Listening again to popular music <i>as</i> history


  • Paul Leslie Long Monash University
  • Nicholas Gebhardt Birmingham City University



Popular music history, historiography


This guest editorial introduces four articles in the first of two special editions reflecting on the nature of our thinking and methods as scholars of popular music history. While many of us draw on an inter-disciplinary range of skills and repertories, what is it we think we are doing in producing our accounts of the past in and through music? What is at stake in our discussions and wider claims for the value of what we do?

Author Biographies

Paul Leslie Long, Monash University

Paul Long is Professor in Creative and Cultural Industries, Communications and Media Studies at Monash University. He has written extensively on popular music history, heritage and archives in which a core theme of cultural justice informs much of this work. With Phil Jones and Beth Perry, he has recently published Cultural Intermediaries Connecting Communities: Revisiting Approaches to Cultural Engagement (Policy Press, 2019).

Nicholas Gebhardt, Birmingham City University

Nicholas Gebhardt is Professor of Popular Music and Jazz Studies and Director of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research.


Baker, S., P. Doyle and S. Homan. 2016. ‘Historical Records, National Constructions: The Contemporary Popular Music Archive’. Popular Music and Society 39/1: 8–27.

Baker, S., C. Strong, L. Istvandity and Z. Cantillon, eds. 2018. The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage. London: Routledge.

Bennett, A., and S. Janssen, eds. 2019. Popular Music, Cultural Memory, and Heritage. London: Routledge.

Jackson, J. H., and S. C. Pelkey, eds. 2005. Music and History: Bridging the Disciplines. Jackson, MI: University Press of Mississippi.

Karush, M. B. 2018. ‘Editor’s Note: Music Histories’. Journal of Social History 52/2: 205.

Leonard, M., and R. Knifton. 2017. ‘A Critical Survey of Museum Collections of Popular Music in the United Kingdom’. Popular Music History 10/2: 171–91.

Long, P. 2015. ‘“Really Saying Something?” What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Popular Music Heritage, Memory, Archives and the Digital?’ In Preserving Popular Music Heritage, ed. Sarah Baker, 62–76. New York and Abingdon: Routledge.

Rosen, J. 2019. ‘The Day the Music Burned’. New York Times, 11 June.

Smith, M. M., ed. 2004. Hearing History: A Reader. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.



How to Cite

Long, P. L., & Gebhardt, N. (2020). Listening again to popular music <i>as</i> history. Popular Music History, 12(2), 147–151.