NAMM Timeline


NAMM is born

Fifty Two members of the National Piano Manufacturers Association of America formed the National Association of Piano Dealers of America.

The first tradeshow

The first annual convention and trade show was held in the YMCA hall in Baltimore, Maryland. Membership dues were set for $5.00 per store

Original members unite

The first annual meeting of the National Piano Travelers Association was held at The NAMM Show. The oldest known photograph of our membership was taken this year.

Fair freight rates

NAMM helped established the Fair Freight Rates for use in many New York conventions.

First membership benefits

NAMM published a booklet titled Care of Pianos and was given free to each new member, our first member benefit besides entrance to the show.

Retail education

During the NAMM Show in San Francisco, Charlie Chaplin put on a skit demonstrating proper piano sales techniques.

NAMM promotes music education

NAMM published a booklet entitled “Music in the Home” to promote private music lessons. NAMM’s main focus became music education and fair trade in the late teens.

NAMM leaves the light on for Edison

Thomas Edison was a NAMM member and exhibited at least one of those years. NAMM provided trade shows throughout World War I.

“NAMM” becomes the official association title

NAPDA was renamed to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).

Women’s suffrage

Women are allowed to attend the closing evening NAMM Show banquet as a guest.

Early 1920s

The National Piano Travelers Association (NPTA) annual meeting at The NAMM Show. The NPTA still meets at the show, making it one of our oldest traditions!

First official marketing materials

NAMM teams with the Bureau for the Advancement of Music and created materials for dealers to display in their stores.

A growing association

NAMM membership hits a new high: 784.

1928 Program

One of the first times NAMM presented a program outside of New York. This year included the theme of radio, an important step in the development of the “music merchandise” aspect of the trade shows, allowing NAMM to focus on more than pianos.

Great Depression hiatus

NAMM did not provide a trade show as a result of the Great Depression.

NAMM returns

The NAMM show returned thanks to President Parham Werlein. The show was held at the Stevens Hotel in Chicago.

NAMM skips a year

NAMM again did not provide a trade show, as a result of the Great Depression.

New programs evolve

NAMM continued to provide support to dealers to become active with community music making programs, such as lessons and civic events.

Another growth spurt

NAMM had 154 paid members.

Badge requirements instated

NAMM joined the efforts to promote National Music Week. Additionally, new rules state all those attending the NAMM Show must have a badge.

Contest drives traffic

Membership numbers reach 248 while an estimated 2,800 people attended the show. This was also the year that the first annual window display contest was held at the show.

Music education as a right for all children

The first annual meeting of the National Association of Sheet Music Dealers was held at The NAMM Show. NAMM began using the slogan “the poorest child is rich with musical training.”

Price disputes cause an uproar

Members of the NAMM board wrote the president of Montgomery Ward calling his attention to the very unfair comparison of the prices in the MW catalogue with those charged by music dealers.

Promoting Music Education

An early NAMM logo in the 1940s focused on a music education campaign.

Membership climbs

NAMM membership reached 554.

Travel ban closes the show floor

Hopes of holding a show were cut down by an order from James M. Byrnes, United States Secretary of State, who ordered a ban of all unnecessary travel.

Palmer House and new headquarters

The NAMM Show returns for the first time after World War II and is held at the Palmer House in Chicago. The NAMM headquarters moves to 28 East Jackson Blvd in Chicago.

Cost increases for exhibit space

Cost rose for exhibiters, from 52 cents to $1.60 per square foot. According to the Board report that year, the National average of convention space that year was $2.25 per square foot.

50 years and learning center growth

NAMM marks its 50th anniversary! The trade show was held at the Palmer House in Chicago.

An educational division of NAMM was created as a service to the membership department.

Young professionals are recognized

The National Association of Young Music Merchants (NAYMM) is formed.

The first Milestone Award

NAMM awards The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company with a centennial plaque, thought to be the first NAMM Milestone Award.

The Miss Music Contest

The “Miss Music Contest” was initiated for the purpose of heightening dealer interest in the convention.

