Paul Long is Professor and Media and Cultural History in the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University, UK. He is currently researching the relationship of Student Unions and popular music culture in post-war Britain and writing a book on popular music heritage, memory and the archive. He is a trustee of the Media Archive of Central England and is particularly interested in the political economy of the archive and the affective dimensions of the archivist’s role.

Listening Again to Popular Music as History (CfA, Deadline: Sept. 2018)

Jeffrey H. Jackson and Stanley C. Pelkey open their collection, Music and History (subtitle ‘Bridging the Disciplines’, 2005) by asking: ‘Why haven’t historians and musicologists been talking to one another?’  They suggest that at the heart of this absence is a problem of communication, concerning the distinct methods, knowledge and skills employed in both disciplines: does one need to be able to read, play or even ‘appreciate’ music for instance in order to make sense of it historically? On the other hand, do musicologists need an understanding of historiography to write histories of music? The issue for scholars in both disciplines is the status of the musical object: how to account for music as music, without losing a sense of its historical specificity. Continue reading