John Dack

John Dack was born in Kings Cross, London in 1950. He worked as a photographer's assistant, gravedigger, guitar teacher and music copyist before studying music as a mature student at Middlesex Polytechnic (BA Hons). After his undergraduate studies he worked as a peripatetic music teacher in Enfield, north London. Thereafter postgraduate studies were undertaken at Middlesex Polytechnic (PhD) with further studies at City University (PGDipMIT and MSc), Goldsmiths College (MMus) and Middlesex University (MA).

John's principal research area is the relationship between the practices and theories of composers and sound artists working in the electroacoustic medium. This research is, therefore, historical as well as musical/analytical. His doctoral dissertation (completed in 1989 under the supervision of Denis Smalley) compared the theoretical framework of Pierre Schaeffer (the `inventor' of musique concrète) with contemporary developments in German elektronische Musik (particularly serial thought). Much of John's research explores these tensions within post-war European music. With Christine North (an ex-Senior Lecturer in French Language and Literature at Middlesex University), he is currently engaged in translating key texts from French. They have translated Schaeffer's `A la Recherche d'une Musique Concrète' (1952) which appeared as `In Search of a Concrete Music' by the University of California Press. In addition, they have completed a translation of Michel Chion's exegesis of Schaeffer's theories `Guide des Objets Sonores' (1983). This forms part of the EARS web site (an AHRC supported project initiated by De Montfort University) ( They are currently completing a translation commissioned by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales of Schaeffer's `Traité des objets musicaux'. John also plans to translate important German texts from the 1950s with Dr Ralf Nuhn (a colleague at Middlesex University). In addition, with Maddalena Novati he has co-edited the volume `The Studio di Fonologia: A Musical Journey 1954-1983' published by Ricordi.

adrian 2015-06-03