Music Associations (CMA Interns Asleep at The Wheel!)

Words By Chris Pandolfi (

Lately I’ve been wondering what ‘music associations’ are all about. Who joins? Why? What’s a music assoc trying to do? How do they get it done? And what types of music have one? Today’s NY Times has an interesting article about the mariachi music scene in LA, where newer, less experienced musicians are undercutting the typical $50/hour wages of older, more experienced players. Talk about a traditional scene–the bands actually gather in in place called ‘Mariachi Plaza’ just east of downtown LA, in full regalia, vying for the attention of potential customers. The United Mariachi Organization of LA is a new group, 200 strong, trying to keep musical/professional standards up, as well as prices. $10/month gets you a gold ID card but not necessarily much more. Says one veteran mariachi, “Do we need this? I don’t know. What we really need is more work.” Interesting.

I googled ‘music association,’ and a few things came right up: Gospel Music Association, Americana Music Association, the IBMA, the International Computer Music Association and of course the Country Music Association. Ahhh, the CMA–Keith Urban, Carey Underwood and Brad Paisley head up the home page eye-candy (three titans who are beautiful AND talented). But things get interesting when you click on MEMBERSHIP…

Of course, it’s it’s own benefit!

Nice CMA. I don’t like to be a critic, not big on advice, but that’s a bold line with a nasty little typo right in middle (more like THE typo). It’s not exactly buried in the bowels of the site. Go see for yourself–it’s a doozy if you ask me. But hey, everybody makes mistakes, and there are some legit sounding benefits (healthcare, etc) for CMA members. I’ll make them some kind of creative promo video if they fix it. Maybe if I get in the club I can ship 25,000,000 units of my banjo CD to the nearest Walmart (but not Borders, because they went out of business last week). In the meantime I am still trying to figure out what music associations are all about…


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