Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Pat Varriale

AFM Electronic Media Services Division Director

This Year’s EMSD Special Focus

by Pat Varriale, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Director and Assistant to the President The Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) welcomes you to this month’s issue of the International Musician. I am extremely pleased with this year’s EMSD special issue. Our division is dedicated to prioritizing the interests of the musicians we have been charged […]

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Work Under AFM Contracts Come Up Big During the Pandemic

During the pandemic, when very little original work has taken place, the resolve of musicians that recorded older material under AFM conditions is underscored. With the impact of COVID-19 shutting down original electronic media work, employers began looking for ways to produce new programming mixed with original content. As an example, with the canceling of […]

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EMSD and SSD – Working Together to Cover All the Bases

Over the years, the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) and the Symphonic Services Division (SSD) have consulted on certain electronic media projects involving symphony, opera, ballet, or chamber orchestras. This is because some projects have a tendency to “crossover” from a true symphonic nature to non-symphonic. There are usually several factors in determining when an […]

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Welcome to the 2020 EMSD Special Issue

Welcome to this month’s issue of the International Musician, which focuses on the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD)—the division of the AFM charged with serving the interests of non-symphonic recording musicians. (Symphonic orchestras are handled solely by the AFM Symphonic Services Division – SSD). The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many aspects of the AFM. Electronic […]

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Union Contracts Come Up Big During Pandemic

In this troubled and uncertain time where there has been a dramatic decrease in live work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a certain amount of solace in knowing that projects recorded under AFM agreements administered by the Electronic Media Services Division can and have resulted in much needed income for musicians.

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The Truth About Non-Disclosure Agreements

The purpose of the NDA is to preserve confidential information including songs, vocal arrangements, and other creative artistic matters that have not been performed publicly.

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Coronavirus Impact on Electronic Media Projects – Special Agreements

In an effort to address the impact of COVID-19 for non-symphonic situations, the EMSD has established guidelines for potential waivers.

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Canadian Agreements Involving Electronic Media Services

Thanks to EMSD Canada Office Staff

en français As most of you know, the September issue of International Musician focused on electronic media and the Electronic Media Services Division. I am extremely happy to hear of the positive feedback that has been received in connection with the articles and features contained in this issue, as well as the contributions made by […]

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