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Christopher Small


Born: 1927 Died: 2011


Christopher Neville Charles Small (17 March 1927 – 7 September 2011) was a New Zealand-born musician, educator, lecturer, and author of many influential books and articles in the fields of musicology, sociomusicology and ethnomusicology.

Between 1945 and 1952 he attended the University of Otago and then Victoria University College. He taught at Horowhenua College (at the same time working at Morrow Productions Ltd making educational animated films) from 1953 to 1958, and at Waihi College from 1959 to 1960.

In 1960, he was awarded a New Zealand government bursary and he spent 1961 travelling in the United Kingdom, before studying composition in London with Priaulx Rainier, where he also had contact with Bernard Rands, Luigi Nono and Witold Lutoslawski. After his studies he stayed in England, where he taught at schools, including Anstey College of Education in Birmingham. He became senior lecturer in music at Ealing College of Higher Education in London (1971–86) and he also taught at Dartington College of Arts in 1979. Between 1977 and 1986 he was adjunct professor of the history of music at Syracuse University London Centre, and a tutor in music to the summer school of the BEd course of Sussex University between 1981 and 1984.

During his lifetime he published a number of books, and articles in journals such as Music in Education, Tempo, The Musical Times, Music and Letters, and Musical America. He lectured in many educational institutions in the United Kingdom, Norway and the United States, contributed with papers to organisations such as the Composers' Guild of Great Britain (1984), the Association of Improvising Musicians (1985), Music Educators National Conference (Hartford, Connecticut, 1985; Washington DC, 1989) and the Society for Ethnomusicology (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1988).

Composed (11)

Black Cat

for school percussion ensemble and voices, 10m

Children of the Mist

a ballet in two acts for orchestra, 45m

High Country Stockman

orchestral music for film, 10m

Suite from Children of the Mist

for orchestra, 20m


music for film, 10m

The Story of Soil

music for film, 10m


music for film, 5m

Various Songs and Solo Piano Pieces

For students and friends

What on Earth is Happening

music for film, 10m