European Popular Musics

Crowd at a concert - European Popular Musics Research Group, University of Leeds

Academic convenors

Dr Stuart Green (
Dr Isabelle Marc (
Professor Catherine Rudent (

Our research

Our group endeavours to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas between our own disciplines and musicology, the social sciences and the humanities, and to disseminate the results of such collaboration in print and at public events. We also wish to engage with those directly involved in the production and consumption of music, not only the artists themselves but also the media and the music industry.

Some of the issues that we seek to open up to debate are:

  • The relationships between Anglophone (including Anglo-American) and continental musical spaces;
  • National and transnational performance and reception;
  • Song as musical, verbal and performative text;
  • Geographical, ethnic, gender and sexual identities;
  • Dialogues with other cultural forms such as cinema and literature;
  • Diasporic musics in Europe.

The EPMRG was established at an international symposium on the topic of European popular music held in June 2011 at the University of Leeds. This event was organised by Isabelle Marc during a visiting research fellowship, following an invitation from Professor David Loosely, expert in French popular music and founding member of the University of Leeds's Popular Culture Research Network. Some of the research delivered there was later developed in a special issue of the Journal of European Popular Culture in 2013, where co-editors Isabelle and Stuart Green defined the group's focus on "a shared contemporary geopolitical reality within which coexist diverse languages and cultural and musical histories linked by organizational structures, common economic policies and cultural affinities that in many ways facilitate more dynamic musical exchange than with other spaces."

Subsequently, the EPMRG grew beyond the boundaries of the PCRN within which it initially sat, holding its first conference, "From Adele to Zeca Afonso: The Singer-Songwriter in Europe", in June 2012. This led to the publication of The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place (Routledge, 2016) as part of Ashgate's Popular and Folk Music Series. During the COVID-19 pandemic, EPMRG set in motion a series of monthly online seminars, which allowed members long-standing and new, ranging from established academics to postgraduates, to present work in progress. The momentum accumulated in this way over the next three years enabled the organisation of EPMRG's second conference, "Music beyond Borders: Artists, Industries and Representations in and beyond Europe" at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in July 2023.

Current events


Music Across Borders: Artists, Industries and Representations in and beyond Europe. 10-11 July 2023, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. Call for papers closed. Download the Conference Programme.

Download the Conference Report by Rose Barrett

Select outputs

Édith Piaf's Récital 1961, David Looseley (2023). Read an interview with David Looseley.

The Transnational History of "Oh Lord, Why Lord": The Blackening and Whitening of Spanish Baroque Pop, Stuart Green (2022, in Spanish)

Following Franco: Spanish Culture and Politics in Transition, Duncan Wheeler (2020) 

“Is Music Streaming Bad for Musicians? Problems of Evidence and Argument”, David Hesmondhalgh (2020)

The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place, ed. Isabelle Marc and Stuart Green (2016)

Gender, Metal and the Media: Women Fans and the Gendered Experience of Music, Rosemary Hill (2016)

'Identidad cultural y contestación en el rap francés old school', Isabelle Marc, and 'Ladies in da house: Feminidad e Hispanidad en el rap de Arianna Puello', Stuart Green in Cuarenta años de trova urbana: Acercamientos textuales al rap (2014)

'European Popular Musics: A Polycentric Dialogue', special issue of Journal of European Popular Culture, edited by Stuart Green and Isabelle Marc, 4.1 (2013)


Past events

Seminar Series 2022–2023

  • October 19: Barbara Lebrún (University of Manchester), "Blackness in 1980s French pop" 
  • November 16: Michaël Spanu (University of Manchester), "The institutionalization of European popular music: the case of music exports" 
  • December 14: Ekaterina Ganskaya (University of Turin), "Two dimensions of Soviet rock journalism" 
  • January 18: Sue Miller (Leeds Beckett University), "Où sont passés mes pantoufles? Where are my slippers? Sexy Belgian Chachachá? The Latin Music of Jean Constantin" 
  • February 15: Carlos van Tongeren (University of Manchester), "Rhythm and heritage in modern flamenco guitar: proposals for the digital and global age" 
  • March 15: Ádám Havas (University of Barcelona), "The Cultural Politics of Europe’s Musical ‘Others’" 
  • April 19: Amanda Blake Davis (University of Derby), “'Load Every Rift With Ore': Transmuting Romantic Poetry into Metal” 
  • May 17: Christina Richter-Ibáñez (University of Tübingen), “"Gracias por la música". ABBA's records in Spanish” 
  • June 14: Karl McLaughlin (Manchester Metropolitan University), "Tenerife’s Carnival Murgas: harmless festival fun or an effective platform for social issues?" 

2021–2022. 'Transnational Musical Exchange' online seminar series.

  • 20 October: Welcome back and research catch-up
  • 17 November: Jacopo Tomatis (University of Torino), 'A cultural (and transnational) history of the canzone all'italiana'.
  • 15 December: Samuel Llano (University of Manchester), 'Bedouins and Peasants: North African music, the folklore ideology and the European imagination'
  • 19 January: Christina Richter-Ibáñez (University of Tübingen), 'Latin American songs transferred to the European stage: the case of La Foule'.
  • 16 February: Marina Arias Salvado (Complutense University of Madrid), ''This is gonna last two summers': pachangueo, Latin American immigration and the assimilation of reggaeton in 2000s Spain'
  • 16 March: Céline Pruvost (University of Picardie), title to be confirmed

2020–2021. ‘Current Debates in European Popular Musics’ online seminar series.

  • 15 October 2020 – 'The Soundtrack to Democracy and Dictatorship: Popular Music in Spain', Professor Duncan Wheeler (University of Leeds)
  • 19 November 2020 – 'Popular Music and Blackness in Europe', Dr Stuart Green (University of Leeds)
  • 17 December 2020 – 'Mylène Farmer: French Pop Diva', Dr Isabelle Marc (Complutense University of Madrid)
  • 21 January 2021 – 'Dalida: French Disco Queen', Dr Barbara Lebrun (University of Manchester)
  • 18 February 2021 – 'Reading the Popular Music Star as Intermedium: The Case of Mina, Italian Popular Music Diva’, Rachel Haworth (University of Leeds)
  • 18 March 2021 – ‘‘Latin’ Gainsbourg and the Parisian Nightclub Scene’, Sue Miller (Leeds Beckett University)
  • 15 April 2021 – 'Writing for Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series: Édith Piaf's live album Récital 61’, David Looseley (University of Leeds)
  • 20 May 2021 – 'Iberian Cantautoras: Elisa Serna and Teresa Rebull’, Elia Romera Figueroa (Duke University)
  • 17 June 2021 – 'From Stereotype to Novelty? The Transnational Spread of Russian Popular Music’, Marco Biasioli (University of Manchester)