What is the RMA?

The Royal Musical Association is the foremost society in the UK dedicated to the study of music.  Founded in 1874, its principal objectives are the advancement of scholarship and scholarly publication.  Membership is open to any individual interested in musical research.

The RMA supports a national programme of conferences and study days promoting excellence in all fields of musical enquiry including historical and critical musicology, practice-led research, music analysis, composition, ethnomusicology, popular music studies, music and science in all its forms, and interdisciplinary investigations.

Our other activities include:

  • Publishing and disseminating books and journals, in print and electronic format
  • Sponsoring awards and prizes
  • Supporting student researchers via grants and training
  • Advocating musical studies with public and private policy-making bodies

Equality and Diversity

The Royal Musical Association promotes diversity and equality in respect of race, gender, and any other characteristic by which people identify themselves or are identified by others. The encouragement of such diversity is an explicit goal in the development of membership, the selection of candidates for elected or remunerated office, the consideration of candidates for awards, the consideration of submissions for presentation at RMA conferences or for publication, and in every other aspect of the Association’s activities. More details can be found in a recent study commissioned by the National Association of Music in Higher Education (NAHME).


Mission Statement

The Royal Musical Association was founded in 1874 ‘for the investigation and discussion of subjects connected with the art and science of music’, and its activities have evolved to embrace every conceivable aspect of music research, whether expressed in words, notation or sounds. The Association aims to sustain and enhance musical culture in the United Kingdom, while liaising with other subject organisations at home and abroad where appropriate and recognizing outstanding scholarly and creative achievement by individuals worldwide. It further aims to support the education and training of emerging scholars and practitioners.

The Association’s chief activities in pursuit of these aims are the promotion of conferences, symposia, study days, workshops and other public meetings; the publication and dissemination of books, journals, and other outlets for research of international standing; the sponsorship of awards and prizes; the advocacy of musical studies with public and private policy-making bodies, and with repositories of musical resources; and engagement with the student body in the United Kingdom.