From the Die Hard films to the Proms, via Rhodesia and Tiananmen Square, Ode to Joy has been one of the most malleable pieces of music ever written. SOPHIA DEBOICK traces its varied history back to its year of creation

When the Beatles turned up in Hamburg, rock ‘n’ roll was on its knees, says IAN WALKER. By the time they had ended their stay in the city, its future was guaranteed

A sterile-sounding genre is revived by an injection of illicit creativity. SOPHIA DEBOICK on the musicians who put the soul into rural America’s music

As the slaughter of the Great War intensified, and certainties that had preceded the conflict faded away, an imaginative and rebellious spirit emerged. SOPHIA DEBOICK looks back on a year when the world hung in the ​balance

SOPHIA DEBOICK on a year that heard the death knell sound for the hippie era, and saw rock culture take an ominous, sinister turn

Opera has a long history of shaping national identity – much to the annoyance of some. PATRICK SAWER looks at its impact in Italy and, perhaps more surprisingly, in the UK

The East German authorities hoped Bruce Springsteen might help bolster their ailing regime. Instead, as IAN WALKER explains, he doomed it

SOPHIA DEBOICK looks back on a year which saw the first stirrings of a new sound and a new character – the teenager

Has history been fair to the Bee Gees? Long accused of cultural theft, arrogance and - worst of all - naffness, they risk being remembered as a pastiche. But behind the band's baggage SOPHIA DEBOICK discovers a far more complex legacy

David Bowie's death led to an explosion of activity around the star's life and music. Lifelong fan DYLAN JONES explains why he chose to write one more Bowie book

Few British institutions divide opinion as much as the Last Night of the Proms. But, says PIERS FORD, this complex event is ultimately able to rise above the political tensions

1958 was the year when rock and roll gripped the nation, prompting some to ask of a young Cliff Richard “Is this boy too sexy for television?” SOPHIA DEBOICK explores when the teenager truly arrived in Britain

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