Musical youth

April 11, 1997

From Tim Footman

RUPA HUQ (THES, April 4) endorsing Simon Frith's assertion about "student music" and "the sense of exclusiveness that being a student (at least in Britain) still entails", says that "the model rings true in campuses throughout the country". One of the effects of the late 1980s indie/dance synthesis, the rave scene and the Britpop phenomenon is that many racial, class and other boundaries have been broken.

Whereas ten or 15 years ago artists such as The Smiths, New Order or The Cure could plausibly be identified as "student music", more recent acts like Oasis, Nirvana, the Stone Roses and the Prodigy have drawn fans from inside and outside higher education.

As higher education draws increasingly from non-traditional socio-economic groups is there really any contemporary music that remains student-specific? Or, on a wider point - is it still possible to identify a stereotypical student?

Tim Footman, Nursery Road, Merton, London

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