Dr. Tom Perchard (Goldsmiths, University of London), 14.3.2018, 18:00, Palais Meran, First Floor, Kleiner Saal

Towards a History of Pop Music in the 20th-Century Home

This talk has three aims. The first is to identify the ways that new methodological approaches to 20th-century pop music history might enable a different, perhaps even radical reshaping of what seems such familiar territory. In particular, I will ask how we might access and understand forms of pop music participation often ignored in heroic historical narratives, especially that of women and children, and how we could set now-canonic genres and moments (rock ‘n’ roll, rock, punk) in the much flatter, wider popular music contexts amid which they appeared.

The second aim is to develop these speculations by way of an outline of my ongoing study of pop in the British home, 1945–90. This project explores the ways that music helped organise imaginative and aesthetic experiences, consumer practices and family roles in postwar domestic settings.

In contrast to a rather present-minded Anglophone popular music studies, historical approaches to pop have perhaps been more extensively developed in German-speaking contexts. My third aim, then, is to spark a discussion that might enable this British study to be conceived from a more fully international perspective.

Tom Perchard teaches in the Department of Music at Goldsmiths where, with Keith Negus, he is Co-Director of the Popular Music Research Unit. His books include After Django: Making Jazz in Postwar France (University of Michigan Press, 2015) and Lee Morgan: His Life, Music and Culture (Equinox, 2006), and his research articles appear in American MusicPopular MusicJazz PerspectivesPopular Music and SocietyPopular Music History, and the Journal of the Society for American Music.