Glossary Navigation

Harry Fox
The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), is a US company that issues Mechanical Licenses and collects Mechanical Royalties, on behalf of music publishers, in return for a fee of 11.5%.

The cost of a record company audit is not cheap which makes it impractical for small publishers to carry out, at least on a regular basis. Fortunately, they benefit from regular record company audits conducted but Harry Fox.

Music Community

HFA stopped issuing synchronization (or synch) licenses (as used for music in advertising, movies, music videos, and television programs).

HFA does collect and distribute monies due on synch licenses that were granted before 2002, when HFA discontinued their synch service.

HFA conducts royalty examinations. They investigate and negotiate new business opportunities, and pursue piracy claims.

Harry Fox is also involved with industry-level negotiations representing the interests of its members.

HDCD
Microsoft music disc format that plays on CD players.

Headroom
This is the amount of signal amplitude range between the nominal signal level and the signal level at which clipping will occur. Headroom is normally expressed in dB.

Headstock
The headstock is situated at the top of the neck. Normally this has the tuning pegs (sometimes called machine heads), and often displays the guitar company logo.

Helmholtz Resonator
This is an acoustic room treatment that can trap a specified range of low-frequency audio signals.

Hertz (Hz)
This is the unit of measurement for frequency.

1 Hz = 1 cycle/sec

More generally:

Frequency = Wavelength/time

Hi-Hat
An instrument used as part of a drum kit consisting of a stand, rod, pedal, and 2 cymbals, one on top of the other. As the pedal is raised or lowered it causes the rod running through the stand to raise the top cymbal. Creating different tones as it is struck.

High-Pass Filter
This is a type of filter that rejects low-frequency audio signals.

Holdback
A period of time where a record cannot be released. This can happen when an artist is signed exclusively to a record company, and another record company wishes the artist to record a track for them (for example a track written for a soundtrack). Exclusivity may be temporarily waived in return for the right to include that track on a greatest hits album. The right to release the soundtrack song on such a greatest hits is normally held back for a period of time after the soundtrack release date so that the soundtrack album is not commercially compromised.

Hook
A hook is a catchy part of a song. Hooks are noticeable and memorable. They are often the words that people know or the melody that listeners find themselves humming. A hook can be lyrical, melodic, harmonic, rhythmic. Lyrically it is commonly the song title. Often hooks are repeated and so are often found in the song refrain or chorus.

Read the Songstuff article “The Power Of Song Hooks“.

Hum
A low-frequency tone that is normally a multiple of 50Hz or 60Hz. This is because it is often related to mains power frequency.