Uplift, Dance Music, and the BBC in Interwar Britain

Christina L. Baade

in Victory through Harmony

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780195372014
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918287 | DOI:
Uplift, Dance Music, and the BBC in Interwar Britain

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Chapter 1 offers a contextual account of BBC broadcasting between the wars; discusses the infusion of jazz and dance music from America into British musical life; and situates the book in relation to discourses of mass culture, modernity, and the popular. Its examination of the BBC is concerned particularly with its ideologies of cultural uplift, promotion of active listening, advocacy for (classical) music appreciation, and conceptualization of its listeners through audience research. The more comprehensive discussion of dance bands and jazz in interwar British culture (necessary because of their unfamiliarity to most North American readers) is focused through the lens of broadcasting. It gives particular attention to the problem of song plugging and the BBC's turn to lighter programming during the late 1930s: these cases distilled the BBC's ambivalence about popular music, with its ties to the commercial and the American, even as it prepared for war.

Keywords: cultural uplift; music appreciation; audience research; dance bands; jazz; 1930s; mass culture; modernity; popular music

Chapter.  10496 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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