Popular Music, Participation and the People

A one day symposium supported by the Popular Music Research Unit, Department of Music, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Saturday 27 October 2012, Cinema.

11am – 5pm, coffee from 10.30.

Free entry, registration not required.

Popular music’s past is littered with musicians claiming to speak for the People – and various Peoples claiming to speak through music. From seventeenth century broadside ballads through 1960s protest songs to internet-borne anthems and celebrity endorsements of the twenty first century, music has provided a rallying ground for both radicals and reactionaries. In varied times and places, popular music has been used to carry messages, mobilise or manipulate crowds, to inspire or inhibit social change.

More recently, patterns of participation have been enlivened by the multidirectional dissemination of ideas and events via social networking technology – but deadened by the entertainment industry’s constant invitations to call in and vote. In bringing together musicians, academics and critics, this symposium will interrogate memories and commemorations of the past, examine present tensions, and ponder the future of popular musical participation.

Confirmed speakers include:

John Street

Rupa Huq

Barby Asante

Kieran Yates

Justin Williams

John Baily

Angela McShane

Deborah Withers

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