Hal Leonard, the music-print company, has acquired CMP Technology's Backbeat Books division, a leading publisher of music reference books.

Under the terms of the deal, Hal Leonard will own the existing catalog and will continue to create new titles under the Backbeat name. During the ownership transition phase, Hal Leonard will continue to work with Backbeat's existing distributors in markets around the world.

The Backbeat catalog contains nearly 200 publications, including the "All Music Guide" reference series; in-depth instructional books for musicians like "The Guitar Player?s Repair Guide"; band biographies and memoirs such as "Skydog: The Duane Allman Story"; and books on equipment, the music business, music software, recording techniques. The catalog also includes a number of titles associated with the magazines Guitar Player, Bass Player and Keyboard. CMP Technology recently sold the business that publishes these magazines to Newbay Media.

Nigel Osborne of London-based Outline Press, who has long developed content for Backbeat Books, will continue in that capacity. He will liaise with established and new authors for upcoming titles, which will remain branded under the Backbeat Books imprint.

"The Backbeat brand will become the anchor line for our trade book publishing, and fit neatly with our long-term objective for growth in this area,? says Larry Morton, president of Hal Leonard.

Primarily known for its songbooks and sheet music, Milwaukee-based Hal Leonard will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2007.