Music is not only for the ears. Throughout the history of art, musicians have been represented at play. The concept of musical harmony has also pervaded architecture since its origins. And music also influenced the development of colour theory, proportion and abstraction in art – not to mention the exquisite designs of musical instruments. This series will examine the evolving relationship between music and visual culture.
“Please convey my huge admiration and gratitude to Andrew for the lecture this week. It was fascinating, wide-ranging and so informative. Brilliant! I had no idea when I signed up for this course that the lectures would be so multi-faceted and would inform and guide us across the vast sweep of human history in a digestible way!”
09 Jan 2024 – Introduction, Origins and Medieval Music – The origins of harmony, and angelic music.
Representations of heavenly choirs in medieval art and architecture, and the development of exquisite music notation in medieval manuscripts.
16 Jan 2024 – Renaissance and Baroque Music
When Milan Cathedral was threatened with collapse, the city authorities consulted a composer of music. Why? New instruments were also invented. Renaissance lutes and harpsichords are a feast for the eyes, as well as the ears; and in the Baroque period, the ecstatic structures of Bach’s music pervaded the buildings in which it was played.
23 Jan 2024 – The Genius of the Piano
The piano is one of western civilisation’s great inventions. It completely changed the way we experience the world of feeling. And the painting, sculpture and decorative arts of the period sing too.
30 Jan 2024 – Classical and Romantic Music
Mozart and Beethoven are archetypes of genius that have inspired not only musicians but also painters and sculptors such as Gustav Klimt. This lecture will explore the relationship between the great classical and romantic composers and visual art. Like the painting of the period, the music of Chopin, Wagner and Mahler is pervaded by sonorous visions of love, longing, death and consummation.
06 Feb 2024 – Modernism and Music
The great and controversial composer Arnold Schonberg was a painter as well as a composer. Paul Klee, among many other artists, was a musician as a well as a painter. What was the connection between their music and their art?
13 Feb 2024 – Mechanical Music and Music-Making Machines: a revolution in the experience of art and music.
Most people hear music today in reproduction. But from piano rolls and gramophones to Spotify, music machines are not just for listening to; they also have an elaborate visual story.
20 Feb 2024 – Jazz and World Music: Miles Davis and John Coltrane
An explosion of sound and colour. From Mondrian to Basquiat, jazz also inspired unprecedented visual worlds.
27 Feb 2024 – Rock Music and Contemporary Music: the sky’s the limit!
The limits of the possible and beyond. From conceptual and electronic classical music to album covers and music videos, music in the last 50 years has been an unceasing kaleidoscope of visual ideas.