Ian Pace

Ian Pace is a pianist, musicologist and professor of music at City, University of London, but is writing here in a personal capacity. He was co-convenor of a 2022 conference on ‘Music and the University’ that took place at City.

The political polyvalency of modernism

The late Sir Roger Scruton often pronounced in a harsh manner on modern architecture and modern music, perceiving in various work an assault on bourgeois culture and a break with tradition. Back in the 1950s, music critic and CIA agent Henry Pleasants (a station chief in Bonn) delivered if anything a more scathing view of

How the culture wars are killing Western classical music

Musicology may appear an esoteric profession. But several events in the past few years have pushed musicological debates into the columns of national newspapers, from the American academic who claimed that music theory was a ‘racial ideology’ and should be dismantled, to the Oxford professor who allegedly suggested that studying ‘white European music’ caused ‘students