Mapping the Soundscapes of Popular Music Heritage

Paul Long, Jez Collins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In the summer of 2010, the Midland Arts Centre (mac) in south Birmingham reopened its doors after a £15 million refurbishment. Its main gallery featured ‘Plug In’, an exhibition curated by artist Simon Poulter celebrating various aspects of the city’s identity and cultural heritage. The heterogeneous installations included a sign from the HP Sauce factory (relocated to the Netherlands), a Morris Minor motorcar and two contributions originating in the work of the Birmingham Popular Music Archive (BPMA). Visitors could watch Made in Birmingham: Reggae Punk Bhangra (Aston, 2010), a documentary film about the city’s music scene, and view an associated ‘Music Map of Birmingham’. The latter was built from the kinds of names and places featured in the film as well as many others it inevitably left out, some long forgotten or which had barely registered with audiences the first time around. The fact that the exhibit was visited by an estimated 35,000 people and the ongoing interest in the BPMA’s project attest to the fulfilment of one of its aims which is, literally, to put the music of the city on the cultural map.1.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMapping Cultures
Subtitle of host publicationPlace, Practice, Performance
EditorsLes Roberts
Place of PublicationBasingstoke UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781137025050
ISBN (Print)9781349336807
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

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