The independent record label ECM – Edition of Contemporary Music – was founded by producer Manfred Eicher in Munich in 1969.

To date, ECM has issued more than 1500 albums spanning many idioms. With an emphasis on improvisation from the outset, ECM established its reputation with standard-setting recordings by Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and many more, and began to include contemporary composition in the late 1970s, including Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Meredith Monk’s Dolmen Music.

A sister label, ECM New Series, was launched in 1984 as a broad platform for a spectrum of composed music from the pre-baroque era to the present day.