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Faculty of Music


Does Music Speak the Truth?

The ways in which we listen to art music – silently, attentively, hopefully – point towards a common belief that music can provide access to unspeakable truth. There are, on this picture, some truths that are simply too profound to be put into words, but to which we can nonetheless gain access through the musical masterworks of great composers.

Set against millennia of music history, however, such a belief is relatively new, emerging only in the years around 1800. In this talk, Tomas McAuley, investigates the origins of this idea, and asks just how plausible it really is. Are we right to think that music can provide access to unspeakable truth? And if music can provide access to such truth, is art music really the best place to turn? The talk is illuminated by musical examples taken from the work of Beethoven and Christina Perri.

TICKETS: Free. Tickets available from T: 01223 766 766; W:

Thursday, 26 October, 2017 - 18:00 to 19:30
Event location: 
6.00pm, Lecture Room 2, Faculty of Music