Although I wasn't here at the time (!), Huddersfield Polytechnic introduced the first music degrees outside the University sector in the late 1960s. Validated by the CNAA they were distinctive for the high level of practice they contained giving access to higher education in music to a whole new generation of very able students who weren't quite suited to the conservatoire or to an entirely academic BMus. This interest in practice soon spread to the development of composition majors too.
I will copy this email to Professor Richard Steinitz who was one of the 'pioneers' here and may be able to give more information.
Professor Michael Russ,
National Teaching Fellow,
Dean, School of Music Humanities and Media,
University of Huddersfield,
[log in to unmask]
From: National Association for Music in Higher Education Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steve Halfyard
Sent: 30 September 2010 08:44
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Music degrees - a brief history?
Leeds College of Music began their first degree programme in popular music in 2005-6, run by Bretton Hall graduates! They'd been doing other qualifiations (BTEC upwards) before that (and still are).
Westminster, Salford and LIPA all started Pop music degree programmes around the same time in the first half of the 90s, but I'm not sure any of them pre-date Bretton.
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