split, can you claim tax deductions for home studios, and should you register a copyright. Here are ten tips to help manage the legal and business side of your songwriting.

 

1. Figure Out Songwriting Credits, Now!

If you’re writing songs with others, as soon as you finish the song, agree with your collaborators as to how to split potential revenues. If you wait until after you have a deal or record the song, you could end up sorting out credits and payments with band members who have long since left the group. Many bands also include non-writing members in the income. You don’t need a formal contract on who gets the credits; an informal written agreement will suffice.

  • Consider a Band Partnership Agreement

If you’re in a band that’s earning money, owns equipment, and has a working career, use a band partnership agreement.

 

2. How to Decide Whom Gets Songwriting Credits

A songwriting copyright is awarded to those who jointly contributed to the song’s structure, chord progressions, and lyrics. This can be anyone, even the members of the rhythm section (in many songs — especially in rock, pop, and dance music — a bass or drum part is so integral to the song that it becomes as important as the melody). The best way to decide:

  • the members of the band determine who wrote the songs, or
  • throw out traditional rules and share equally (or by some other formula) in all band-written tunes.

 

3. Publicize Songwriters’ Names

Once you’ve established who wrote a song, publicize the names and how to contact you or your music publisher. When preparing music for downloads — for example MP3s, AACs, or WMAs — make use of the text tags that allow you to encode the names of the songwriters and any related copyright information.

 

4. Consider Cowriting With a Dead Songwriter

Having trouble writing a catchy tune? You might consider trying the approach of Vera Matson, who took a civil war song, “Aura Lee,” and added her own lyrics. The result was “Love Me Tender,” a monster hit for Elvis Presley and many other artists. Older music (published before 1923) like “Aura Lee” isn’t protected by copyright, and therefore is said to be in the “public domain.” It’s free for anyone to copy.

Others may use these tunes as well but cannot copy the unique elements that you add.

 

5. Register With BMI and ASCAP

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) — known as performance rights organizations — monitor radio and television stations, nightclubs, websites, and other entities that play music. They collect royalties from these places and pay the royalties directly to the music publishers and songwriters (so you get payments from them, not your publisher or manager).

Be sure to register with BMI or ASCAP and keep your information current. For more information, check their websites at www.bmi.com and www.ascap.com.

 

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Give Up the Copyright for the Right Deal

“Don’t give up your copyright,” is the cry often heard from musicians and songwriters. Yes, it’s true that the music business is rife with tales of woe about songwriters like Richard Berry, who gave up his copyright for “Louie, Louie” for $750. (Berry eventually won a $2 million court judgment over the song.)

The reality is that just about every songwriter who signs with a major music publisher gives up the copyright to the song. In return, the publisher pays the songwriter a hefty portion of the royalties over the life of the copyright. Often, the songwriter, not the music publisher, earns the bigger share of the songwriting royalties and benefits from the music publisher’s hustle.

The bottom line: If you’re dealing with a reputable music publisher, don’t be afraid to sign off on copyright — especially if an attorney examines the deal for you.

 

 

7. Market Your Songs to Nontraditional Media

Changes in technology have altered the ways in which songs earn money. The source for most music listening hours is neither CDs nor radio but video games.

In addition, advertising agencies, motion picture and TV companies, and Internet websites have all opened up new licensing opportunities.

 

8. Consider Taking a Lower Percentage of Revenue for an Established Publisher

If you create your own music publishing company you’ll get 100% of the songwriting revenue. If you sell your song to an existing music publisher you’ll probably earn 60-75% of the song revenue. But don’t assume that getting a larger percentage of the revenue is always better. An established publisher may be better equipped to get you deals, especially lucrative ones like putting your songs in a movie or an advertisement.

 

9. Copyright is Automatic

You do not have to register your music with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to get copyright protection. In most countries, including the U.S. and Canada, all that is required for a song to be copyrighted is that it be “original” and “fixed.” “Original” means that the song is original to the writer and that it was not copied from another source. A work is “fixed” when it exists in some tangible manner such as sheet music, a tape recording, or saved onto a computer disk.

