Electronics on Broadway gets a giant step in the right direction in new contract

Volume 120, No. 1January, 2020

The Electronic Music Committee was formed as a think tank to examine the usage of electronics on Broadway. The EMC consists of industry professionals representing a wide cross-section of the Broadway community, including music directors, orchestrators, composers, programmers  and instrumentalists. The EMC now collects data on current issues regarding electronics, and discusses the future of how electronics relates to the lives of all musicians, both in the theatre and more broadly. All Local 802 members are welcome and encouraged to contribute to the conversation.

We are excited to announce that the following new language has been included in the 2019-2022 contract with the Broadway League:

Article XIV “Sequential music playback via Ableton, electronic keyboard, drum pad, or similar playback mechanism, shall be triggered only by a member of the bargaining unit. Bargaining unit members who trigger the playback shall receive the electronic instrument premium. No other payment shall be due to any member of the orchestra as a result of the sequential music playback. This clause shall not apply to sound effects playback or recorded music playback.”

This is a giant step in the right direction for the Broadway CBA, as it establishes that electronic music is the work of musicians, not an alternative to musicians. As music production becomes more and more technological, it is important that we continue to define the musician labor involved in a contemporary framework.

This work is just beginning. The Electronic Music Committee will continue to examine musician labor in contemporary music creation, from recording processes to live processing, in the theatre as well as other areas of music performance and production. We strongly desire the input of any and all members who have experiences with electronics of any kind. Our work will be more effective with input from a broad perspective of musicians.

The group is hungry for your participation and thoughts. If you have any questions, want to learn more, or wish to participate in the EMC, please feel free to contact the EMC facilitators at