BA (Hons), PhD, PGDipMIT (distinction), MSc (distinction), MMus, MA (merit).
John Dack was born in Kings Cross, London in 1950. He worked as a photographer's assistant, gravedigger andguitar teacher before studying music as a mature student at Middlesex Polytechnic. Whilst working as a peripatetic music teacher and music copyist he undertook postgraduate studies at Middlesex Polytechnic (PhD) and further studies at City University (PGDipMIT, MSc), Goldsmiths College (MMus) and Middlesex University (MA).
German, French, Turkish.
Learning & Teaching Interests
John Dack contributed to the former Sonic Arts undergraduate programme by teaching two modules based on his research field of electroacoustic music. He alsocontributed to third year modules and assisted with the MA Sonic Arts programme as required by Dr Nye Parry (the MA programme leader). In addition to working at Middlesex University John has also been a visiting lecturer in the music departments of Goldsmiths College and City University where he taught both undergraduate and post-graduate courses.
He currently contributes to modules in the School of Science and Technology (where he is module leader for the Jan-start CMT3331 module) and the School of Art and Design.
John is also actively engaged in the supervision of MPhil/PhD students.
Research Outputs & Interests
John Dack'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. In numerous articles and conference presentations he has explained and illustrated the relevance of Schaefferian thought to contemporary music theory. He has also examined the dynamic nature of serial thought as it changed from the highly determined techniques of many post-war composers to a means for mediating between extremes and different parameters. John is also particularly interested in 'open' forms (see: http://scambi.mdx.ac.uk) and Stockhausen's 'formel Komposition'.
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 completed a complete translation of Michel Chion's exegesis of Schaeffer's theories Guide des Objets Sonores (1983) which forms part of the EARS web site (an AHRC supported project initiated by De Montfort University) (see: www.ears.dmu.ac.uk). Their translation of Pierre Schaeffer's A la recherche d'une musique concrète (1952) was published by the University of California Press in 2012 and they are currently completing a translation of Schaeffer's 'Traité des objets musicaux'. John is also active with Dr Ralf Nuhn in the translation of important German texts.
Invited research presentations have taken place at Sheffield University, Leeds University, Brighton University, De Montfort University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama,Portsmouth University, Kingston University, Huddersfield University, Edinburgh University, Goldsmiths College, Sorbonne. John has presented his research at over 70 in conferences Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, China and Turkey.
Dack, John (2012) The nature of the instrument: Luciano Berio, instrumental thought and Schaefferian theory. In: Luciano Berio: nuove prospettive / new perspectives. De Benedictis, Angela Ida , ed. Chigiana (XLVIII). Leo S. Olschki, Florence, Italy, pp. 337-358. ISBN 9788822261106