Simon Strange (Bath Spa University, UK)


This presentation will be based on an area of my PhD research which, in an update to Frith and Horne (1987) and Walker (1987), investigated specific pedagogical practices within art colleges and the effect they had on punk, post punk, and the new wave through the 1970s. The reimagining of hierarchies which occurred where the changing nature of art and music interlocked through the philosophies of Cage and Duchamp and supported the idea that anyone could be an artist. Garnering information from interviews conducted with art college influenced musicians, including Gavin Bryars, Brian Eno, Gina Birch, Stephen Mallinder and Dexter Dalwood, it was apparent that this education infused with the presence of the avantgarde, helped the rise of the DIY musician, or self named nonmusician

This research, focusing on courses at Newcastle, Leeds, Ipswich, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bath and London based schools, suggests that lessons can be learnt from the position of the nonmusician, both for the pop music industry and its educational partners, changing the emphasis from preparing industry and technique focussed musicians to those who have a culturally and visually inclined, radical, experimental and philosophical outlook, based within a multidimensional environment. The aim is to reassess hierarchies present within the philosophies and practices of Higher Popular Music Education and to introduce a wider field for aspiring musicians, less confined to the structures of traditional music education.