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Christopher Small


Born: 1927 Died: 2011


SMALL, Neville Charles CHRISTOPHER - Born Palmerston North 17-3-27, Died 07-09-11. Educated at Terrace End and Russell Street Primary Schools (1932-39), Palmerston North Boys' High School (1940-1) and Wanganui Collegiate School (1942-4). University National Scholar 1944. Attended Otago University 1945-8, graduating BSc, and Victoria University College 1949-52, graduating BMus. LRSM in musicianship 1951. 1952 attended Wellington Teachers College. 1953-8 taught at Horowhenua College, also worked (out of hours) with Morrow Productions Ltd, Levin, making educational animated films. 1959-60 taught at Waihi College. Awarded a NZ Government Bursary 1960. 1961 went to England, spent the year travelling. 1962-4 studied composition with Priaulx Rainier in London, working also with Bernard Rands and, briefly, with Luigi Nono and Witold Lutoslawski. Remained in England teaching at a number of schools, including Anstey College of Education, Birmingham 1968-71. Senior Lecturer in Music at Ealing College of Higher Education, London, 1971-86, with a year's leave to teach at Dartington College of Arts 1979-80. 1977-86 was also Adjunct Professor of the History of Music at Syracuse University London Centre. Tutor in Music to the Summer School of the BEd course of Sussex University 1981-4. Member of the Music Panel of the Greater London Arts Association 1981-5. External examiner in music on the DipHE course at Trent Park College, London 1978-84 and on the Diploma of Education course at Dartington College of Arts 1984-6. Retired from teaching in 1986 and moved to Spain. Published books include "Music, Society, Education" (John Calder, London 1977 and Riverrun Press, New York 1982, also published in Italian 1982 and Spanish 1988), "Schoenberg" (Novello Short Biographies, London 1978), "Music of the Common Tongue: Survival and Celebration in Afro-American music" (John Calder, London 1987 and Riverrun Press, New York 1988). Contributor to numerous publications and journals including "Music in Education", "Tempo", "The Musical Times", "Music and Letters", "Musical America". Has lectured and given papers in numerous educational institutions in the UK, Norway and the USA, also to the Composers' Guild of Great Britain (1984), the Association of Improvising Musicians (1985), Music Educators National Conference (Hartford CT 1985 and Washington DC 1989) and the Society for Ethnomusicology (Cambridge MA 1988). Took part in the BBC-TV2 series "Sounds Different", broadcast in July 1982, and wrote and presented three programmes on Afro-American music, "This Is Who We Are", broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in March 1988.

Composed (11)

Black Cat

for school percussion ensemble and voices, 10m

Children of the Mist

a ballet in two acts for orchestra, 45m

High Country Stockman

orchestral music for film, 10m

Suite from Children of the Mist

for orchestra, 20m


music for film, 10m

The Story of Soil

music for film, 10m


music for film, 5m

Various Songs and Solo Piano Pieces

For students and friends

What on Earth is Happening

music for film, 10m