From The Library — The Light Programme

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by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 9 September, 2008

Today on Radio Riel, we are once again exploring the world of Light Music – from the earliest days of the genre, which started in the late 19th century, to its heyday after the Second World War.

Light Music’ – also known as ‘mood music’ or ‘concert music’ – is very much a British phenomenon, referring to a popular and tuneful style of orchestral music that had its origins in the seaside bands of the 19th and early 20th century. The style peaked around the middle of the 20th century and then fell from favour: on the one hand eclipsed by rock ‘n’ roll (many of its exponents by this time were the leaders of the Big Bands whose doom arrived during this period), but on the other continuing in hidden guise, in the form of ‘library music’ – music recorded for use in films, radio and later television – right up into the 1960s.

Light Music is characterised by a predominance of melody – generally memorable melody – which is one reason why it is a perfect companion to broadcasting, providing themes and even incidental music to drama, documentary, news and current affairs, and game shows. Often, people can recall the themes that punctuated their lives many, many decades ago.

The Light Programme is presented by Elrik Merlin as part of our series From the Library.

• From the Library is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life. For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

You can listen now at — the ideal URL for you to use in your home parcel media address in-world — or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player. (If you want to listen off-world, eg in Winamp or iTunes, and the above address doesn’t work for you, click here.)


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