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Colloquium - Professor Simon Frith

When Mar 05, 2014
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where 5.00pm, Recital Room, Faculty of Music
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Professor Simon Frith

University of Edinburgh

What are we doing when we are listening to music?  A sociological answer

Biography
I took up the Tovey Chair of Music on January 1 2006 having had quite an unusual academic career. My undergraduate degree (from Oxford ) was in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. My Masters and PhD (from the University of California, Berkeley ) were in Sociology. (My thesis topic was Education and the Working Class in Leeds, 1780-1870.)

I initially taught in the Sociology Department at the University of Warwick , before moving to Strathclyde University to become Director of the John Logie Baird Centre for Research in Film and Television and Professor of English Studies. In 1999 I moved to the University of Stirling and a chair in Film and Media.

For much of my career, as both an academic and journalist, I have been engaged with the problems of taking popular music seriously. As an academic I was a founder member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and a founding editor of the journal, Popular Music, and the majority of my scholarly publications have been in this field. As I journalist I started out as an editor of the pioneering British rock magazine, Let It Rock, and became rock critic for both theSunday Times and the Observer. I was a music columnist for the New York Village Voice from 1980-1995, and have chaired the judges of the Mercury Music prize since it began in 1992.

Research activity
I am currently researching various aspects of the historical sociology of British music culture since 1950, including music criticism in newspapers and magazines; and live music as a business and social experience.

From 2009-2011 I has a research grant from the AHRC for a three year project, in collaboration with Dr Martin Cloonan of Glasgow University, on the history and current practice of live music promotion in the UK. We are presently running a follow-up project. Also funded by the AHRC, exporing ways to propmote knowledge exchange between academic researchers and live music industry practitioners—seehttp://livemusicexchange.org/.  The first volume of our history of live music in Britain will be published by Ashgate in March 2013.  http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409422808


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