Even though copyright registration is not necessary to protect your song, it can help protect it from infringement, especially if your song is registered prior to an infringement or within three months of its release (you may be able to recover more money from an infringer in that case). For more information on copyright registration, check out the U.S. Copyright Office website at www.copyright.gov.

 

10. Tax Breaks for Home Office Use

If you regularly use part of your home exclusively to compose and record your songs, and you have no other fixed location where you do such things, you can claim a home office tax deduction. How much you can claim toward your home office deduction depends on how much (what percentage) of your home you use as a home office or studio.

For example, if you use 20% of your home, you can allot 20% of your home office expenses (such as rent, depreciation, mortgage interest, property taxes, electricity, gas, insurance) to the home office deduction.

  • You may lose the capital gains tax exemption. If you do take the home office deduction and then sell your home, you could lose the capital gains tax exemption on the home office portion of your home. However, this won’t happen if you live in the home two out of the five years before you sell it.

 


The Essentials of a Business Plan

The Essentials of a Business Plan

                                                                                                                                                            All business plans must show two things:

A winning idea and a clear shot at a profit.

A good business plan has two basic goals: It should describe the fundamentals of your business idea and provide financial data to show that you will make good money. Beyond that, the content of your business plan depends on how you intend to use it.

How Will You Use Your Business Plan?

Depending on whether you’re trying to attract investors or are creating a blueprint for your own use, a business plan can take somewhat different forms.

Attracting Investors

If you will use your business plan to borrow money or interest investors, you should carefully design your plan so that it sells your vision to skeptical people. Normally this means your business plan should include:

  • a persuasive introduction and request for funds
  • a statement of the purpose of your business
  • a detailed description of how the business will work (including what your product or service will be, whether you’ll have employees, who will supply your goods, and where you will be located)
  • an analysis of your market (who your customers are)
  • an evaluation of your main competitors
  • a description of your marketing strategy (how your business will reach plenty of customers and fend off your competitors)
  • a résumé setting forth your business accomplishments, and
  • detailed financial information, including your best estimates of start-up costs, revenues and expenses, and your ability to make a profit.

Together, all the parts of your plan should reveal the beauty of your business idea. You want to show potential lenders, investors, or people you want to work with that you’ve hit upon a product or service that customers really want. In addition, you should prove that you are exactly the right person to make your fine idea a roaring success.


Fictitious Business Name (dBA)

NAMING YOUR BUSINESS: FICTITIOUS NAMES AND DBAs

 

The headquarters of the Department of Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk is located at 12400 Imperial Highway in the City of Norwalk. There are also branch offices in Van Nuys, Lancaster and near the Los Angeles Airport (La Cienega Blvd. – see below) where assistance with business filings is offered.

 

DISTRICT OFFICES DO NOT PROCESS MAIL REQUESTS.

 

NOTE:  This office does not issue Business Licenses. To obtain a License, contact the City Hall within the city where the business will be conducted. For a business to be conducted in an unincorporated area of the County, contact the Los Angeles County Business License office at (213) 974-0093.

 

TRADEMARKS AND TRADENAMES

 

Contact the Commissioner for Trademarks, 2900 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202-3513

 

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME (FBN) STATEMENT:

 

Prior to opening a business, a business name must be selected that is not already in use and then registered. Business and Professional Code 17918 specifies “No person transacting business under a fictitious business name contrary to the provisions of this chapter, or his assignee, may maintain any action upon or on account of any contract made, or transaction had, in the fictitious business name in any court of this state until the fictitious business name statement has been executed, filed, and published as required by this chapter.  For the purposes of this section, the failure to comply with subdivision  (b) of Section 17917 does not constitute transacting business contrary to the provisions of this chapter.

 

The first time filing fee for the Fictitious Business Name Statement is $23.00 for one business name and up to two registrants. The renewal filing fee for the Fictitious Business Name Statement is $18.00 for one business name and up to two registrants. There is an additional fee of $4.00 for both first time filing and renewal filing for each additional name and/or registrant.

 

Renewals:  A fictitious business name statement expires five years from the date it is filed in the office of the County Clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed prior to that date if you intend to continue doing business under that name. A renewal only requires completion of the application and a $18.00 fee and $4.00 for each additional name/registrant. A renewal does not require publication.

