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Dr Paul Harkins

Biography My lecturing role at Edinburgh Napier University began in 2005 when I started teaching the Business of Music modules on the BA (Hons) Popular Music degree before becoming a permanent member of staff in October 2007. I have been responsible for designing and leading new undergraduate modules about the music industries and the history of music technologies. I was Programme Leader from 2015-2018 and have been nominated in the Best Feedback Category at the NSA Awards.

My PhD research was about the history and uses of sampling technologies and my book, Digital Sampling (Routledge), was published in 2019. I have also written about the politics of copyright, the aesthetics of mash ups, and published articles in Popular Music, Popular Music & Society, IASPM@Journal, Journal on the Art of Record Production, and Reseaux. I'm currently working on research projects about digitalisation and democratisation, Syco Systems and the distribution of musical instruments, and Kate Bush's use of the Fairlight CMI.

I am keen to exchange ideas and share research with a wide audience. In 2011, I organised and chaired a debate about song lyrics with Ian Rankin and King Creosote at the launch of Edinburgh City of Literature's 'Let's Get Lyrical' campaign and took part in an AHRC New Generation Thinkers Media Training Workshop. One of two early career researchers invited to take part in music policy workshops funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, I have contributed to policy debates by writing op-ed pieces about copyright and the music industries and participating in a round-table discussion about the creative industries for The Times. I was recently awarded funding by the AHRC to host an event at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford called 'Uncovering the Secrets of the Fairlight CMI' as part of the 2019 Being Human festival.

I worked for PRS For Music and as a music publisher before becoming a lecturer and have contributed articles to Product magazine, The Scotsman newspaper, and The Conversation website. I am a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), the Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production (ASARP), and the Scottish Pop Ideas Network (SPIN).
Research Interests music; popular music; sociology of music; music and technology; digital technologies and sampling; music industries; music and copyright;