Music Glossary U

Music Glossary U

Music Glossary U is a collection of music industry terms, words, and phrases, that begin with the letter “U”, from U-card to USP/Unique Selling Point/Unique Selling Proposition.

Music Glossary U

Music Glossary Navigation

Music Glossary U Terms


The paper CD tray or back insert for a jewel case.


Sony released the U-matic video cassette recorder in the late 1960s. The transport mechanism and tape media was also used in the PCM 1600 series for digital audio.

Sony U-matic systems have been used in CD manufacture since the 1980s. The format was used for delivering audio masters to CD manufacturers. U-matic cassettes can still be found in use for mastering CDs.


This is an audio connection that uses two wires. One wire carries the signal while the other wire is used as the return. This type of connection is particularly vulnerable to noise and interference, particularly with longer cable lengths.

As the two signal leads are not of equal potential difference from the reference ground signal they are considered to be ‘Unbalanced’ with respect to the ground signal.


The Underscore is a subset of a Score, that normally refers to music that can be heard under dialogue.


See Cardioid.


Unrecouped, in relation to a Recording Contract, just means that an Artist Advance hasn’t yet been fully repaid from appropriate royalties.

Unrecouped in relation to a Publishing Agreement means that a Writer’s Advance hasn’t been repaid from appropriate royalties.

Advances in the music industry, just like advances on your wage from an employer, are a prepayment of money yet to be earned. In the music industry, the money in question is earned from revenue streams defined in the governing contract.

In relation to a Record Contract, this would normally be largely from royalties earned from record sales.

In a Publishing Contract, this would normally be from licensing fees and performance royalties

Not all royalties are used in the recoupment of an advance relating to a Recording Contract. Artists and Writers need to ask what sources of revenue will be used to recoup any advances.


Universal Product Code is the American bar-code number. The UPC Code is also used in Europe.

Usage Return

A usage return holds repertoire information about performance and may be used to identify musical works for royalty collection purposes.

USP/Unique Selling Point/Unique Selling Proposition

USP is the unique benefit or feature that makes a company, service, product or brand stand out from its competitors. The USP must highlight the benefits of a product in a way that is meaningful to its target audience.

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