To date, there has been a significant gap in work on the social history of music in Britain from 1950 to the present day. The three volumes of Live Music in Britain address this gap and do so through a unique prism—that of live music. The key theme of the books is the changing nature of the live music industry in the UK, focused upon popular music but including all musical genres. Via this focus, the books offer new insights into a number of other areas, including the relationship between commercial and public funding of music, changing musical fashions and tastes, the impact of changing technologies, the changing balance of power within the music industries, the role of the state in regulating and promoting various musical activities within an increasingly globalised music economy, and the effects of demographic and other social changes on music culture. Drawing on new archival research, a wide range of academic and non-academic secondary sources, participant observation and a series of interviews with key personnel, the books have the potential to become landmark works within Popular Music Studies and broader cultural history. The second volume covers the period from Hyde Park to the Hacienda (1968–84).
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.