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Words and Music: Listening to Song (2 of 2 events)

A Dialogue between Disciplines. Chair: Terence Cave (European Literature, Oxford)

The complex relations between music and language have been explored by poets, musicians, musicologists, literary critics and historians, psychologists, neuroscientists and many others across the disciplines. Thinking about the interaction betwen words and music in vocal music, and about the ways in which their joint effect is perceived by listeners and performers, may help us better to understand the differences and similarities, the compatibilities and incompatibilities, of these two fundamental forms of human expression and communication.

The two half-day sessions of the seminar “Words and Music” will set up a dialogue between speakers specialising in different aspects of this question, including a musicologist, an audio scientist, a practising poet, a composer, and literary specialists. For a programme please visit our website http://harcrhul.wordpress.com or email our HARC administrator Zara Naghizadeh harc@rhul.ac.uk

The discussions in both sessions will thus be cross-disciplinary. The issues they will explore bear on fundamental questions such as interpretation, aesthetic form and the way it is experienced, cognitive processes and strategies, and the nature of communication. We hope that our audience will represent a wide range of disciplines, including literary studies, musicology, cultural studies, philosophy, psychology, cognitive science and related subjects, and that it will make an important contribution to our discussions. In order to achieve this aim, the numbers of those attending will be limited and advance registration will be required. Please register by emailing harc@rhul.ac.uk

First session: Wednesday 24 February

1.45 Opening remarks (AK) and Introductory presentation (TC)

2.15 Daniel Leech-Wilkinson (Musicology, King’s College London)

” The construction of meaning from song performances: resemblance and style”

2.45 Jane Ginsborg (Psychology, Royal Northern College of Music)

“Hearing, understanding and remembering the words and melodies of songs”

3.15 David Howard (Audio Laboratory, University of York)

“Hearing words from a singer and staying in tune as a singing group”

3.45 Tea/coffee break

4.15 Responses: Elaine McGirr (English, RHUL), Andrew Bowie (Philosophy and German, RHUL)

4.45-5.45 General discussion, with panel of speaker and respondents

6.00-7.00 Reception with musical interludes

Second session: Wednesday 3 March 2009

2.00 Opening remarks (AC, TC)

2.15 Jo Shapcott (poet, RHUL) and John Woolrich (composer) in conversation

3.15 David Owen Norris (Musical Performance, University of Southampton)

“Parallel Universes”

3.45 Tea/coffee break

4.15 Responses: Ewan Fernie (English, RHUL), Ahuvia Kahane (Classics, RHUL)

4.45-5.45 General discussion, with panel of speakers and respondents

6.00 Reception with musical interludes


Professor Terence Cave | talks | www
Dr Ewan Fernie | talks | www
Professor Ahuvia Kahane | talks | www
Professor Andrew Bowie | talks | www
Jo Shapcott | talks | www
Dr Jane Ginsborg | talks | www
David Owen Norris | talks | www
Dr Elaine McGirr | talks | www
Professor David Howard | talks | www
John Woolrich | talks | www
Daniel Leech-Wilkinson | talks | www


Date and Time:

3 March 2010 at 1:00 pm


Half Day



Humanities and Arts Research Centre
Royal Holloway, University of London
TW20 0EX
01784 276238

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£8 for one day, £12 for two days

Available from:

The HARC administrator Zara Naghizadeh: harc@rhul.ac.uk

Additional Information:

For further information please visit our website: http://harcrhul.wordpress.com or email us: harc@rhul.ac.uk

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