Paul Harkins

Paul Harkins

Dr Paul Harkins

Lecturer T&R

Biography

My lecturing role at Edinburgh Napier University began in 2005 when I started teaching the Business of Music modules on the BA (Hons) Popular Music degree before becoming a permanent member of staff in October 2007. I have been responsible for designing and leading new undergraduate modules about the music industries and the history of music technologies. I was Programme Leader from 2015-2018 and have been nominated in the Best Feedback Category at the NSA Awards.

My PhD research was about the history and uses of sampling technologies and my book, Digital Sampling (Routledge), was published in 2019. I have also written about the politics of copyright, the aesthetics of mash ups, and published articles in Popular Music, Popular Music & Society, IASPM@Journal, Journal on the Art of Record Production, and Reseaux. I'm currently working on research projects about digitalisation and democratisation, Syco Systems and the distribution of musical instruments, and Kate Bush's use of the Fairlight CMI.

I am keen to exchange ideas and share research with a wide audience. In 2011, I organised and chaired a debate about song lyrics with Ian Rankin and King Creosote at the launch of Edinburgh City of Literature's 'Let's Get Lyrical' campaign and took part in an AHRC New Generation Thinkers Media Training Workshop. One of two early career researchers invited to take part in music policy workshops funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, I have contributed to policy debates by writing op-ed pieces about copyright and the music industries and participating in a round-table discussion about the creative industries for The Times. I was recently awarded funding by the AHRC to host an event at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford called 'Uncovering the Secrets of the Fairlight CMI' as part of the 2019 Being Human festival.

I worked for PRS For Music and as a music publisher before becoming a lecturer and have contributed articles to Product magazine, The Scotsman newspaper, and The Conversation website. I am a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production (ASARP), and the Scottish Pop Ideas Network (SPIN).

Date


35 results

Beyond Sustainability: The Music Industries Declare Emergency on Planet Earth – or do they?

Presentation / Conference
Harkins, P. (2022, August)
Beyond Sustainability: The Music Industries Declare Emergency on Planet Earth – or do they?. Paper presented at IASPM UK and Ireland Conference, University of Liverpool
In December last year, a number of record labels based in the UK signed the Music Climate Pact in which they committed to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases by 50% by 2...

Finding the Female Users: A Feminist Historiography of the Fairlight CMI

Presentation / Conference
Harkins, P., & Blackburn, M. (2022, June)
Finding the Female Users: A Feminist Historiography of the Fairlight CMI. Paper presented at Rethinking the History of Technology-based Music, University of Huddersfield
The story of the Fairlight CMI, a digital synthesizer that was designed in Sydney, Australia in the mid-to-late 1970s, is dominated by a few high-profile male users: Peter Gab...

(Dis)locating Democratization: Music Technologies in Practice

Journal Article
Harkins, P., & Prior, N. (2021)
(Dis)locating Democratization: Music Technologies in Practice. Popular Music and Society, 45(1), 84-103. https://doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2021.1984023
This article examines the concept of democratization and explains why it has been applied in unhelpful ways to the study of music. We focus on three examples to illustrate the...

(Dis)locating Democratisation: Grime, Digitalisation, and 'The PlayStation Generation'

Presentation / Conference
Harkins, P. (2021, May)
(Dis)locating Democratisation: Grime, Digitalisation, and 'The PlayStation Generation'. Paper presented at Annual Symposium of Music Scholars in Finland, Online
For many commentators over the last two decades, digitisation represents nothing short of a watershed moment in how music is produced, stored, and consumed. In this paper, I a...

Following the Instruments: The Designers and Users of the Fairlight CMI

Book Chapter
Harkins, P. (2021)
Following the Instruments: The Designers and Users of the Fairlight CMI. In A. Hennion, & C. Levaux (Eds.), Rethinking Music Through Science and Technology Studies. Routledge

'Need we Say More': Contemporary Responses to the Fairlight CMI

Presentation / Conference
Harkins, P. (2020, December)
'Need we Say More': Contemporary Responses to the Fairlight CMI. Paper presented at Sound Instruments and Sonic Cultures: An Interdisciplinary Conference, National Science & Media Museum, Bradford/Online
Often described as the first digital sampler, the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument (CMI) was primarily a digital synthesizer and computer workstation. Launched in 1979, i...

(Dis)locating Democratisation: Grime, Digitalisation, and ‘The PlayStation Generation’

Presentation / Conference
Harkins, P. (2020, May)
(Dis)locating Democratisation: Grime, Digitalisation, and ‘The PlayStation Generation’. Paper presented at London Calling IASPM UK & Ireland Conference, Online/University of West London
For many commentators over the last two decades, digitisation represents nothing short of a watershed moment in how music is produced, stored, and consumed. Just as the era of...

Popular Music and the Anthropocene

Journal Article
Ribac, F., & Harkins, P. (2020)
Popular Music and the Anthropocene. Popular Music, 39(1), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0261143019000539
Ribac, F., & Harkins, P. (2020). Popular Music and the Anthropocene. Popular Music, 39(1), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0261143019000539

Following the Auteurs: Kate Bush and the Fairlight CMI

Presentation / Conference
Harkins, P. (2019, December)
Following the Auteurs: Kate Bush and the Fairlight CMI. Paper presented at This Woman's Work: A Kate Bush Symposium, Edinburgh College of Art
I’m a big fan of Kate Bush’s music but my priority in this paper is not to praise her many achievements. Instead, I want to look at how she was using music technologies in the...

Cult Sound Studies: hand claps, orchestra hits, and the production of popular music

Journal Article
Harkins, P. (2019)
Cult Sound Studies: hand claps, orchestra hits, and the production of popular music. Sound Studies, 5(2), 213-216. https://doi.org/10.1080/20551940.2019.1648029
No abstract available.

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