Music Code of Ethics


Music Educators National Conference


Music Educators Journal, Vol. 59, No. 9 (May, 1973), pp. 64-65

Date Approved: 


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Music Code of Ethics

In order to establish a clear un- derstanding as to the limitations of the fields of professional music and music education in the United States, the following statement of policy, adopted by the Music Educators National Conference and the American Federation of Musicians, and approved by the American Association of School Administrators, is recommended to those serving in their respective fields:

I. Music Education

The field of music education, including the teaching of music and such demonstrations of music education as do not directly conflict with the interests of the professional musician, is the province of the music educator. It is the primary purpose of all the parties signatory hereto that the professional musician shall have the fullest protection in his efforts to earn his living from the playing and rendition of music; to that end it is recognized and accepted that all music to be per- formed under the "Code of Ethics" herein set forth is and shall be performed in connection with nonprofit, noncommercial and noncompetitive enterprises. Under the heading of "Music Education" should be included the following:

(1) School Functions initiated by the schools as a part of a school program, whether in a school building or other building.

(2) Community Functions organized in the interest of schools strictly for educational purposes, such as those that might be originated by the Par- ent-Teacher Association

(3) School Exhibits prepared as a part of the school district s courtesies for educational orga- nizations or educational conver- tions being entertairled in the district

(4) Educational Broadcasts which have the purpose of demonstrating or illustrating pupils' achievements in music study, or which represent the cul- mination of a period of study and rehearsal. Included in this category are local, state, regionalJ and national school music festi- vals and competitions held under the auspices of schools colleges, and/or educational organiza- tions on a nonprofit Pbasis and broadcast to acquaint the public with the results of music instruc- tion in the schools.

(5) Civic Occasions of local, state, or national patriotic inter- est, of sufficierlt breadth to enlist the sympathies and cooperation of all persons1 such as those held by the American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars in connection with their Memorial Day services in the cemeteries. It is understood that affairs of this kind may be participated in only when such participatiorl does not in the least usurp the rights and privileges of local professional muslclans,

(6) Benefit Performances for local charities. such as the Wel- fare Federations, Red Cross, hos- pitals1 etc., when and where 1O- cal professional musicians would likewise donate their servlces.

(71 Educational or Civic Services that might beforehand be mutually agreed upon by the school authorities and official representatives of the local pro- n . . . . tesslona. . muslclans.

(8) Audition Recordings for study purposes made iIl the classroom or in connection with contest or festival performances by students, such recordings to be limited to exclusive use by the students and their teachers, and not offered for geIleral sale to the public through commercial ollt- lets. This definition pertains only to the purpose and utilization of audition recordings and not to matters concerned with copyright regulations. Compliance with copyright requirements applying to recordings of compositions not in the public domain is the responsibility of the school, college, or educational or- ganization under whose auspices the recording is made.

II. Entertainment

The field of entertainment is the province of the professional musician. Under this heading are the following:

(1) Civic parades (where professional marching barlds exist), ceremoniesJ expositionsJ com- munity concerts7 arld commu- nity-center activities; regattasS nonscholastic contests, festivuls athletic gumes, activities or cele- brations, und the like; national state and county fairs (See I Paragraphs 2 and 5 for further definition)

(2) Functions for th e furtherance, directly or indirectly, of any public or private enterpise; functions by chumbers of com- merce, boards of trade, and commercial clubs or ussociations.

(3) Any occusion that is partisan or sectarian in character or purpose.

(4) Functions of clubs. societies, civic or fraternal organizations.

Statements that funds are not available for the employment of professional musicansJ cor that if the talents of amateur musical organizations cannot be had, other musicians cannot or will not be employedF or that the amateur musicians are to play without remuneration of any kind, are all immaterial.

This code, first entered into on September 22 1947, is a continuing agreemerlt which shall be reviewed regularly to make it re- sponsive to changing conditionst Revised January 1973. Hal C. Davis, President, American Fed- eration of Musicians; Jack E. Schaeffer, Presiderltt Music Educators National Conference; Paul A. Miller, PresidentS American Association of School Administors. 

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