Using Music Legally in your Novels… @NonnieJules

Hello, Friends!

I happened across this timely topic and just had to share it.  It seems the post was written by a Michael Murphy, but it rests on Anne R. Allen’s blog.

Get your pen and paper ready to take notes.  If you’re a novel writer, this information might prove invaluable to you one day.


Do you use music in your written work?  If so, please come back and share with us via the comments section below.

Until next time…


9 thoughts on “Using Music Legally in your Novels… @NonnieJules

  1. I’m using lyrics from a song in my next book, but the song is well over 100 years old.


  2. So, I guess the moral of the story is stay away from lyrics. Lol! I find it interesting that we can quote an article or a book and cite it and not have to pay anything, but we have to pay to quote and cite lyrics. Crazy! Oh, well! I don’t think I’ve ever used the lyrics of a song, and now I will make sure that I don’t. Thanks for informing us, Nonnie! 🙂


    1. When you put it like that, Yvette, it does make sense. I think that artists or authors, etc., should be flattered when someone uses their work, IF AND ONLY IF they are being credited for it. But, as they say, different strokes for different folks.

      Thanks for weighing in!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did use song lyrics in my novel. I consulted with an attorney who specializes in working with independent and self-published writers, and who often appears on a call-in show on the radio station where I work. He said that, since I only used a few words from the song(s), and they were used to set the (historical) time, it was fine. For example, I wrote that these few words: “If my words could talk…” came wafting out of someone’s bedroom, and then a few minutes later, the chorus, “Ripple in still waters…” and that was it, and my character recognized that the person was a fan of the Grateful Dead, that was fine. If, on the other hand, I had quoted the entire verse and the entire chorus, I would have had to get pre-authorization from the Grateful Dead, and, most likely, from the estate of Jerry Garcia. Most of the music I would want to quote extensively was written by people I actually know (NOT Jerry, although he did get his start as a folk and bluegrass musician in San Francisco in the early 1960s), and they’d give me permission, I think. But the five- or six-word rule is what Paul Rapp, Esq., advised me was fine.


  3. D.L. Finn, Author January 20, 2020 — 5:54 pm

    I do use music in my novels, but always make sure to credit the artist.


    1. D.L. Finn, Author January 20, 2020 — 5:58 pm

      Guess I will have to stop this practice.


      1. When I saw both your comments, I laughed out loud, Denise! Yes, I would stay away from the practice altogether!

        Thanks for dropping by!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. D.L. Finn, Author January 23, 2020 — 2:32 am



  4. Sadly, I can’t even recall if I’ve used song lyrics. I may have referenced or mentioned song lyrics. Does that count?


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