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The benchmark for high quality production music.

KPM is a huge, diverse, and growing library of recordings, specifically produced for use in films, television, radio and new media. Currently KPM consists of over 30,000 recorded tracks and 800 CDs. Music styles vary from symphonic to cutting-edge, through dramatic, ethnic, historic, and more.


Origins

KPM is an acronym for its founding fathers "Keith-Prowse-Maurice," but who are these men and what does KPM really stand for?

The origins of KPM go back to 1780 when Robert Keith, an instrument maker, set up a small shop in London. Over the next fifty years the business expanded into music publishing and Keith took on a partner, William Prowse. After the turn of the century the men opened retail outlets to sell theatre tickets, instruments, music and eventually records. In 1955, with the advent of commercial television, the music publishing department became a separate company and was acquired by a London commercial television franchise, Rediffusion. The following year the original KP library was established under the management of Patrick Howgill. The first twenty-five 78 rpm records were recorded with a budget of $7,500. Many of the original recordings have been remastered and reissued on the KPM Archive Series, such as "Famous Radio & TV Themes." In fact, several of the first KPM tracks are still regularly used today.

 

KPM joins with EMI

In 1959, the library merged with Peter Maurice Publishing to form the new KPM Music Group. The mid-1960s were KPM's golden years. Robin Phillips-head of KPM after Desmond Irwin-launched the KPM 1000 series (fondly known as "Greensleeves," due to the uniform dark green LP covers) introducing writers from jazz, pop and other contemporary fields. During this time KPM music became the sound of modern television with themes like Monday Night Football's "Heavy Action" which are still instantly recognizable. The library's repertoire and recognition grew exponentially.

 

KPM 1000 series
KPM 1000 series were fondly known as "Greensleeves"

KPM Music Group became part of the world-renowned EMI family in 1969. By that time the library was so well-known and highly respected around the world that the distinctive KPM name was retained. EMI acquired Affiliated Music Companies in 1972, and the new grouping become EMI Music Publishing Ltd, today the top music publishing company in the world.

 

Peter Cox was named head of KPM in 1977

Peter Cox was named head of KPM in 1977 and immediately worked to progress the library business into what the clients of tomorrow would need. KPM has always embraced new technology both in the way music is recorded and pressed. In November 1984, KPM released the album "Surprise Surprise" on compact disk; one of the first CDs ever made in the UK. KPM became the first music library to move away from vinyl and work exclusively in CD format.

During this time KPM's composer roster moved into new waters, reflecting the changes in pop and dance music. Music from Jan Cyrka and Toby Bricheno, Jim Copperthwaite, Oliver Vessey and Rupert Gregson-Williams joined the established works by Keith Mansfield, Neil Richardson, Alan Moorhouse, Dave Hewson, Andy Clark, Curtis Schwartz, Richard Myhill and Dick Walter. KPM is constantly searching out fresh, young talent in America and around the world.

From the beginning, KPM believed its fundamental principle is to use the best technology, equipment, and musicians available to produce the highest quality production music. EMI's Abbey Road studio, where the Beatles recorded almost all of their albums, has been the birth place of many KPM albums. KPM currently spends more than $1.5 million a year producing new recordings in a wide variety of genres and styles.

 



The important thing is that the tracks really talk to you.
The composer has got to have conviction…
has to have a soul and project it. —Peter Cox



KPM has recorded extensively at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London

KPM has recorded in excess of 700 CDs (43,000 digital tracks), working with some of the most distinguished and influential composers to produce music that is essential, innovative and often ground breaking. KPM has created the benchmark within the industry for high quality production music. KPM has been the world's premier source of production music for over 50 years. Its comprehensive catalogue crosses every musical genre imaginable and encompasses large-scale orchestral recordings, archive recordings spanning the 20th century through to underground dance and cutting edge Indie.

KPM is proud to partner with APM Music in the US and Canada, where all music is available through the MyAPM search engine. The library is also represented in over 50 territories around the world.


London Bridge, art by Freddy James, 1981

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