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This year, music has seldom been out of the news, not least because we've lost so many of the greats, including Bowie and Prince. A report on a death is called a hard news story, but over the decades the BBC has covered music in many different ways - by examining technological developments in science programmes like Tomorrow's World, or taking a wider view of music culture in features on Newsnight. Here's how the BBC saw 11 huge music stories, going back to 1969...

1. The birth of the Moog synthesiser, 1969

[WATCH] Tomorrow's World - Moog synthesiser

Wendy Carlos's Switched-On Bach, recorded on a Moog, was a commercial and critical hit album in 1968, offering the pioneering synthesiser its first significant breakthrough. A year later, Tomorrow's World ran a report on the wild-looking machine, explaining very practically how it worked. "You don't have to be an electronics expert to play the Moog, all you need is a a good musical ear," says presenter Derek Cooper. The player in the piece is Mike Vickers from Manfred Mann.

2. The first Glastonbury, 1971

[WATCH] BBC Glastonbury - Drugs at the Fayre, 1971

Glastonbury in 2016 is a global media event, to which the BBC give over considerable more resources than it did in the festival's inaugural year when John Craven was sent to Pilton to investigate drug use while wearing a suit. "Really, it's only natural that when you get together 8,000 people who don't really believe in the established way, some of them will get high on drugs," he explains. He discovers that, while soft drug use is widespread, there have been few cases of hard drug use - possibly because, as a worker from Release reveals, "A lot of bum stuff is being sold - junior aspirin dipped in beetroot."

Find out more: BBC World Service - Witness, The First Glastonbury Festival

3. Kraftwerk demonstrate "machinemusik", 1975

[WATCH] Tomorrow's World - Kraftwerk perform Autobahn

Kraftwerk weren't the first electronic group, but their sound was nonetheless revolutionary. They were invited onto Tomorrow's World in 1975 to demonstrate what they called "machinemusik" by playing their track Autobahn, while presenter Raymond Baxter details their process: "The sounds are created in their studio in Düsseldorf, then reprogrammed and then recreated onstage with the minimum of fuss." The appearance (their first on British TV) has gone down in legend; in 2011, the Guardian recognised it as "No.1 in our series of the 50 key events in the history of dance music".

Bonus clip: Kraftwerk's Robots on Tomorrow's World in 1991

4. The death of Elvis Presley, 1977

[LISTEN] Radio 4 - Letter from America, Death of Elvis

Alistair Cooke's Letter from America series was broadcast on the BBC from 1946 to 2004, making it the longest-running speech radio programme in history. In this episode, he reflects on the reporting of the news that Elvis had died, and it's fascinating listening. Cooke seems both curious and appalled by the sheer amount of coverage the passing of the King received, saying, "I think it's a dubious reflection on the world's press - the press of the English-speaking world, anyway - that it seems to have assumed we were all as interested in him, his life, his origins, his money, his drug taking, as we might be assumed to be interested in the late John Kennedy or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. So, if ever an appetite was glutted by the newspapers, this was one."

One can't even imagine what Cooke would have thought of the reporting of the death of David Bowie in our current 24-hour, social news cycle.

Read a full transcript of the episode

5. The murder of John Lennon, 1980

[WATCH] Newsnight - Former Beatle John Lennon is murdered in New York

"Many of the mourners are literally speechless with grief," says Newsnight's Martin Bell, reporting from outside the New York apartment block, The Dakota, where John Lennon had been fatally shot the night before. Fans had started to gather as soon as they heard the news, turning the gates of the building into a "kind of a shrine", as Bell describes it. "The crowds just won't go away."

6. The emergence of the New Romantics, 1981

And now, perhaps unexpectedly, here's Peter 'Swingometer' Snow introducing a 12-minute Newsnight feature on New Romanticism and the Blitz Kids in 1981. Reporter Robin Denselow begins his piece in the company of club promoter Chris Sullivan, who he calls "the art college student responsible for bringing fashion back to youth culture and enlivening London's nightlife in the process". We go on to meet Visage's Steve Strange, Spandau Ballet, and Robert Elms, now of BBC Radio London, all of whom speak with passion about a scene that Denselow seems equally intrigued, delighted and confused by. "There's also the sense of escapism and narcissism," he says towards the end of the feature. "The New Romantics are forever taking pictures of each other."

Bonus Newsnight archive story: Robin Denselow interviews Keith Richards, 1982

7. Freddie Mercury dies 24 hours after making his AIDS diagnosis public, 1991

[WATCH] News at 10 - Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, has died

Freddie Mercury was just 45 when he died in 1991, and his passing caused an outpouring of grief and affection. Michael Buerk was hosting News at 10 that night and presented the above report.

8. The Battle of Britpop, 1995

[WATCH] News at 10 - Blur vs Oasis chart battle

It's not unusual for the death of a rock star to make the News at 10; far rarer for something as seemingly innocuous as a chart battle between two ambitious bands. But the 1995 race to No.1 that pitched Oasis's Roll With It against Blur's Country House captured the zeitgiest and ultimately became about class and the north-south divide as well as pop music. It was a great story, introduced by John Humphrys with typical aplomb.

9. The rise of streaming, 2013

In recent years, one of the biggest stories in music has been the music industry itself - first, when it suffered a chronic loss of revenue as illegal filesharing took hold, and then when streaming became the preferred method for fans to listen to music, raising a new set of issues. In 2013, Moby was invited onto Newsnight to discuss a still-red-hot topic - royalty rates paid to artists by streaming services like Spotify - and also to offer his views on what the future of music might be like. He calls the digital world a "democratic anarchy" that's very hard make generalised assumptions about, although Kirsty Wark certainly tries to get him to nail his colours to the mast.

10. Grime's resurgence, 2014

You might imagine that the days of Newsnight giving over a chunk of air time to cover music movements like New Romanticism are long gone, but this 2014 report by 1Xtra's MistaJam on grime's resurgence has a similar feel, and is cleverly tied back to other music movements that blew up because of people power - punk and hip hop. Still, it's pretty funny seeing grime artists like Jammer and Stormzy on the current affairs programme, but they're not the first. Dizzee vs Paxman, remember? Great days.

11. David Bowie dies of cancer, 2016

Bowie's death in January was a shock to everyone. It was always going to be a big story, but it snowballed into something that dominated the news cycle for many days. This clip is from the morning of 11 January, as we were still digesting what had happened. Eddie Izzard is quoted as asking whether radio stations around the world could play just Bowie all day, and his wish came true.

BBC Newsnight, 12 January - David Bowie: A look back at his early days

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