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Function of the American Federation of Musicians

The idea of having a society or union to protect the interests of musicians and to aid them while developing their careers started in the 1800s. Musicians realized that they needed financial assistance and insurance against illness or any situation that might render them unable to perform, leading to a loss of income. The first form of this was the Mutual Aid Societies. Unfortunately, competition was cut throat to retain clients, which eventually led to a meeting between the unions and the decision to create one central body. In 1896, the American Federation of Musicians was formed, with the first president being Owen Miller, who presided over the establishment until 1900.

By the year 1900 the American Federation of Musicians represent close to 45 thousand musicians in the United States and in Canada. With the enrollment of the new president of the establishment, Joseph Weber, the name was changed to read: the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. The American Federation of Musicians and the musicians who are represented by its unions, all believe in being able to work with dignity and receive fair compensation for their work. As a single unit, decisions affecting musicians can be discussed and made unanimously. Together with the voice of the American Federation of Musicians, exploitation can be avoided and progressiveness and improvement can be encouraged.

The organization also believes in equal opportunities and respect for all musicians, regardless of their race, age, disability or creed. Empowering musicians and supervising unions, so that everyone abides by the regulations and decisions that have been made, which in turn leads to better working environments, fair contracts and wages, is all part of the federation’s mission. The American Federation of Musicians views anyone who receives money for their work performances as professional musicians.

In November 2007, the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada announced that they would become sponsors for the Game Audio Network Guild, also known as G.A.N.G. The federation believes that combining forces with this non-profit organization could open new doors for their members and a world of opportunities for musicians. The American Federation of Musicians works for their members, securing a brighter future and fair treatment for all its rising and extraordinarily talented artists.


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