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Handy-Dandy Guide to Music Industry Acronyms

Brad Howland

Brad Howland

Have you ever attended a meeting of your AFM Local and been confused by the acronyms? I certainly have, which is why I made this quick reference. Feel free to print it and take it to your next union meeting, and you too will soon be slinging acronyms with aplomb!

AFM
American Federation of Musicians
An international labour union representing professional musicians of all kinds.

AFM-EPF
American Federation of Musicians' and Employers' Pension Fund
U.S. pension fund offering normal and early retirement, death, and disability payments, with contributions made by employers for eligible musicians (does not appear to have a website).

AFM-EPW
American Federation of Musicians' and Employers' Pension Welfare Fund
Canadian pension fund offering normal and early retirement, death, and disability payments, with contributions made by employers for eligible musicians.

AFTRA
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
A labour union representing performers, journalists and artists working in the entertainment and news media.

ASCAP
The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers
An association of U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers.

CFM
Canadian Federation of Musicians
Canadian office of the American Federation of Musicians.

CMRRA
The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency
An agency that handles licensing of copyrighted material for release on recordings in Canada.

CNHA
Canadian Network for Health in the Arts
A network whose aim is to bring together people interested in performing arts medicine.

FACTOR
The Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records
A loan program for Canadian musicians making independent recordings.

FMA
Freelance Musicians' Association
An AFM conference representing musicians who perform primarily in small concert venues, night clubs, community halls, etc.

FMC
Future of Music Coalition
A non-profit collaboration whose mandate is to educate the media, policymakers and the public about musical issues.

FMSMF
Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund
A fund providing residual wage payments to musicians for film use of their music.

ICSOM
International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians
An AFM conference representing symphony orchestras in the U.S.

IEB
International Executive Board
The governing board of the American Federation of Musicians.

IM
International Musician
The official publication of the American Federation of Musicians.

MENC
The National Association for Music Education
A US-based organization whose mission is to "advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all."

MPA
Music Publishers' Association of the United States
The "oldest music trade organization in the United States, fostering communication among publishers, dealers, music educators, and all ultimate users of music."

MPF
Music Performance Fund
A recording industry fund that sponsors live performances throughout the U.S. and Canada.

MTNA
Music Teachers National Association
Not sure what they do, as I didn't feel like waiting for the Flash website to load.

NASM
National Association of Schools of Music
An organization of 600 accredited schools, conservatories, colleges and universities.

NMPA
National Music Publishers' Association
An organization representing over 800 American music publishers, that works to interpret copyright law, educate the public about licensing, and safeguard the interests of its members.

OCSM
Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians
An AFM conference representing Canada's professional symphony musicians.

RAC
Recording Artists Coalition
A non-profit coalition representing the interests of recording artists.

RIAA
Recording Industry Association of America
A trade group representing the U.S. recording industry, which fights legal battles against CD piracy and illegal distribution of music on the Internet.

RMA
Recording Musicians Association
An AFM conference representing recording musicians in the U.S. and Japan.

ROPA
Regional Orchestra Players' Association
An AFM conference representing its member orchestras and their musicians.

SLRA
Sound Recording Labor Agreement
An agreement setting minimum wage scales and working conditions for recording musicians, and providing additional compensation to musicians through the Special Payments Fund.

SOCAN
The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada
A performing rights society that licenses the public performance of music and disperses royalties to songwriters, composers, and music publishers.

TMA
Theater Musicians Association
An AFM conference representing professional theatre musicians in the U.S. and Canada.

About Brad

Brad Howland is the Principal Trombonist of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.

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