Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

PopLife: The Value of Popular Music in the Twenty First Century

Posted: April 8th, 2014 | Filed under: News | No Comments »

The University of Northampton, UK
6th and 7th June 2014

Registration Open

It has increasingly become a truism to suggest that contemporary popular music practice is in a state of flux. Established patterns of consumption, distribution and production have at the very least been revolutionised by the opportunities afforded by digitalisation and the internet. While subcultural identities may have become increasingly adopted by mainstream media, the proliferation of media outlets has contributed to an increasingly varied and cosmopolitan listening experience both in terms of stylistic breadth but also in terms of historical depth. While some commentators have sounded the death-knell of the music industry, others see an opening-up of opportunity for musicians and audiences around the world that may be far more liberating than at any time since the dawn of recorded music.

While much has been, and continues to be, written about the changing topography of popular music around the globe, this conference seeks to understand the variety of ways in which popular music might still be valued. Is it still possible to understand a distinction between the mainstream and any form of alternative? How can a global popular music discourse play a significant role in people’s lives at a local level? How might the macro and micro-industries of popular music shape our listening experience, and above all, of what use is popular music to people’s lives right now?

PopLife presents two days of international delegates debating the various ways in which popular music has been, is and might yet be valued.  The delegates will be joined by our keynote speakers Professor Tim Wall (Birmingham City University) and Professor David Hesmondhalgh (The University of Leeds), a panel of industry speakers including dub bass legend Jah Wobble, Jo Burns-Russell (Amplitude Media, Northampton Music Festival) and Guy Dunstan (LG and NIA arenas)(more speakers TBC) and a panel of the University of Northampton’s BA Popular Music students, presenting their own research into the area.

We hope you will join us for what promises to be a lively two days.

For more information and registration details go to www.poplifeconference.com

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