About SAM

What Is the Society for American Music?

The Society was founded in 1975 and was first named in honor of Oscar G. T. Sonneck, early Chief of the Music Division in the Library of Congress and pioneer scholar of American music. The Society for American Music is a non-profit scholarly and educational organization incorporated in the District of Columbia as a 501 (c) (3) and is a constituent member of the American Council of Learned Societies.

Read more about our history here.

Our Mission

The Society for American Music is dedicated to the study, teaching, creation, and dissemination of all musics in the Americas. As a scholarly, collegial, and inclusive organization, we serve a wide and diverse array of academics, librarians, composers, performers and members of the general public. We instill passion and appreciation for all aspects of American music and musical cultures by

  • holding collegial annual conferences that feature scholarly presentations, musical performances, and opportunities for social interaction and professional development of its members;
  • disseminating high-quality research and thoughtful articles and reviews through the peer-reviewed Journal and the online Bulletin;
  • offering financial support for research at libraries, archives, and other venues in the United States and abroad
  • presenting annual awards that recognize outstanding scholarship, dedicated service to the Society, lifetime professional achievement, and significant contributions to the American musical culture;
  • partnering with other local and national organizations to sponsor outreach initiatives designed to engage the general public with innovative programming;
  • furnishing creative curriculum support for K–12 and university educators interested in integrating American music into their classrooms;
  • advocating for the sustained support of humanities research, music librarianship, and musical composition, as well as greater access to the resources of American music; and
  • serving as a resource for media outlets and the general public.

Get to Know Us

SAM is a group of scholars, performers, and students dedicated to the study, teaching, and creation of the musics of the Americas. We are a welcoming, curious, diverse, and friendly bunch who invites scholars, librarians, students, performers, composers, and any interested folks to join us! To see more about what makes SAM special, please watch this video, filmed at two of our annual conferences. Hope to see you at the next one!


View more SAM YouTube videos here.