ISM changes name, keeps initials

ISM changes name, keeps initials


norman lebrecht

October 07, 2022

From the moning mailbox:

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: We’re incredibly excited to announce that from today the ISM has changed its name. We are now the Independent Society of Musicians.
The ISM also has a new look, including a brilliantly redesigned Music Journal.
ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said ‘Our independence has long been a crucial factor in our effectiveness and enabled us to bring about significant change for those working in music.’
ISM president Vick Bain added ‘The word “Independent” is central to everything we do so I welcome the new name. It reflects who we are and what we do.’
Well, that changes everything. What time’s the next one?


  • Snowy says:

    ISM – whatever the initials stand for – does good work on behalf of the music industry; why do you feel the need to add a snide comment? Your habitual habit of doing that in your posts is degrading to only yourself.

  • Alastair Orr says:

    What was wrong with the old name?
    Incorporated Society of Musicians sounds pretty good to me…

  • Garry Humphreys says:

    At least it still says what it means, rather than substituting some daft name that sounds zippy but means nothing, e.g., ‘Making Music’ (whatever that means) for the National Federation of Music Societies (which describes the organisation’s purpose exactly); or ‘Help Musicians’ for the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, to name only two in the music field. As a member of the ISM for nearly half a century it will take a while to get used to the change but it could have been much worse! (And I understand why they’ve done it.)

    • SVM says:

      To be honest, I wonder whether “independent” is really appropriate, given that they accept corporate sponsorship from some major employers of musicians, including many of the big conservatoires, orchestras, publishers, record labels, exam boards, and even some LEA music services. The ISM has done outstanding work in supporting musicians, notably in the Harpur Trust vs Brazel case and in providing concise yet clear summaries of some of the legal frameworks in which musicians operate, but I wonder whether they would pursue a similar case against an employer who is also a corporate member. That said, they are quite right to boast that they do not donate to nor accept donations from political parties (this was the reason why I chose to join the ISM and not the MU), but I find the term “independent” stretching the truth a little.

      Most importantly, *why* is something so significant as a name change not subject to a resolution at the AGM (or, if it cannot wait that long, at an EGM)?

  • Herbie G says:

    Sounds to me like another PR company made shedloads of money for advising a ridiculous name change.

  • Workhorse says:

    Nobody knew what Incorporated meant, nobody knows what independent means. Plus ça change.