NABMSA is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2013 Diana McVeagh prize is Victory through Harmony: The BBC and Popular Music in World War II, by Christina Baade, published by Oxford University Press.
Dr. Baade is Associate Professor in Music and Communication Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Her research interests include early twentieth-century popular music; radio studies and the British Broadcasting Corporation; gender, queer, and critical race theory; and the historical interactions of mass media and music.
In their report, the selection committee described Dr. Baade’s work as “an impressive examination of how the BBC engaged with popular music during World War II in an attempt to encourage morale,” and wrote the following commendation: “Victory through Harmony exemplifies interdisciplinary research and writing. Not only does Baade write a book about popular music in Britain during WWII, she also balances her investigation with other facets at issue during those years, including a cultural study of the radio, the intertwining of nation-state and cultural ideals, and social transformation. The writing is never too technical to appeal to non-musicians, and the widespread appeal of this work will surely enable its use across disciplines. In addition to these outstanding qualities, Victory through Harmony is simply well written. Baade’s prose compels the reader in much the same way that the music she examines captured the ears of those who heard it.”
In addition to awarding the prize to Dr. Baade’s book, the committee singled out Harrison Birtwistle’s Operas and Music Theatre by David Beard, published by Cambridge University Press, for honorable mention.
NABMSA awards the Diana McVeagh Prize biennially to the best book on British Music. The prize is named in honor of pioneering British music writer, Diana McVeagh, who is the author of books on and musical editions of British composers Edward Elgar and Gerald Finzi, among others.
Congratulations to Prof. Baade and Oxford University Press!