The following video resources were made to suit a unit of work on Music and Australian Popular Culture. Pop Culture has a broad definition and can be explored through many topics or aspects.

These videos were developed to explore music relating to Australian Popular Culture. I wanted to cover four areas - Australian sport, music, TV and film. I focussed on specific aspects of these areas I thought my students would find the most engaging.

I created quizzes based on these videos and the content, so I could talk through the different music concepts with my students. These resources are aimed at stage 4 and 5, and may be applicable to different topic areas within the NSW Syllabus.


Music and Australian Sports

Music of the 2000 Sydney Olympics

The Games of the XXVII Olympiad – Official Music from the Opening Ceremony is the official music album of the 2000 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. The album peaked at number 1 on the ARIA Charts and was certified 2x platinum in Australia.

Deep Sea Dreaming - Elena Kats-Chernin

Born in 1957 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Elena Kats-Chernin received training at the Gnessin Musical College before immigrating to Australia in 1975. She graduated from the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music in 1980.

Her colourful, energetic, and often propulsive music has been choreographed by dance-makers around the world. In 2000 she collaborated with leading Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard on Deep Sea Dreaming which was broadcast to an audience of millions worldwide as part of the opening ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.





Music and the AFL

All genres of music are performed at sporting events, including the AFL. On Saturday, 21 May 2016, Archie Roach performed the song, ‘Took the Children Away’, at the Adelaide Oval. It involved a match between Port Adelaide and the West Coast Eagles with about 39,000 people in the crowd.

Took The Children Away - Archie Roach

Archibald (Archie) William Roach was born in 1956, Mooroopna and is an Australian musician. He is a singer, songwriter and guitarist, as well as a campaigner for the rights of Indigenous Australians.

Roach's debut solo album, Charcoal Lane, was released in 1990. It featured the song "Took the Children Away. In 2013 he won a Deadly Award for Lifetime Contribution to Healing the Stolen Generations as well as for Album of the Year. Along with fellow Deadly winner Pat O'Shane, he called for an end to the Northern Territory Intervention.






Music Festivals

Australian music festivals

Like the US, Australia started seeing modern music festivals appearing in the 1960s and 70s. Australia's first rock festival, the "Pilgrimage for Pop", held at Ourimbah, NSW over the Australia Day weekend, January 1970.

Since then music festivals in Australia have grown and evolved, most notably are the Woodford Folk Festival, which started in 1994, Big Day Out established in Sydney in 1992, and more recently, Splendour in the Grass, which is in its 20th year in 2020.

Splendour in the Grass

Splendour in the Grass is an annual Australian music festival held at the North Byron Parklands. Since it began, the festival has also been held in various locations near Byron Bay, New South Wales, and Woodford, Queensland. Splendour in the Grass showcases popular and established musical artists, as well as emerging Australian artists. The music festival has attracted notable artists such as Coldplay, Powderfinger, Arctic Monkeys, Kanye West, Tame Impala and Lorde.





Tame Impala

Tame Impala is a psychedelic music project of Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. In the recording studio, Parker writes, records, performs, and produces all of the project's music, but tours with a range of musicians.

Parker's decision to make the music for Tame Impala in the studio by himself is a result of Parker liking "the kind of music that is the result of one person constructing an awesome symphony of sound. You can layer your own voice 700 times for half a second if you want, and I just love that kind of music".

Tame Impala was the headline act for the 2019 Splendour in the Grass Australian Music Festival.






Music and Australian TV

Early days of music television pre-dated video clips, and included variety style series, miming series, and pop series, and with the advent of music videos, shows gave way to slickly pre-packaged film clips with a host compère mixing live local acts (e.g. Countdown).

A more recent trend has been towards near and complete compère-free shows which show music videos exclusively (e.g. Rage).

Most recently, talent quests and competition-style music television programs have become increasingly popular, such as Australia’s Got Talent, Australian Idol and The Voice

The Voice

The Voice is an Australian singing competition television series broadcast on Nine, based on the original The Voice of Holland. The show is part of the television franchise The Voice and is structured as three phases: blind auditions, battle rounds and live performance shows. In 2017, the show added another phase: the knockouts between the blind auditions and the battles. The winner receives a recording contract as well as A$100,000 and other prizes.






The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual international song competition, arranged since 1956 by the Eurovision broadcasting organisation, with participants representing primarily European countries. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio, then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the winner. At least 50 countries are eligible to compete as of 2019. Australia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest five times since their debut in 2015 and has been in the top ten four times. They are the second country outside of the Eurasia region with Morocco competing in the 1980 contest. The country's best result in the contest is a second-place finish for Dami Im in 2016. Australia also finished in the top ten in three of its other appearances in the contest, with Guy Sebastian finishing fifth in 2015, and both Isaiah Firebrace and Kate Miller-Heidke finishing ninth in 2017 and 2019.






Australian Film

Man From Snowy River (Main Theme)

The Cinema of Australia had its beginnings with the 1906 production of The Story of the Kelly Gang, the earliest feature film ever made. Since then, Australian crews have produced many films, a number of which have received international recognition. Many actors and filmmakers started their careers in Australian films, many of whom have acquired international reputations, and a number of whom have found greater financial benefits in careers in larger film-producing centres, such as in the United States.

Commercially successful Australian films have included: Crocodile Dundee, Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge!, and Chris Noonan's Babe. Other award-winning productions include Picnic at Hanging Rock, Gallipoli, The Tracker, Shine and Ten Canoes.

Australian film music

With Australian film, the majority of scores have been written by Australian (or Australian resident) composers. Some more notable Australian film composers include Nigel Westlake, David Hirschfelder, Elena Kats-Chernin, Dulcie Holland, Guy Gross, Peter Best, George Dreyfus, Bruce Rowland and Carl Vine.





Man From Snowy River (Jessica's Theme)

The Man from Snowy River is a 1982 Australian Western and drama film based on the Banjo Paterson poem "The Man from Snowy River".

According to Producer, Geoff Burrowes, the idea to make the film came at a dinner party when someone suggested the poem would make a good movie. Burrowes developed a treatment with George Miller then hired John Dixon to write a screenplay. All three men had worked together in television; another former TV colleague, Simon Wincer, became involved as executive producer with Michael Edgley and succeeded in raising the budget.

The screenplay contains numerous references to Banjo Paterson, aside from using his poem "The Man from Snowy River" as the source material and his inclusion as a character in the film. For example, the numerous references to the late Matilda are likely a reference to the song "Waltzing Matilda", which was written by Paterson. In addition, the melody for "Waltzing Matilda" can be heard near the end of the film.