Demo (music)

Representative examples of unsolicited demo tapes received in the mail by Mutant Pop Records in the late 1990s. The tape in the middle with the photocopied j-card was probably also sold at shows by the band.

A demo (from "demonstration") is a song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas in a fixed format, such as cassette tape, compact disc, or digital audio files, and to thereby pass along those ideas to record labels, record producers, or to other artists.

Musicians often use demos as quick sketches to share with bandmates or arrangers or simply for personal reference during the songwriting process; in other cases a songwriter might make a demo to send to artists in hopes of having the song professionally recorded, or a music publisher may need a simple recording for publishing or copyright purposes.

Background

Demos are typically recorded on relatively crude equipment such as "boom box" cassette recorders, small four-track or eight-track machines, or on personal computers with audio recording software.

Songwriters' and publishers' demos are recorded with minimal instrumentation - usually just an acoustic guitar or piano, and the vocalist. Both Elton John[1] and Donovan gained studio experience early in their careers by recording publishers' demos for other artists, since their managers also handled music publishing,[2] as did Garth Brooks, who was so impressed when recording the demo of "Friends in Low Places" that he asked to release the song himself (when he did in 1990, it became a major worldwide hit).[3]

Other Languages
العربية: عينة (موسيقى)
български: Демо (музика)
čeština: Demo (hudba)
Deutsch: Demoaufnahme
Esperanto: Demo
français: Démo (musique)
한국어: 데모 (음악)
hrvatski: Demo (glazba)
Bahasa Indonesia: Demo (musik)
italiano: Demo#In musica
ქართული: დემო (მუსიკა)
latviešu: Demo ieraksts
Lëtzebuergesch: Demo (Musek)
македонски: Демо снимка
Nederlands: Demo (muziek)
日本語: デモテープ
português: Demo (música)
русский: Демозапись
Simple English: Demo (music)
slovenčina: Demonahrávka
svenska: Demo (musik)
ไทย: เดโม
Türkçe: Demo (müzik)
українська: Демо-запис
Tiếng Việt: Demo (nhạc)
中文: 樣本唱片