Audio Archive - 2012 conference

The Beethoven Question: Can Art Make Life Worth Living?

Purcell Room, Southbank Centre - October 2012


Saturday 27th October

Introduction – Stephen Johnson

Beethoven’s life and deafness - John Suchet  

Followed by discussion with Stephen Johnson and questions

Beethoven’s deafness, his string quartets and his three styles â€“

Prof Age Smilde, and Dr Edoardo Saccenti, of Biosystems Data Analysis at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences at the University of Amsterdam: with the Sacconi Quartet 

Followed by discussion and questions – with the Sacconi Quartet and Stephen Johnson

Music and Deafness:

Introduced by Prof Michael Trimble

Music and its Impact on the Deaf

Dr Paul Whittaker OBE, Artistic Director of Music and the Deaf

The role of art in coping with sensory impairment 
Robert Fulford, Centre for Music Performance Research, Royal Northern College of Music 
Effects of Hearing Impairment on Music Making
Joined by Nigel Osborne, composer, co-director of the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, and Lloyd Colemancomposer

Discussion with Michael Trimble, Paul Whittaker, Robert Fulford, Nigel Osborne and Lloyd Coleman         

Panel discussion: The Need to Compose

Introduced by Nigel Osborne with Stephen Johnson, Barry Cooper and Lloyd Coleman



Audio Archive - 2011 conference

Why Music?  Is Music Different from the Other Arts?

Institute of Neurology, Queen Square - October 2011


Introduction - Professor Michael Trimble

There have been debates going back for over 2,000 years about the similarities and differences between art forms, and several writers at various times have venerated music as superior to the rest. This symposium will explore these views from a multidisciplinary perspective, from the philosophical to the therapeutic, and from the psychological to the neurological. The relevance of the latter, especially as revealed to us with modern brain imaging, will be the subject of discussion, questioning the current role of neuroscience for philosophy and aesthetics. Click here to download the transcript as a PDF document

Can there be a Science of Musical Understanding? - Professor Roger Scruton

We speak of understanding and misunderstanding music; music is a form of communication; and the habit of sitting still and listening while music plays is one that demands an explanation, especially at a time when hardly anyone does it. What form should such an explanation take, and is neuroscience likely to have a part in shaping it? And what bearing would the explanation have on our understanding of other art forms? Click here to download the transcript as a PDF document

The Neurohistory of Art: How Neuroscience Illuminates Individual Inspiration - Professor John Onians  

Neuroaesthetics tends to look to neuroscience for help in the study of universals, such as beauty. Neurohistory uses neuroscience to help to explain those behaviours of individuals and groups that are exceptional, from the creativity of particular artists and musicians to the responsiveness of particular viewers and listeners. The talk suggests ways in which brain scanners and electron microscopes offer insights into the most mysterious activities of the human mind. It also argues that in doing so, far from reducing the mind’s mystery, they greatly enhance it. Click here to download the transcript as a PDF document

What Classical Musicians Can Learn from Other Arts on How to Build Audiences - Professor John Sloboda and Dr Biranda Ford  

There has been a well-documented decline in attendance at classical music concerts at the same time as audiences for other art-forms (e.g. visual art) have never been healthier. This lecture reviews some of the psychological factors that impact on audiences when experiencing music and other art forms, and outlines some recent initiatives, which encourage musicians to build a stronger relationship to audiences by learning from other arts, particularly drama. Click here to download the transcript as a PDF document

The Purpose of Art and the Role of Music in Therapy - Professor Ray Tallis and Professor Nigel Osborne 

Art, like human consciousness, is gloriously useless. It has no biological function but rather is an attempt to come to terms with, even to heal, the wound in the present tense, which is in part the result of the fact that ideas and experience, content and form are in conflict. It is an expression of the unique freedom of human beings to make their own sense of the world. The therapeutic implications of this for those who have been damaged by life or by illness are both self-evident and ambivalent. Click here to download the transcript as a PDF document

Can Music Portray Happiness and Sadness? - Stephen Johnson with Ian Ritchie, Ian Brown and the Sacconi Quartet

Please note, musical illustrations in this session were performed live, not under professional recording conditions and using an electric piano. Click here to download the transcript as a PDF document

Debate and Open Forum: Neuroimaging is Important to our Understanding of Aesthetics and our Responses to Art - Professors: Michael Trimble, Roger Scruton, John Onians, John Sloboda, Ray Tallis and Nigel Osborne Click here to download the transcript as a PDF document



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