Skip to content


Where does popular music come from?
with Dr Tom Attah from Leeds Arts University

Try this university course before you apply - 100% free!

Watch a sample episode now

Join Dr Tom Attah as he both defines and contextualises popular music as a socio-cultural activity and practice, looks at how popular music genres are made up of individual style elements, and discusses music as a form of 'language'. Tom also thinks about listening to music for feeling in a fascinating activity involving the theme tune to Jaws!

Dr Tom AttahLeeds Arts UniversityMusic

All episodes
1. Popular music and society
2. Gesture, text & context
3. Music & meaning
4. Activity - listening for feeling

About the university

Leeds Arts University
Leeds Arts University
Leeds Arts University

Leeds Arts University is the only specialist arts university in the North of England, providing the best opportunity in which to grow as an artist, designer, musician or filmmaker. Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth studied here, as did, more recently, Marcus Harvey, Damien Hirst and Omar Kashoura. It has been ranked number one in the country in the Design & Crafts subject table, and has won several recent awards for its world class facilities. With roots dating back to 1846 and the original Leeds School of Art, it is always improving its equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups.

Leeds Arts University profile →
Meet the academic
Dr Tom Attah

Dr Tom Attah is a practising musician and Course Leader for BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance at Leeds Arts University. His research interests include the effects of technology on popular music, particularly blues music and blues culture. As a guitarist and singer, Tom performs solo, with an acoustic duo and as part of an electric band. Tom's solo acoustic work includes his own original Blues compositions and has led to performances at major music festivals around Europe, including major stages at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, and Blues Autour Du Zinc. Tom’s live work includes theatre and festival performances, workshops, seminars, lectures and recitals delivered to learning institutions, artistic communities and blues dance specialist events in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, Russia, and the United States. Tom's original music commissions include composing and performing the music for the HandelHendrix permanent exhibition in Mayfair, London, and Tom's multiple national radio appearances include performances and documentaries for BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, and Sky Arts. Visit Tom at:

In every Subject Spotlight you’ll find

On-demand interactive video content

Sign up, log in and access a wide range of potentially life-changing Subject Spotlight experiences that will help you make informed decisions about your university future.

Remarkable & relatable academics

Learn from some of the UK’s finest and most decorated academics as they give you a genuine, insightful and engaging experience of studying their courses at their universities.

Interactive quizzes and activities

Have a go at fascinating interactive quizzes and activities, then get meaningful and intuitive feedback from the academics to see how you’ve done.

Content to enhance students’ personal statements

Hear direct from the academics what’s expected of you in your personal statements, and the things you can do to improve your chances of getting on the course you most desire!

Certificate of completion

You’ll receive a certificate of completion to evidence your learning - why not add this to your CV and university applications to show your dedication to your future pathway!

Frequently asked questions

What is a Subject Spotlight?
Why should I check out Subject Spotlights?
Who is this Spotlight for?
How should I talk about completing a Subject Spotlight on my personal statement?