The Light Programme

We can think of Light Music as fill­ing a gap between out-and-out clas­si­cal music, and the excep­tion­al qual­i­ty music pro­duc­tion library and film music of the 1940s-50s — the lat­ter also fea­tur­ing from time to time on The Light Pro­gramme. It’s a con­tin­u­um with per­haps Sul­li­van at one end, and maybe Coates at the oth­er – though it’s dif­fi­cult to define bound­aries. In between are com­posers like Addin­sell, Alwyn, Ketel­bey, Tom­lin­son, Binge, Lane and oth­ers, and it’s their music that we’ll be fea­tur­ing today. What these pieces and com­posers have in com­mon, is a “clas­si­cal” approach to melod­ic music. Their work is full of great tunes, and it utilis­es orches­tral forces with as much aplomb as any clas­si­cal com­pos­er. But in gen­er­al (though not always), the music is a lit­tle lighter in tone and feel.

I should note, inci­den­tal­ly, that the title “The Light Pro­gramme”, in addi­tion to refer­ring to the BBC radio ser­vice of the same name (which was renamed in 1967), also pays homage to “Bri­an Kay’s Light Pro­gramme”, which ran on BBC Radio 3 from 2002 until 2007.

Bri­an Kay was one of the key peo­ple (along with Gavin Suther­land, Ernest Tom­lin­son and friends) who has been respon­si­ble for the immense resur­gence of inter­est in Light Music in the 21st cen­tu­ry and the redis­cov­ery of these mar­vel­lous com­po­si­tions. And if you are a lover of Light Music, please do find out more about the Light Music Soci­ety.

Also today, don’t miss your last chance to catch the sec­ond episode of our fea­ture, Where’ve You Been, where Cale­do­nia Sky­tow­er and Elrik Mer­lin dis­cuss places and events of inter­est across the Sec­ond Life Grid — noon and 4pm Pacif­ic (20:00 and 00:00 UTC). Episode 3 begins air­ing on Wednes­day next. And don’t miss Engines of Our Inge­nu­ity from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hous­ton that tells the sto­ry of how our cul­ture is formed by human cre­ativ­i­ty. Writ­ten and host­ed by John Lien­hard and oth­er con­trib­u­tors, it is pro­duced by Hous­ton Pub­lic Media. Catch it just after the hour every four hours from 4am Pacif­ic / 12:00 UTC.

Image: The BBC Mid­land Light Orchestra