New book takes author from pub rock to PhD

Tuesday, 12 August 2003

Mark Carroll's journey is an unlikely one: from being a rock guitarist to publishing a book on the ideology surrounding classical music during last century's Cold War.

But the lecturer at the University of Adelaide's Elder School of Music will realise the culmination of years of academic hard work tonight (Tuesday) with the launch of his book Music and Ideology in Cold War Europe.

After living and working in Sydney for many years as a guitarist in various bands and also as a session musician and travelling "gun for hire" for a host of country music luminaries and club acts, Dr Carroll returned to Adelaide in the 1990s and obtained a Bachelor of Music (Honours) through the then Elder Conservatorium.

He went on to complete his PhD through the Elder Conservatorium in December 2000, with his thesis being subsequently converted into Music and Ideology in Cold War Europe, published by the prestigious academic printing firm Cambridge University Press. He is now a part-time lecturer at the University of Adelaide's Elder School of Music, and spends his other working time in Canberra at the Australian National University.

"I grew up in Blackwood, and always loved living there," Dr Carroll says. "After spending a lot of my working life playing guitar in bands and on the road, I wanted a new direction and my wife and I decided to come home. The Bachelor of Music was fun to do, and the PhD was just an extension of that, and now I've released my first book - it all seems a bit strange but I'm doing what I want to do and really enjoying it.

"I've still got a lot of mates from my days at Blackwood High School and while some of them are unimpressed with the idea of a PhD, they're proud of me and are happy for me that I'm doing well."

Even without Dr Carroll's personal history behind it, Music and Ideology in Cold War Europe remains a valuable and timely contribution to music scholarship.

"Essentially it's a look at how both the West and the East used music as a propaganda tool during the early Cold War period," Dr Carroll says. "In particular it looks at how this cultural struggle played out during a major international arts festival held in Paris in 1952.

"The main thing I wanted to show with the book was that composers in the 20th Century were not writing music in a vacuum; they and their music were very much affected by what was happening around them."


Contact Details

Professor Mark Carroll
Elder Conservatorium of Music
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3672
Mobile: 0414 407 428

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
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Mr David Ellis
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External Relations
The University of Adelaide
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