Who are you?
Simon McKerrell is head of music at Newcastle University. He is interested in how music communicates meaning in everyday life, particularly how this is constructed as discourse. His research focuses upon how music and text communicates sectarianism, belonging and cultural heritage and how these relate to policy. Methodologically this relies upon critical discourse analysis, ethnography and multimodal analysis. He has previously held positions at the University of Sheffield and Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and prior to this worked at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. He is an expert performer of Highland-, Border- and Uilleann-pipes and has toured, taught and performed throughout the world. See website for further details.

Matthew Ord is a musician, PhD researcher and teaching assistant at Newcastle University.
He is currently researching the effects of sound recording practice on the reception of the music of the British folk revival. His research mainly concerns traditional music and its historical relationship with counter-cultural movements but also touches on the semiotics of sound and record production, proxemics, Gibson's ecological approach to perception, metaphor theory and multimodal approaches to music as communication.

Why are you doing this ?
In order to open up the discussion to people outside the university, connecting staff and students with a larger community of knowledge and interests. We hope that by drawing on the cumulative knowledge of our entire class-community we can come to a better understanding of past and present popular music culture together.

What will we be studying?
We'll be looking at some of the central concepts in the academic study of popular music. The course provides an introduction to the discipline via readings and online tasks and discussions.

Who should take this class ?
Anyone with an interest in popular music culture including but not limited to undergraduate and postgraduate music students as well as hobbyists and practicing professionals.

How will the classes work ?
For registered Newcastle students lectures and seminars will take place at Newcastle University each week according to the schedule. Material based on these of these will be shared online via the www.ispopmus.com website.
A series of weekly tasks will also be set over the course of the class, these are designed to build on each other though any can be taken up singly at any time.

Will I get feedback?
Unfortunately it is unfeasible for us to guarantee everyone individual feedback though we will try to engage with discussion topics as often as possible.

Can I attend lectures and tutorials?
Unfortunately these are only available to registered Newcastle students.

What equipment will I need?
A computer which in turn with access to the internet.

Any questions?
Please contact ispopmus@newcastle.ac.uk and we'll do our best to answer them.

(FAQ structure thanks to #phonar )