IIPC Debate 3 May

IIPC Debate 115, Tuesday 3.5. 14-16, Arcanum 3rd floor, room A355/357 (Arcanuminkuja 1, University of Turku). Also online: https://utu.zoom.us/j/63586646433, Passcode: 009540

Words, words, words: reflections on a life in music journalism

Professor Emeritus Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh)

The usual story of popular music journalism is a familiar narrative of rise and fall, from emergence in the 1950s to decline in the 2000s.  But this reflects the experience of a particular kind of music journalist, the rock critic.  In this talk I start from a different perspective: making and listening to music always involves conversations.  We need, then, to consider the supply and demand of words about music and how such words are shaped. What kinds of words are needed?  What are their effects?  Why and how do they change? In exploring these questions I will draw on my own experiences of music commerce, the publishing industry, fandom, radio listening, gig going and the academy.

Simon Frith held the Tovey Chair of Music at the University of Edinburgh from 2005-2017, the culmination of an academic career that started out with a PhD in Sociology.  He combined his academic work with journalism, writing for a variety of magazines and newspapers in the UK and the USA.  He was the first rock critic of the London Sunday Times and chaired the judges of the Mercury Music Prize from 1992-2016. He contributed the chapter ‘Writing about Popular Music’ to The Cambridge History of Music Criticism.


Programme for Studying Popular music, live music, and identity

2nd of May 2022

University of Turku.

Lecture hall: Pub3

Publicum, Assistentinkatu 7, 20500 Turku

We are closely monitoring the Covid-situation and will inform you about possible changes closer to the event. The event is open to the public and we wish for you to join us physically at the lecture hall. Masks are required inside the University’s facilities, and free masks are available at the entrance of the lecture hall. Students who have registered in advance can complete the event as a course. It is also possible to collect entries for the study pass without registration. The event will be streamed only to the students who notify their wish to join via Zoom to Tiina Käpylä before the 2nd of May.


Morning session:

Doors open 10:30

10:45-11:00 Welcome and opening words by Tiina Käpylä

11- 11:45 Lecture given by Prof. Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh). His title is ‘Clubbing, queuing and booing: live music and the sociology of identity’

15 minutes for discussion

12:00-13:00 Lunchbreak

Day session:

Short presentations from researchers, 20 min presentation + 10 min discussion

Chair Tiina Käpylä

13:00-13:30 on Zoom

Dr. Maarit Kinnunen (University of Lapland): Social Identity in Finnish Adolescents’ Live Music Consumption


PhD Student Tommi Iivonen (University of Turku): There’s no point in shouting from margins to mainstream: Underground and counterculture elements in the music scene of Pori.


Dr. Rami Mähkä (University of Turku): Crossbows in firelight: The Medievalism of Ritchie BlackMore’s Rainbow, 1975-1978

14:30-15:00 Coffee break

Afternoon session:

Panel discussion on the topics of the day

Chair: Tiina Käpylä

15:00-16:00 Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh), Anna-Elena Pääkkölä (Åbo Akademi), Tommi Iivonen (University of Turku)

Chairs: Dr. Tiina Käpylä

Responsible teacher and organiser: Dr. Tiina Käpylä

Assistant: Musicology student Tyyne Rantanen

Organiser: Department of Musicology, University of Turku and IIPC

Please send possible questions concerning the event to Dr. Tiina Käpylä: takapy@utu.fi