How do I protect my music?

I’m pretty new to composing. I’ve been researching things online and seem to be getting conflicting information. Some sites are saying my music needs to be registered with the US copyright office (I live in the US). Others seem to be saying all I need to do is register with ASCAP. Can anyone please explain what I need to do or direct me to the information?

The current copyright fee is $55 for electronic filing.
When I used to be out and about with working musicians, BMI and ASCAP were bandied about with equal mixed feelings.
I, personally, would do copyright; $55 is a far cry from the $12 of yesteryear
(don’t ask).
but it really isn’t all that exorbitant.

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Ed, Thanks for the information. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

PROs don’t copyright your music, they just collect royalties on your behalf. If you license your music with a music library they most likely will register it with a PRO and may also copyright it.

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Matt, I appreciate the information. I’ve heard of music libraries, but didn’t really know what they were.

I’m registered with BMI and have over 200 tracks with AudioMicro (a music library).
Once tracks are uploaded they automatically register each track submitted with BMI.
Copyright is an entirely different matter and something I do myself.
Good luck!

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Lori, thanks! I appreciate the information.