LIVE talk music / nature / science / history

[Translate to Englisch:] © Francis Barraud

[Translate to Englisch:] © Francis Barraud

Beginning 9th November 2020 a LIVE Talk will be held every Monday from 7 to 9 pm on the subjects of music, nature, science and history.  For this series experts in their respective fields will speak about a specific subject.

Music and the natural sciences are closely related in a great number of ways. Music can be explained by physics as an acoustic phenomenon, while in terms of biology parallels to animal calls and common evolutionary roots can be traced. For this reason it is not particularly surprising that the fields of musicology, physics and biology have frequently engaged in exchange with and mutually influenced one another. The event series focuses on the historical focal points of these interdisciplinary connections.

In the late 19th century such links became particularly evident in the research of the physiologist and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, who made essential contributions to the differentiation of acoustic phenomena and in the standardization of tonal systems based on natural properties. Beginning in 1800 terminology and methods in the study of acoustic phenomena were adapted from the realm of electrodynamics, which played a role in the development of broadcast and recording media technologies around the turn of the 20th century. Correlations can also be found between ornithology and the emerging discipline of comparative musicology, for example when in 1900 questions from the field of evolutionary biology were connected to musicological theories.

What all these developments have in common is that they are closely tied to the institutional demarcation and positioning of the field of musicology in the university landscape. Yet these historical processes of exchange have in no way, shape or form reached a conclusion. At present biological phenomena have come to influence the practice and theory of composition both in the form of specific sounds and through metaphors. At the same time the aesthetic properties of scientific data are now part of the discussion in the natural sciences.

Date: Introductory event on November 9th, 2020, confidential until February 22nd, 2021, Mondays 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Event format: live talk
Registration: You will receive access data after registering at christina.doerfling(at)