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National Association of Music Merchants

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National Association of Music Merchants
Formation1901; 123 years ago (1901)
Founded atNew York City, United States
Legal statuscompany
Purposetrade association
Headquarters5790 Armada Drive
Coordinates33°07′40″N 117°19′02″W / 33.127646°N 117.317136°W / 33.127646; -117.317136
Membership (2023)
President & CEO
John Mlynczak[1]
Formerly called
National Association of Piano Dealers of America

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is a not-for-profit global trade association dedicated to the music products industry. Originally founded in 1901, NAMM is headquartered in Carlsbad, California, and represents 15,000 global member companies and individual professionals.


In 1901, 52 members of the National Piano Manufacturers Association of America formed the National Association of Piano Dealers of America (NAPDA) to unite and promote legitimate piano makers and sellers in New York City at a time when many unscrupulous dealers were selling cheap knock-offs as better and more expensive brands. The organization lobbied heavily in Washington, D.C. to establish fair practices in musical instrument marketing.[2] The organization's first annual trade show and convention was held in Baltimore, Maryland the following year with membership dues at $5.00 per store.[3] In 1912, the NAPDA became the National Association of Piano Merchants of America (NAPMA).

By 1919, after the popularity of early jazz and the marching band music of John Philip Sousa had convinced many piano merchants to produce full lines of band instruments. The NAPMA renamed itself National Association of Music Merchants, or NAMM.[2] NAMM's main focus became music education and fair trade,[4] with NAMM pledging $250,000 in 1920 toward the establishment of a national conservatory of music in the US.[5]

NAMM membership grew from 154 members in 1936 to 554 members in 1941, and in 1946, NAMM headquarters moved to 28 East Jackson Blvd in Chicago.[4]

In 1967, NAMM membership had grown to 1,000. In 1984, NAMM relocated its headquarters from Chicago to Carlsbad, California.[4]

In 1996, NAMM established the NAMM Resource Center to preserve the history of the music products industry, and in 2000 founded the NAMM Oral History Program, an oral history project and archive of recordings of interviews with people from all aspects of the music industry, including music instrument retailers, musical instrument and product creators, suppliers and sales representatives, music educators and advocates, publishers, live sound and recording pioneers, innovators, founders, and musicians.

In 2006, NAMM was granted membership admission to the International Music Council (IMC).[6]

By 2015, NAMM membership had reached 10,000 members.[4]

Trade shows[edit]

The NAMM Show is a major music products industry trade show held annually in Anaheim, California. The NAMM-sponsored show typically hosts product exhibits and educational seminars. First held in 1902 as the NAPDA Convention, the NAMM Show is the largest and longest-running music product trade show in the world,[7] with over 2,000 exhibitors and 115,888 attendees in 2020.[8] A smaller convention, NAMM Summer Session, typically takes place in June or July in Nashville.[9]

From 2012 until 2018, NAMM also held NAMM Musikmesse Russia in Moscow, which took place concurrently with Prolight + Sound Russia.[10]

Charitable activities[edit]

The NAMM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that advances active participation in music-making by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. Incorporated in 2006,[4] the NAMM Foundation is a supporting organization of NAMM, and is funded by NAMM members through trade association activities and private donations.[11] The foundation has a grant program that donates to related programs, advocacy, and research worldwide.[12] Together with the NAMM market development department, between 1994 and 2022 the foundation has reinvested over $200 million in support of music education and to promote music making.[13][14]

In 1997 NAMM established the International Foundation for Music Research (IFMR),[15] which later became the NAMM Foundation Research Division.

In 1998, the NAMM Foundation established the Museum of Making Music, a museum dedicated to the accomplishments and impact of the people who make, sell, and use musical instruments and products, and the museum was opened to the public in March 2000.[16][17]

Also beginning in 1998, the Foundation began an annual recognition of schools and their districts with its Best Communities for Music Education award.[18]

Other activities[edit]

NAMM supports lobbying efforts in support of the music products industry, as they did in 1964, when William R. Gard, Executive Vice President of NAMM, spoke at a U.S. Congress Ways and Means Committee hearings in support of repealing the 10% Federal Excise Tax on musical instruments that was part of the Revenue Act of 1941.[19]

In 1966, the first film underwritten by NAMM for the American Music Conference (AMC), Bringing Music into the Classroom was released.[4]

In 1993, NAMM funded the research by physicist Gordon Shaw and psychologist and cellist Frances Rauscher at the University of California Irvine into what’s been called the Mozart effect — which suggested classical music could have a short-term benefit on cognitive performance.[7] The NAMM Foundation continues to support the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, which was founded by the late neurologist Oliver Sacks to research the link between music and neurological conditions including strokes, trauma, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.[7]

Beginning annually in 2005, NAMM has coordinated the Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In, which brings a coalition of NAMM members together in Washington D.C. to meet with members of the U.S. Congress in support of funding music education in public schools as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act.[20][21][22][23]

NAMM has also organized coalitions to advocate for the music products industry in relation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES.[24][25]


In 2018, NAMM announced partnerships with the Audio Engineering Society (AES)[26] and with the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA),[27] and in 2020, NAMM joined the World Entertainment Technology Federation (World-ETF).[28]


