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Thursday, 17 September 2020, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Online Lecture

Radio in the 78 Era (1920–1948)

Professor Jeremy Summerly

In 1920, Nellie Melba’s singing was transmitted to Europe and Newfoundland via the wireless. In 1922 the BBC began broadcasting, and from the outset sponsored new music and relayed outside broadcasts to the nation (and from 1932, to the world). 

In 1927 the BBC took over The Proms, and in 1946 the Third (alongside the Home and the Light) Programme was instituted. 

The BBC’s mission: ‘to be ahead of its public, but not so much as to lose their confidence’.


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Given Covid-19, we are live-streaming all our lectures online in 2020-21 and aim to re-introduce in-person lectures gradually as social distancing rules change.

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Jeremy is Visiting Gresham Professor of Music History. 

He is the Sterndale Bennett Lecturer in Music at the Royal Academy of Music. He also chairs the Academy's Continuing Professional Development Programme. 

He has delivered the annual Christmas carol service at Gresham College since 2014. In 2019, he was made Visiting Professor of Music History.

Professor Summerly's lecture series are as follows:

2020/21 100 Years of BBC Radio

2019/20 Making Music

All lectures by the Visiting Professor of Music History can be accessed here.

Current Visiting Professor of Music

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