How to Find Who Wrote a Song

By Amanda Mack ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • • Song Title
  • • Performer Name
  • • Internet Connection
  • • Computer, Laptop or PDA

The American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers (ASCAP) represents music industry creators and performers from around the globe and is currently the only United States based organization completely operated by the composers, songwriters and publishers themselves. ASCAP is credited with licensing such talents as Stevie Wonder, Alan Jackson, Dave Matthews, and many more. For this reason, individuals searching for information on writers of certain songs will likely complete their search through ASCAP’s Ace database. In order to effectively search the database, a few simple steps and tips should be noted.

Steps

Access the ASCAP website by inputting www.ascap.com in your browser’s address bar at the top of your screen.

Select “Go” under the “ACE/Repertory” option at the top right of the page. This selection will bring up a page of information on writers and publishers found in the database. This page also features a link to the FAQ section if you have any questions about the database or what it contains.

Select “Click Here to Search the Database.” This selection will direct you to the ACE database of searchable song titles, artists and performers registered with ASCAP. At this page, you will have options such as song titles, performers or publishers from which to choose, though song title and performer will yield the best results when not much more is known.

Input your song title or performer name to pull up information about the song. If you know the performer’s name, you are more likely to pull the correct information in less amount of time since many songs have multiple versions and performers.

Choose the correct song from the list provided. The writer information will be contained on the top left column of information provided under each song title. For example, if you were searching the title, “My Heart will Go On” by Celine Dion, you would note that James Horner and Wilbur H. Jennings were the writers.

Tip

• The writer’s names are listed in the order of last name first. • When using the search tool, replace punctuation in the title with a space, don’t use articles (a, an, the), and keep in mind that the database is not case sensitive.

Warning

• Some titles may not be included in the database because they could have been licensed through other popular U.S. companies, such as BMI or SESAC. Both companies maintain similar databases.

About the Author

Amanda Mack is a writer residing in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas Tech University. Her areas of interests include contract law, commercial law, animal care, and English history.