Marking the 100th anniversary of Lilburn's birth, music historian and 2015 Lilburn Research Fellow Chris Bourke discusses the place of local popular music in New Zealand. He notes that when Lilburn was born, the local music scene was more inclusive. How did the split between “high art” and “low art” occur? Has the neglect of New Zealand popular music been rectified? What is the most useful way to study local popular music? Is it still necessary to look for a New Zealand sound? He considers the ideas discussed by Lilburn in his celebrated talks A Search for Tradition and A Search for a Language: are they still relevant, and can they be answered by popular music?