 

State law requires that within 30 days the registrant must publish a statement in a  newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the principal  place of business is located.

 

Click here for A LIST OF NEWSPAPERS OF GENERAL CIRCULATION.

 

You may use the Fictitious Business Name Application Form to file an FBN.

 

Click here for APPLICATION FOR FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT

 

If you choose to mail your FBN application instead of filing it in person, please  use the following address:

Business Filing and Registration

P.O. Box 53592

Los Angeles, California 90053-0592.

For Information Call:   (562) 462-2177

 

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME SEARCH:

 

Locating a fictitious business name may be conducted in person, by mail, or over the Internet  if at the Norwalk office.

The County Clerk’s Office cannot accept telephone requests for business name searches.

 

Business name searches and/or filings can be conducted in person at the following Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office locations:

 

12400 Imperial Highway, 2nd Floor, Searches, Room 2207, Filings, Room 2001

Norwalk, CA 90650

Office hours:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m., M-F, except holidays

(562) 462-2177

 

Van Nuys District Office

14340 W. Sylvan Street

Van Nuys, CA 91401

Search hours:  8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F, except holidays

Business name filing hours are 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.

(818) 374-7191

 

LAX District Office

11701 S. La Cienega Bl., 6th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90045

Search Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F, except holidays

Business name filing hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30  p.m.

(310) 727-6142

 

Lancaster District Office (Filings only – no searches at this time.)

1028 W. Avenue J2

Lancaster, CA 93534

Business name filing hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

(661) 945-6446

 

Please note that searches at the branch offices only yield the business name, document number, and the date filed. Additional information regarding the business in question can only be obtained from our Norwalk office  via mail or visit to the Norwalk office.

 

Detailed searches can be ordered by mailing a written request to:

Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Business Filings and Registration Section, Room 2001

12400 Imperial Highway

Norwalk, CA 90650

 

AND should include the following information:

1.        Name of the business

2.        Address of the business

 

The search fee is $5 per name. If a search reveals the company name, the copy fee per page is .46¢ unless a certified copy is needed and then the fee is $2 per page. A check or money order payable to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk must accompany the written request and should also include a stamped self-addressed return envelope. The search fee is non-refundable. A “No Record Statement” will be issued if a record is not found.

 

Renewals:  A fictitious business name statement expires five years from the date it is filed in the office of the County Clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed prior to that date if you intend to continue doing business under that name. A renewal only requires completion of the application and an $18.00 fee and $4.00 for each additional name/registrant. A renewal does not require publication.


Songwriter Split Sheet

Songwriter Split Sheet

 

Song Title(s):

_______________________________________

_______________________________________

_______________________________________

 

Date(s): 

_______________________________

_______________________________

 

Recording Artist(s):

______________________________

______________________________

 

Record Label(s):       

______________________________

______________________________

 

Studio Name(s):

______________________________

______________________________

 

Studio Address:

________________________________

________________________________

 

Studio Phone Number(s): 

______________________________

______________________________

 

 

Composer/Lyricist 1:

                                                           

Address:

_______________________________

_______________________________

 

Phone(s):

________________________

_________________________

 

Publishing Companies:

____________________________________

____________________________________

Publishing %: ___________

Publishing %: ___________

 

Affiliation:

ASCAP                        

BMI                                   

SESAC                         

NONE                         

 

 

Ownership Percentages (%):

Lyrics %    _________________

Music %   _________________

S/R %       _________________

 

Writer/Composer 2 Signature:

_______________________________

 

CAE/Social Security Number:

______________________

Birthdate:

______________________           

 

Address: _____________________________

                 _____________________________

 

Phone(s): ______________________________

                   ______________________________

Publishing Companies:

 ___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

Publishing %: ___________

Publishing %: ___________

 

Affiliation:

ASCAP                         

BMI                                   

SESAC                       

NONE                        

 

 

Ownership Percentages (%):

Lyrics %    ________________

Music %   _________________

S/R %       _________________

 

Writer/Composer 2 Signature:

_______________________________

 

CAE/Social Security Number:

______________________

Birthdate:

______________________