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Articles on Contemporary music

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Nardi Simpson plays the square piano, similar to one that arrived on the First Fleet. Jamie Kidston

Four Indigenous composers and a piano from colonial times — making passionate, layered, honest music together

Four Indigenous composers were asked to create works for a square piano from a painful period in our nation’s history. They did so in creative, honest and powerful ways.
A Black Sabbath fan on stage at a rock concert in Finland. Anssi Koskinen/flickr

Explainer: the politics of heavy metal

Heavy metal music was traditionally associated with white, working class masculinity. But the genre has diversified - with many subgenres - and now embraces causes ranging from whale protection to labour conditions.
Beyoncé in the music video for Sorry, from Lemonade. Screenshot from Youtube

My favourite album: readers’ choice

From The Smiths to Kendrick Lamar, Conversation readers tell us their favourite albums.
Jarvis Cocker in the film clip for Common People. Screenshot from Youtube

My favourite album: Pulp’s Different Class

In Different Class, Pulp got fans singing and dancing to searing commentaries on class and privilege.
Shirley from Skyhooks in Countdown. ABC

Countdown - just nostalgia, or still breaking new ground?

Audiences of a certain age still gush about Countdown, the ABC’s music show that ran between 1974 and 1987. The ritual of sitting down to watch the ABC at 6pm on a Sunday (and maybe again for the Saturday…
The ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict is only the most recent copyright ‘Controversy’ to erupt – just ask Prince. Mike Blake/Reuters

The messy history of music copyright suits

Like ambulance chasers, gimlet-eyed entertainment lawyers have been trained to detect the most trivial copyright infringements.
Sir Paul McCartney thinks it’s ridiculous (but flattering) that people formally study The Beatles. EPA/Robert Voss

Hey, Sir Paul! Studying popular music doesn’t actually kill it

Sir Paul McCartney has been making some waves. On New Year’s Eve, Kanye West released a new single, Only One, a collaboration with The Beatles great on keys. On Twitter, Kanye’s fans reacted, wanting to…

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