Philosophy and Music

how it moves us,
why it matters.

Lectures for those who want to deepen their understanding of music and cultural history. With many images and music examples.

Humans have been making music for at least 40.000 years. Long before they started to plant crops there was something as wondrously elusive as sounds which make us move, which touch us emotionally and give us inspiration.

Culture changes rapidly, but the human brain has changed little since the Stone Age. With those same brains we now drive our car, watch TV and listen to rock or Mozart. How did music change during all those centuries? Do we miss something when we listen to Mozart with modern ears? And why do we listen?

Typically questions that don’t admit of an easy answer. But the attempt to answer them may produce fascinating insights into what distinguishes humans from animals, what human cultures have in common, and how they differ.

1. Music and Language

Music and language have a lot in common. Singing usually involves words. What does music do to a text, what does the text do to music? Is music itself a kind of language – “the language of feeling”? Does music have its origin in language, or the other way round?

2. Music and Emotion

Emotion, motion, movement — how do they relate, and how are they present in music?

3. Music and the Imagination

What do we think of while listening to music? Is it an imaginative experience, like reading a poem, or watching a movie? How do visual and auditory imagination interact?

Monday 6, 13, 20 March 2017, 20:00
Koorenhuis, Prinsegracht 27, Den Haag
Subscription:  € 40 for three lectures, € 15 for individual lectures.
Subscription before 24 February.
Subscription/information: send an email or use the contact form.

This course or individual lectures may be organized on request.

This is the English language version of the lecture series Filosofisch luisteren.

Filosofisch Luisteren is a project of Lodewijk Muns, musicologist, musician and author.