Experimental music in UK elementary and high school (1969)


I hope all of those kids found their Doors of Cuckundu.

I believe I read a book by Hugh Davies about similar experiments in schools – focused heavily on tape-recorder experiments and amplified-springs-and-found-things (such as Davies regularly used in his own work).

I haven’t been able to find any such book listed online, dang it. And the Brian Dennis book doesn’t have any contents online for me to see if its the same thing.


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I think I see a young Phillip Glass at 3:40.

A teacher in a Jr. High on Long Island was leading an after-school group doing similar “new music” experimentation – percussion, prepared/percussive/plucked piano, found and made, instruments (eg, a tubular-steel chair became a horn), and synth. (One of the students donated a Paia synth kit; about a year later the school system came through with an ARP). A few years later, but not many.

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15 years later, Depeche Mode would produce hit records by scouring the industrial junk yards of Shoreditch with a tape recorder for raw material to sample and manipulate into pop-musique-concrete.

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This feels familiar.

What happened to this fantastically creative mode of British teaching? Today it’s been replaced by a robotic and mindless programming, effectively destroying young minds.

Fun, creativity and imagination seem to be three concepts that have no place in the modern British education system. But then again what do you expect from a Tory government.

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