Select Publications

Stuart has published articles and essays on many aspects of Music and the Creative Industries.

40-years-of-failures-–-The-BBCs-mishandling-of-historic-sex-abuse (MBA Corporate Governance essay, University of Cambridge, 2017)

Jimmy Savile was one of the BBC’s biggest celebrity broadcasters from the 1960s to 1990s. Starting as the original presenter of Top of the Pops, his career reached its apogee with his primetime BBC1 show Jim’ll Fix It, which ran weekly for 3 months each year between 1975 to 1994, attracting up to 20m viewers. However, the Dame Janet Smith’s Independent Enquiry into Child Sexual Abuse  concluded that he had raped at least 8 people and abused 64 others on BBC premises, including 37 under the age of 16. Including his charitable [sic] work in hospitals and schools, an estimated 450 victims were uncovered by the police’s Operation Yew Tree, making him one the UK’s most notorious sex offenders.

The BBC and other organisations had evidence to prevent it at the time, and when allegations began stacking up in later years, he was given apparent VIP immunity. Even after he died in 2011, the BBC shelved a Newsnight investigative report on sexual allegations in favour of a tribute show. Thus, the epochal broadcast that instigated Operation Yew Tree was broadcast by ITV not the BBC.

Whilst there was an obvious historic failure of corporate governance, the BBC’s handling of the revelations and aftermath was also poor. Discussion of four other cases (Lord McAlpine, Paul Gambaccini, Cliff Richard and Mike Brewer) are used to suggest how BBC governance failed both the public and employees through scapegoating, “flypapering” and being inconsistent in judgment.

This essay examines the BBC’s failures, and seeks to understand how better corporate governance could have better served its stakeholders.

Creating memorable experiences: Why we risked performing  live at the Oscars: LinkedIn interview with Paul Wilson, 26th Feb 2018
“The UK Must Focus More on its Creative Industries”: Oxbridge Business Review, 16th Feb 2018

Large opportunities are available to the Creative Industries post-Brexit, but the media, ironically, pay insufficient attention to the sector. The FT has published over ten times as many articles on the post-Brexit motor industry than it has done on the Creative Industries, despite their being larger than the Automotive, Aerospace, Oil & Gas and Life Sciences sectors combined.

This article looks at the economic and soft power importance of the Creative Industries sector, and invites the media to wake up to the economics of it.

When jeopardy is a risk worth taking: McKinsey Risk Essay Prize, University of Cambridge (2017) Honourable Mention

Academic literature treats risk almost exclusively as a negative concept: to be mitigated. This essay asserts that this one-sided orthodoxy leads to an incomplete understanding, and charts new territory by investigating its upside, using an ethnographic study of Dame Shirley Bassey performing live rather than miming at the 2013 Academy Awards.

Whilst producers like to minimise operational and reputational risk inherent in genuinely live performances, music artistes like the jeopardy of performing live because of the adrenalin-driven emotional enhancement and spontaneity it generates.

By examining the underlying reward factors that performing with jeopardy brings, the author proposes that the best possible outcome is only achieved when the risk- minimisation needs of producers are balanced with the jeopardy-maximisation needs of performers. A new bilateral framework is proposed that adds an upside dimension to conventional risk assessment.

There is a void of research into the upsides of risk, and this essay suggests that an enriched understanding of it could bring greater insight into fields as diverse as financial trading, extreme sports, the military and emergency medicine.…ads/riskprize2017-barr.pdf

The Melopoetics of Broadway Song, MPhil Thesis, University of Cambridge.

(The first-ever research carried out on popular music at Cambridge)

Abstract: What makes a Broadway song sound like a Broadway song? Through specific ways of developing musical ideas, notable composers generate musical fingerprints that make a piece undeniable theirs. A similar identity is generated by lyricists. In this thesis, new analytical tools are developed that identify the combined fingerprint of the composer lyricist writers, from Irving Berlin through to Stephen Sondheim. Through this novel analysis, a greater understanding of what makes up a Broadway Song is uncovered.

Barr S 1995 The Melopoetics of Broadway Song MPhil Thesis, University of Cambridge pp 1-10

Barr S 1995 The Melopoetics of Broadway Song MPhil Thesis, University of Cambridge pp 11-27

Barr S 1995 The Melopoetics of Broadway Song MPhil Thesis, University of Cambridge pp 28-45

Barr S 1995 The Melopoetics of Broadway Song MPhil Thesis, University of Cambridge pp 46-63

Barr S 1995 The Melopoetics of Broadway Song MPhil Thesis, University of Cambridge pp 64-83

Barr S 1995 The Melopoetics of Broadway Song MPhil Thesis, University of Cambridge pp 84-end

Obituary of the polymath Dr Laurence Picken

Polymath equally at home in biology and the musicology of both east and west, published in The Guardian, Jun 6th, 2007.