Farewell Big Apple

Last NAMM Show at the Hotel New Yorker.

65th Annual NAMM Show

Awareness of NAMM grows thanks to the power of television.

First Music Education Film

First film underwritten by NAMM for AMC, “Bringing Music into the Classroom” was released.

Milestone membership

NAMM membership hits 1,000 for the first time.

Civil rights unrest

NAMM members received booklets produced by the American Retail Federation on the subject of riot survival and insurance, as a result of civil rights unrest.

Open Convention

NAMM held it first "open convention" in Miami Beach, Florida.

Miss America visits NAMM

The NAMM Show was held in the newly rebuilt McCormick Place in Chicago. Special guest was Phyllis George, Miss America (from Texas).

A Midway Of Ideas

The 1971 NAMM Show and the Midway of Ideas provides the foundation for today’s NAMM U.

‘Discover Music’ campaign is born

NAMM Past President Robert McDowell leads the efforts to promote “Discover Music” for music stores to promote within their communities.

Growing Show, High Demand

Registration lines for the 1975 Music Expo filled the main lobby area of McCormick’s Place in Chicago, IL.

NAMM celebrates 75 years

Special 75th Anniversary party was held during the annual trade show in Chicago, where a record 103,360 square feet was sold.

Exhibits and Registration entrance of the 1980 winter Music & Sound Market in Anaheim

The 1980 NAMM Show

Exhibits and Registration entrance of the winter Music & Sound Market at the Disneyland Convention Complex in Anaheim, California.

‘Meet me in St. Louis’

First NAMM Show in St. Louis, MO.


MIDI is introduced at the NAMM Show.

NAMM’s headquarters moved to Carlsbad, CA from Chicago.

The NAMM Show in 1985

A Bustling Show Floor

The 1985 NAMM Show brought the top brands together as the show continued to build momentum.

The NAMM Show in 1990 at the Anaheim Convention Center

1990 Show

Eager attendees gather in the Arena of the Anaheim Convention Center anxious for the show to open.

Music and the mind

NAMM teams up with Gordon Shaw to document brain research related to music making.

Music City is calling

First Nashville Summer NAMM Show.

NAMM Playback magazine

NAMM University and the NAMM magazine Playback are created.

IFMR is created

NAMM establishes the International Foundation for Music Research (IFMR).

Membership Growth

The 1997 show offered a “Join NAMM” area for prospects to register and current members to renew.


NAMM Show moves to Los Angeles while Anaheim Convention Center is renovated.

Return to Anaheim

NAMM Show returns to Anaheim.

The Museum of Making Music opens to the public.

NAMM supports Piano 300 exhibition at the Smithsonian.

First NAMM Oral History interview is captured.

NAMM launches its extremely successful Best Communities for Music Education program, a national recognition program that has highlighted the outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who support of their local school music programs.

A century of NAMM

NAMM celebrates 100th anniversary.

NAMM offers distinct education tracks

Launch of the NAMM U Breakfast sessions and the NAMM Idea Center sessions.

A foundation for music education

The NAMM Foundation is officially established / incorporated.

Colleges invited to NAMM

The NAMM Foundation formally invites College Students and Faculty to the NAMM Show via the “Generation Next” program.

First TEC Awards at the NAMM Show.

All-day retail training adds value

NAMM introduces Retail Boot Camp.

A decade of advocacy

The NAMM Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition celebrates 10 years of grassroots advocacy effort.

Setting records in membership and education

Record-setting NAMM U Breakfast Session with Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.

NAMM hits 10,000 members for the first time.

High attendance creates more momentum

NAMM has the highest International member companies in its history.  (29%) of NAMM membership is from outside the U.S.

NAMM attendance in Anaheim tops 100,000 for the first time.

10th anniversary celebration of “Breakfast of Champions” with session featuring Graham Nash, St. Vincent and a performance and interview with Jake Shimabukuro.

Music Education Days’ celebrates 10 years

The NAMM Foundation celebrates 10 years of Music Education Days at the NAMM Show – an element that has enabled thousands of Music Educators to experience our world-famous trade shows.