NAMM has established a number of awards to recognize individuals, institutions, and organizations for contributions to music, with its highest honor, the NAMM Music for Life Award, recognizing individuals and organizations that demonstrate support for promoting music education and creating more active music-makers, with the NAMM Music for Life Award awarded to such varied recipients as singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith,[29] former politician and music education advocate Mike Huckabee,[30] former National Endowment for the Arts chairman Bill Ivey,[31] songwriter Kara DioGuardi,[32] Kenny Loggins,[33] Mark Ronson,[34] and Brian Wilson, among others.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mitchell, Kevin (5 August 2023). "John Mlynczak". Front Of House Magazine. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  2. ^ a b Hunter, Dave (18 January 2019). "NAMM: The greatest show on Earth?". Guitar.com. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  3. ^ Frederic, E.M. (30 January 2019). "NAMM 2019 – Believing In Music For Over A Century". The Hollywood Times. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "NAMM Timeline". NAMM.org. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  5. ^ "Senators Favoring Conservatory Hail Merchants' Action". Musical America. 6 March 1920. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  6. ^ "NAMM Admitted to International Music Council". 30 November 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  7. ^ a b c Duffy, Thom (20 January 2016). "NAMM: A Mecca for Musical Gearheads - Don Was To Receive The Les Paul Award". Billboard. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  8. ^ "A New Decade, A Crossroads of Opportunity: The NAMM Show, The Global Platform for Innovation in Music Products, Pro Audio and Entertainment Technology Returns to Anaheim". NAMM. 20 January 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2024.
  9. ^ Lecaro, Lina (24 January 2019). "NAMM Show Returns to Anaheim Convention Center, Bigger and Better Than Ever". LA Weekly. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  10. ^ "NAMM Musikmesse Russia to return to Moscow for Seventh Annual Fair". NAMM.org. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  11. ^ "Sir Elton John Yamaha/NAMM Concert Raises $330,000 for Music Education Charities". namm.org. 25 February 2003. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  12. ^ "The NAMM Foundation Announces $675,000 in Grants to Music Education Programs Worldwide". namm.org. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  13. ^ "NAMM Foundation Announces $482.5K Given in Grants in 2022". musicincmag.com. 23 September 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  14. ^ Schneider, Marc (19 January 2024). "Executive Turntable: NAMM Foundation Losing Luehrsen; Norwegian Lines Up a Music Cruise Captain". Billboard. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  15. ^ "International Foundation for Music Research Re-Opens Funding Opportunities on Re-Launched Web Site". NAMM.org. 16 August 2002. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  16. ^ "About the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California". www.museumofmakingmusic.org. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Another Hidden Gem in Carlsbad - The Museum Of Making Music". The Vista Press. 17 February 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  18. ^ "The NAMM Foundation Announces 25th Year of Best Communities for Music Education Program". NAMM.org. 24 October 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  19. ^ United States House of Representatives (15 July 1964). U.S. Congress House Committee on Ways and Means: Hearings Vol. 1, 88th Congress, 2nd Session, 1964, Part 3. 88th Congress, 2nd Session, 1964. p. 577. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  20. ^ "NAMM Advocates for Music Education". musicconnection.com. 19 September 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  21. ^ Ferrisi, Dan (15 July 2016). "Largest Ever NAMM Fly-In Builds On Past Successes". Music & Sound Retailer. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  22. ^ Heil, Emily (22 May 2018). "Cause Celeb: 'Madam Secretary' actor Erich Bergen lobbies for arts education". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 July 2023.
  23. ^ "Chili Peppers' Chad Smith To Lobby Congress On Importance Of Music Education". Look To The Stars. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2023.
  24. ^ "NAMM Presents Industry Coalition at CITES Conference of the Parties to Address Musical Instruments and CITES Protected Species". NAMM.org. 15 November 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  25. ^ Barber, Chip; Clowes, Austin (22 March 2017). "Guitar Industry Grapples with Trade Restrictions on Rosewood, One of its Most Prized Timbers". forestlegality.org. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  26. ^ Wissmuller, Christian (11 May 2017). "AES to Join the 2018 NAMM Show". mmrmagazine.com. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  27. ^ "ESTA and NAMM Reaffirm Alliance for The 2019 NAMM Show". NAMM.org. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  28. ^ Wissmuller, Christian (14 October 2019). "NAMM Joins World-ETF". mmrmagazine.com. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  29. ^ Morris, Edward (10 July 1993). "Nashville Scene". Billboard. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  30. ^ Hudson, Wayne T. (2010). Metamorphosis: Unapologetically Finding Hope in Changing Political Parties. Lake Mary, Florida: Creation House. ISBN 978-1-61638-144-8.
  31. ^ "Vanderbilt's Ivey wins lifetime award from NAMM". vanderbilt.edu. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  32. ^ "Kara DioGuardi Earns NAMM's "Music For Life" Award". American Songwriter. Jan 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  33. ^ Tangcay, Jazz (3 June 2022). "NAMM Honors Kenny loggins With Music For Life Award". Variety. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  34. ^ Aswad, Jem (19 January 2024). "Mark Ronson to Receive Music for Life Honor at NAMM Show". Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  35. ^ Gallo, Phil (29 November 2011). "Exclusive: NAMM to Honor Brian Wilson For Music Education". Billboard. Retrieved 29 January 2024.

External links[edit]