People attending open air concert in front the the Liver Building
Front cover of the Liverpool’s Musical Landscapes book
Front cover of the Liverpool’s Musical Landscapes book

Liverpool’s Musical Landscapes

New book from Historic England covers Liverpool's musical heritage.

Historic England has published a new book Liverpool's Musical Landscapes.

Written by Sara Cohen (Professor of Music at the University of Liverpool) and Robert Kroneburg (Roscoe Chair of Architecture, University of Liverpool), it's the first book to examine the whole of Liverpool's popular music heritage by focusing on buildings and outdoor spaces as well as musicians and music.

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It was launched recently at the fabulous British Music Experience at the Cunard Building in Liverpool.

A UNESCO city of Music

The history of live music in Liverpool is closely connected to the history of the city. Liverpool's status as a port city has brought a constant exchange of visitors and returning natives with knowledge and experience of the rest of the world. This has influenced the way the city has grown in both its physical form and its cultural identity. Music has formed a large and important part of that cultural identity - most recently recognised in its designation as a UNESCO City of Music. Music has always been a key element in the creation of Liverpool's architectural and urban character; and in turn the city and its physical architectural character have shaped its musical life.

The authors of this new book show how music is bound up with changes in the social and economic life of the city and with shifting patterns of leisure and entertainment. They highlight the social and cultural significance of places that enable people to come together and collectively participate in music events: places where they can perform and experience music, develop music skills and careers, hear new musical sounds, meet other like-minded people and connect with musicians and audiences.

Anecdotes on famous places and artists

By touching on groups and artists involved with many diverse musical styles the authors reveal new and fascinating information on well-known historic venues such as the Cavern Club and the Blue Angel, as well as new ones such as the Echo Arena. With a glossary of artists and venues, previously unpublished photographs, illustrations and music maps, Liverpool's musical landscapes are investigated in unprecedented detail and depth.

This is a story of music sites, sounds and scenes that are in a state of continual flux. The book uncovers an understanding of how popular music, the people who are engaged in its making and appreciation, and the built environment in which they live, work and play, come together to create a unique musical identity.

Most of all - it's a great read and well worth buying!

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