The British Music Archive exists as a historical and cultural library of commercially unreleased sound recordings and associated memorabilia. We are a voluntary, non-profit organisation committed to salvaging, restoring and preserving forgotten artefacts of the most prolific art form of the twentieth century. As a recognised major resource, the BMA presents a fascinating insight into an otherwise virtually unknown and previously unrecognised part of contemporary British history.
Our purpose is to preserve and restore commercially unreleased and culturally significant recorded music revealing its impact and real legacy in the wider aspects of popular culture. Original sound recordings are freely available via music streaming media as both an online library and as an educational resource.
Our key aim is to advance the education objectives of the public in the history and social impact of popular music in all its forms. We seek to work alongside localised arts and youth initiatives in providing this resource for their fulfilment and education. The BMA will also provide significant benefits to those working in FE and HE programs nationwide providing valuable support and resources and serving to inspire those interested in audio technology.
The BMA have an extensive understanding of and experience in, the preservation, storage and importantly, the restoration of this impressive archive. As a resource, both practically and in research, it reveals a valuable insight around the techniques employed by varied recording engineers and producers whose knowledge and expertise will remain hugely influential over their contemporary counterparts.
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.