Ivor Gurney Society Newsletter

Michael Pugh has written a report on High Above Gloucester and the Severn Plain, an event organised by The Musical Brain in collaboration with the Ivor Gurney Society, which took place on 14-15 September 2018. This report is featured in the latest edition of the Ivor Gurney Society Newsletter, on pages 7-10.

Click here to download the newsletter.

Walking with Gurney

An article by Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson has written a fascinating article revealing a personal perspective on Gurney's music, his love of landscape and nature, and his struggle with mental health. This article appears in the newly published 2017 Journal of the Ivor Gurney Society.

Click here to read 'Walking with Gurney'

Why Music conference reports - October 2012

Conference reports from the MA Art and Science students at Central Saint Martin's

We were delighted that the Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science cohort and their Course Leader Nathan Cohen attended October's conference. The students have penned reviews of the individual presentations and it is very interesting for us to be able to hear the opinions of an entire graduate course on the conference proceedings. You can download their reviews (unedited) below.

A Carnival in Rio - Sound, Rhythm and the Body

By Nigel Osborne

Imagine you are in Rio de Janeiro at Carnival time. It is late at night, but you are walking through streets full of people. You are relaxed, and happy to feel aware of yourself, or your body and of the present moment. Sounds, scents, shapes and colours drift through your senses, seeming to arise, mingle and disappear in an almost "timeless" flow.

Click here to read the full article as a pdf

Post-Festival Reports: 2009 Conference

By the Student Bursary Recipients

Saturday 15th August 2009
Only a few minutes into Friday's programme of presentations and music, I found myself wishing that I'd chosen that day to report on. The moment that Professor Nigel Osborne took to the plinth in the Mews conference room, the atmosphere became charged, with a keen sense of inquisitiveness, enthusiasm, and a hunger for rigour. It was an atmosphere that would prevail throughout the weekend, as speakers, musicians and delegates immersed themselves in a rich world of music, psychology and neuroscience.

Click here to read the full report as a pdf

(In top photograph: Greg Harradine, Kirstin Anderson, Lou Johnson, Emily Carr, Lyndsey Dryden, Jonathan Colgan, Carolina Naess, Pierce Hale)

(In the bottom photograph, the speakers from left to right, are Robert Zattore, Nigel Osborne, Katie Overy, Stefan Koelsch and Jessica Grahn.)

About The Musical Brain

Music plays an important part in the lives of all human beings. It may give us pleasure, excite us, or make us sad in a happy kind of way. It may make us want to move and dance, help us to relax, help us to concentrate or work physically, even help us to sleep. It brings people together in a special kind of way – a special kind of human, emotional, physical, mental and social contact.

It is hugely exciting that in the last few years a revolution has occurred of tremendous importance to everyone who cares about music – simply, science has begun to catch up with music. There have been discoveries, particularly in the biological sciences, which offer irrefutable proof that music does indeed change people's minds and bodies. Brain scanning has revealed not only the many parts of the brain involved in listening to and responding to music, but also that music "builds" the brain – certain areas of the brain critical to general human life and development are enlarged by musical experience.

Advances in neurophysiology and endocrinology have shown that music does indeed have a significant influence on our autonomic nervous systems, and on the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect the way we feel and experience emotion, and our capacities to act and react. New research in psychobiology has shown that musical communication is a vital part of human social development, and helps us both relate to others and learn. There is even a humble but important new role for music in medicine.

Why is this important? Because it helps give music its proper place in our lives and education; it empowers those who practise it, helps them to value properly what they do, and offers them new insights into their art and its potential to grow.

Nigel Osborne, 2009

Composer, Reid Professor of Music, Edinburgh University, Co-Director of the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development

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