Michael Brown has been researching New Zealand music and adjacent topics for twenty years. He currently works as Curator, Music at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.
His areas of research have included folksong collecting, tramping songs, community singing, the piano in New Zealand, trade union and socialist singing, and the ‘Maori strum’ guitar style. Recently he has written about preservation issues relating to audiovisual heritage.
His blog is at: http://notunlikeatrumpet.wordpress.com/.
‘A sonic step closer: Master-tape preservation at the Alexander Turnbull Library’, Popular Music History 13/3 (2020): 273-297. DOI: 10.1558/pomh.40992
‘”A piano in every other house”? The piano in New Zealand trade statistics, 1877-1931’, New Zealand Journal of History 51/2 (2017): 26-53.
‘”Couldn’t it have been the bagpipes?”: Douglas Lilburn’s other traditions’ in Searches for tradition: Essays on New Zealand music, past and present, eds. Michael Brown and Samantha Owens (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2017), pp.79-93.
Searches for tradition: Essays on New Zealand music, past and present, co-edited with Samantha Owens (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2017).
Finding language: The Massey University composer addresses, co-edited with Norman Meehan and Robert Hoskins (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2017).
‘Ten riffs on the Māori strum’, AudioCulture: the noisy library of New Zealand music (online article, 2017).
‘”The Chantey” and “The Bush Poet”: James Cowan and vernacular song in New Zealand’, Journal of New Zealand Studies 19 (2015), 124-139.
‘Folk coffee-bars of 1960s Wellington’, AudioCulture: the noisy library of New Zealand music (online article, 2014).
‘Peter Cape’, AudioCulture: the noisy library of New Zealand music (online article, 2014).
‘Off the beaten track: the vernacular and the mainstream in New Zealand tramping club singsongs’, in Redefining Mainstream Popular Music, ed. Andy Bennett, Jodie Taylor and Sarah Baker (New York: Routledge, 2013), 177-189.
‘Many happy song-sessions: Kiwi Youth Sings’, Labour History Project Newsletter 55 (2012), 14-19.
‘Locating the vernacular in the Maori guitar strumming style’, in World Music is Where We Found It: Essays by and for Allan Thomas, ed. Wendy Pond and Paul Wolffram (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2011), 116-130.
‘Let’s all sing! The community singing movement in New Zealand and its publications’, Crescendo 79 (2008), 13-17.
‘”Earnest Spade Work”: The New Zealand Folklore Society, 1966-1975’, Journal of Folklore Research 44/2-3 (2007), 127-160.
‘The Mixer: Harry Kirk, The Bard of Greymouth’, Trade Union History Project Newsletter 41 (2006), 8-10.
- Curatorial advice
- Performing arts