image image
To log in to this site requires the use of cookies click for details



More about The National Early Music Association UK

  The National Early Music Association of the United Kingdom was founded as the result of a conference in 1977 entitled The Future of Early Music in Britain. At that time there was a strongly-felt need for a coordinating body for the many strands of early-musical activity in Britain and elsewhere and NEMA was set up to meet this need and to promote the appreciation and performance, amateur and professional, of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music.

In the intervening three decades, the ‘early music movement’ has grown out of all recognition and the needs of scholars, performers and listeners have changed. Today NEMA works alongside the regional Early Music Fora, which run practical workshops and courses, and the National Centre for Early Music in York. NEMA has also established links with early music organisations throughout the world.

NEMA is still conscious of its role as a voice for the early music community in the UK when this is needed, for instance in the recent debate on the changes to UK law on licensing of performance spaces.

NEMA, in conjunction with Ruxbury Publications, produces Early Music Performer, a twice-yearly magazine which the Association’s members receive as part of their annual subscription. The magazine is edited by the Leeds University musicologist Dr Andrew Woolley, with an editorial board of well-known scholars and performers; this successor to NEMA’s former magazine, Leading Notes, makes available the most important new scholarship to practising early musicians, and keeps its readers up to date with the latest news from the world of historically informed performance.

In recent years, NEMA has organized conferences on early keyboard instruments, the hornpipe, on the development of wind instruments and the change from renaissance to baroque (proceedings published by Ashgate), and the problems of historically-informed singing.

For some twenty years NEMA published The Early Music Yearbook, a comprehensive handbook including
  • A Directory listing sources of information, societies, music publishers, providers of performing material, concert promoters and artists' agents, record companies, early music fairs and courses, including summer schools.
  • A Buyers' Guide to some 600 makers of early musical instrument worldwide.
  • A Register giving names and addresses of over 2400 individual early-music enthusiasts, including details of their instruments and interests.
  • A Performers and Artists Directory.

This information is now available on this web site via the Links and Search pages. Note that NEMA members and those who have submitted entries for the Register are given more information in their search results.

NEMA news and events:-

An annual NEMA Day takes place in November, with a practical workshop directed by a leading performer. In recent years the NEMA day has taken place in several different regions, hosted by the local early music forum.


NEMA’s founder president was Dr John Mansfield Thomson, the New Zealand-born writer, editor and musicologist, whose enthusiasm and vision for early music also led to the foundation of the magazine Early Music which he edited until his return to New Zealand in 1983. John Thomson died in 1999.

  return to top  

The National Early Music Association   Registered Charity No 297300
Web Design Copyright © 1999-2018 Ted Copper.  Last modified 28th Oct 2012