Spectrum - Culture, Media and Sport Committee Contents

Written evidence submitted by the Incorporated Society of Musicians


1.1  This is a short submission by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) the professional body for musicians in the UK to the committee's inquiry into spectrum.

1.2  The submission draws your attention to the possible impact some spectrum arrangements can have on the use of radio microphones and should be read as a supporting statement for the more substantial submission from BEIRG (British Entertainment Industry Radio Group).


2.1  The campaign group Save Our Sound UK (SOS UK) represents the concerns of BEIRG—British Entertainment Industry Radio Group, PFA—Professional Footballers Association, RSC—Royal Shakespeare Company, and SOLT—Society Of London Theatres in relation to spectrum sell-offs.

2.2  Live music, newsgathering, musical theatre and other events all use spectrum wavelengths and the potential impact of further sales of spectrum on the PMSE is significant.


3.1  The PMSE sector is growing, not shrinking, and as production values and professionalism of the sector develop, so the bandwidth required increases. The sector needs sufficient quality and quantity of bandwidth to continue to put on high quality events.

3.2  The disruption to sector by evictions from 800Mhz band—the focus of the earlier Save Our Sound UK campaign—focused on should be considered again and borne in mind during future sell-offs of spectrum space.

3.3  No sell-off of 600MhZ bandwidth should take place or be proposed or consulted on until the fate of UHF Bands IV and V is known. If the 700MhZ band is sold off, then the 600MhZ band must be protected to enable the PMSE sector to function.

3.4  The value of the events sector to the UK economy should not be overlooked. We have an entertainment economy estimated to be worth £15 billion with music alone contributing £5 billion[26] to our economy and music tourists contributing at least £864 million to the UK economy.[27]

3.5  In our previous evidence to the committee's inquiry into the Olympic Legacy, we highlighted the possible impact spectrum changes could have on the Olympic events themselves and re-iterate this concern.


4.1  The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the professional body for music and musicians. We are independent of government and not financially dependent on any third party; our mission is to champion the art of music and support the music professional.

4.2  Founded in 1882, we have over 5,700 members who come from all branches of the profession: soloists, orchestral and ensemble performers, composers, teachers, academics and students. Our corporate membership of over 100 organisations includes the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), Classic FM, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), the International Artists Managers Association (IAMA), the Music Industries Association (MIA), all the UK conservatoires, several universities and our specialist music schools.

4.3  The ISM is a member of the Council for Subject Associations (CfSA) and provides secretariat support to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education. Our Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts, is Chair of the Music Education Council (MEC).

4.4  Our internationally recognised Distinguished Musician Award, first awarded in 1976, has been received by Sir William Walton OM, Jacqueline du Pre OBE, Sir Michael Tippett OM CH CBE, Sir Colin Davis CBE, Sir Charles Mackerras AC CH CBE and Pierre Boulez. Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Malcolm Sargent, The Lord Menuhin OM KBE (Yehudi Menuhin), Sir David Willcocks and Dame Gillian Weir are all past presidents of the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

June 2011

26   Music, Department for Culture, Media and Sport  Back

27   Destination Music, UK Music, 16 May 2011 Back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2011
Prepared 3 November 2011