The British Music Archive (BMA) presents a fascinating insight into an otherwise unheard and untold part of contemporary British history.
Our purpose is to salvage, restore and preserve commercially unreleased and culturally significant recorded music revealing the stories and people behind it. The original recordings will be freely available both as an online historical archive and as an educational resource.
The BMA is supported by:
Since the 1950s, popular music has rapidly evolved to become not only a fundamental cultural driver and barometer, but also great popular art. It is now recognised as a vital mirror to the seismic shifts in culture and society as a whole and therefore crucial in understanding our own social history.
Music like any recognised art form needs to be preserved for the benefit of the general public and historians present and future.
Whilst art and sculpture is archived in a gallery, literature in a library and architecture is listed and vehemently protected, music has played just as real and significant a role in the cultural shift of modern British society and rightly deserves to be preserved with equal regard.
Many of these original works are in significant danger of being destroyed by time and decay and of being lost forever if we do not act now.
As we recognise the fragility of various ageing formats, it is the analogue format that should demand our more immediate concern. Therefore, the BMA will primarily focus on archiving pre-digital consumer formats analogue tape, acetates and vinyl.
• To work with the owner/artist in salvaging and archiving their recordings before they are damaged beyond repair.
• To restore and preserve forgotten artefacts of the most prolific art form of the twentieth century.
• To establish and maintain a digital archive for the benefit of the public who themselves are invited to be authors and contribute to the historical content.
• To work in partnership with audio engineering courses, to develop skills of up and coming audio engineers in the art of audio preservation and associated mastering for restoration.
• To promote public awareness of the archive we would intend to create compilations and produce a concise promotional programme for radio for the entertainment and education of the general public.
• With the permission of the owner / artist and to further advance the cultural significance of their works, we would intend to make restored audio available for the benefit of the original artist to a new generation of musicians, producers and music supervisors to utilise in the creation of new and exciting works in all aspects of Music/TV/Film and New Media.
This is an online archive available for people of all ages. It is here for your interest and enjoyment and also exists to provide a social document and significant insight into an otherwise neglected yet vital part of British popular music and youth culture.
We would like to invite as contributors and authors; musicians, music historians, curators, collectors and enthusiasts who hold a like-minded affection and a deep-rooted interest in an unexplored part of the British pop phenomena.