Researching Popular Music (Professor Martin Cloonan at Turku)

Researching Popular Music: 3 reflective seminars with Professor Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow) (5 ECTS)

Tuesday 29th April: 12.00 to 14.00, E117 Litzen
Wednesday 30th April: 12.00 to 14.00, E119 Juva
Friday 2nd May: 12.00 to 14.00, E119 Juva

In this 3 seminar course Professor Cloonan reflects upon, and offers insight in to, three popular music research projects. Each seminar will examine a different project and offer critical insight in to the issues involved. This will include reflections upon different research methodologies, on team and individual working and on outcomes. The three seminars will cover:

1. The UK’s live music industry from 1950 to 2009.
2. The Musicians’ Union 1893-2013
3. Music censorship in the digital age

Each seminar will feature reports on work in progress and will be supported by readings which will be provided by Professor Cloonan. The course offers students the opportunity to consider how their own academic research develops and what alternative approaches might be suitable. Students will be encouraged to actively participate in the seminars and to share their own experiences.

For more details of the projects to be examined see:

Further details:

Classes will run at the following times:

Tuesday 29th April: 12.00 to 14.00
Wednesday 30th April: 12.00 to 14.00
Friday 2nd May: 12.00 to 14.00

Seminar 1, Tuesday 29th April: 12.00 to 14.00
The UK’s live music industry from 1950 to 2009

Between 2008 and 2011 Professor Cloonan co-led a three year research project funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, which aimed to assemble a history of the UK’s live music industry over a 60 year period. This seminar examines the origins of the projects, the team work involved, the findings and the outputs. It also reflects upon the methodologies and sources used. The project resulted in a three part history of the UK’s live music industry, the first of which was published in 2013.

Seminar 2: The Musicians’ Union 1893-2013: Wednesday 30th April: 12.00 to 14.00

The British Musicians Union was formed in 1893 and since that time it has been involved in all of the major agreements covering the working lives of musicians. However, its history has been marginalised within both music and trade union studies. This seminar looks at the origins, methods and proposed outcomes of a four year project which investigates the Union’s history. Professor Cloonan is leading the project which employs former Belle and Sebastian manager John Williamson as the researcher.

Seminar 3: Music censorship in the digital age Friday 2nd May: 12.00 to 14.00

Professor Cloonan is the chair of Freemuse (, an organisation which seeks to support musicians’ freedom of expression. He has also written extensively on music censorship. In this seminar he reflects upon the musical censorship which followed a campaign to get the track “Ding Dong the Wicked Which Is Dead” to the top of the UK’s singles chart in the week of the funeral of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This work was presented as part of the Researching Music Censorship programme at the University of Copenhagen.


Selected readings will be provided in advance to the registered participants. The participants are supposed to familiarize themselves with the material before the course.


One 1500 essay: “What are the most important factors to consider when designing a research project”?


Participants to the course need to register in advance by e-mail to Harri Kiiskinen at the Dept. of Cultural History ( to obtain the course materials.

The course especially is aimed at students preparing their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation on a related theme. The course is open to all students from the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi.

Each student is adviced to contact her/his own supervisor for the placement of this course in their personal study plan (HOPS).

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Kimi Kärki. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kimi Kärki

Coordinator: International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC), PhD Programme in Popular Culture Studies (PPCS) & International Master's programme European Heritage, Digital Media and the Information Society (EuroMACHS).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s