Magazine
Latest Issue

Melody makers

Despite routine claims of decline, music in Britain is thriving. Bands, groups and choirs of all kinds are flourishing, and new digital technologies have opened up the world of music to a generation of bedroom-based producer-players. But can our schools and conservatoires keep up with these changes?

By Nick Crowe   July 2006

Britain is said to be suffering a gradual decline in musicality. The conductor John Eliot Gardiner recently told the Guardian that Britain’s musical culture was “getting worse.” The director of King’s College choir, Stephen Cleobury, complained about sightreading standards among choristers and the fact that students no longer have to study harmony or counterpoint at A-level. Composer and conductor James MacMillan spoke of a “monumental dumbing-down in Scottish music education.” Last year, Exeter University closed its music department. And, worst of all, runs the argument, music teaching in state schools remains in crisis. Our status as the listening nation is…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect