Research seminar: ‘Towards a history of pop music in the British home’

Wednesday 30 November 2016, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Tom Perchard (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Histories of pop music tend to focus on its recorded artefacts, or else on spectacular events played out in public. But what would that history look like if it was staged in the home, and concentrated instead on musical experiences that were private, reflective, imaginary, intimate, familial? In this talk I’ll outline my ongoing study of pop in the British home from 1945-89, detailing the themes and types of sources that I have begun to explore. I hope that this work will open pop history up to emphasise kinds of participation often underemphasised in heroic historical narratives – especially that of women and children – and will set now-highlighted genres and moments (rock and roll, rock, punk) in the much flatter, wider pop contexts amid which they appeared.


Tom Perchard’s teaching and research centres on the history and historiography of jazz and popular music. His first book, the widely acclaimed Lee Morgan: His Life, Music and Culture (Equinox, 2006), was the first study of that important mid-century jazz musician. An edited anthology, From Soul to Hip Hop, was published in 2014 as part of Ashgate’s Library of Essays on Popular Music series, and a second monograph, After Django: Making Jazz in Postwar France, is published in 2015 by the University of Michigan Press. Tom’s research articles appear in American Music, Popular Music, Jazz Perspectives, Popular Music and Society, the Journal of the Society for American Music and Popular Music History. Tom gained his PhD at Goldsmiths in 2005, and taught at the University of Westminster before returning to take up his current post in 2008. With Professor Keith Negus, he is co-director of the Popular Music Research Unit. 

Location: Sally Baldwin D Block - I/D/003