|Full name||Musicians' Union|
|Affiliation||TUC, STUC, Labour Party,FEU|
|Key people||Horace Trubridge, general secretary|
|Office location||London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham|
The Musicians' Union (MU) is an organisation which represents over 30,000 musicians working in all sectors of the British music business.
The union was founded in 1893 in Manchester by twenty musicians. It registered as the Amalgamated Musicians' Union the following year, and grew rapidly, having 22,000 members by 1920. The following year, it merged with the National Orchestral Union of Professional Musicians and shortened its name to the "Musicians' Union". At a high point in 1932, it had a house built, with extensive grounds and a lake, for retired musicians, Merebank House in what is now Beare Green. Sir Henry Moore and the composer Baron Frédéric Alfred d'Erlanger were among those who attended a concert in its grounds put on by the London Philharmonic Orchestra; there was also a performance there of Baron Frédéric's opera, Tess. However, the introduction of "talkie" films reduced opportunities for musicians, and membership fell to a low of 7,000 in 1940. After World War II, it grew again, forming the International Federation of Musicians. It also joined the Confederation of Entertainment Unions and affiliated to the Labour Party.
The MU stages regular campaigns in relation to relevant musical and industrial issues. Recent campaigns have included protests outside theatres in response to the use of recorded music in shows where live music was advertised, and the anti-Pay to Play campaign, an issue which continues to affect the live music scene, particularly at grassroots level.
Other MU campaigns include:
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