Sunday, May 12, 2013

Judit Frigyesi on The Paradox of Classical Music

One of the best things about NYUAD's public programs is their inclusion of theater and music. This weekend, we had Judit Frigyesi, a professor of music at Bar Ilan University, visiting to talk about the "paradox" of (Western) Classical Music.

I was not quite expecting it, but there was a baby grand on the stage, which she used to demonstrate various tones, flows and "cliches" that are used to elicit abstract images in the mind of the listener, and dissect musical pieces into their component images. She described classical music as storytelling, albeit one not limited by text, and how this kind of storytelling is not encouraged by today's culture.

A lot of interesting topics were brought up during the Q&A, including composers' perceptions of the images in their own music, the role of silence in classical music performances, and the role of culture and context in how different kinds of classical music are received.

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