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The Representation of Madness in Western Art Music

The Representation of Madness in Western Art Music
14th Floor Classroom Mount Sinai Hospital
Time: Mar 20th, 12:00 pm End: Mar 4th, 1:30 pm
Interest Categories: Women/Gender, Sociology (FAS), Music, Faculty of , Humanities, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), English (UTSC), English (FAS), Arts, Culture and Media (UTSC), 2000-, 1950-2000, 1900-1950, 1800-1900, 1500-1800, 1200-1500
A Health, Arts & Humanities Program lunch-and-learn with Professor Andrew Hughes.

The  University of Toronto's Health Arts and Humanities present:

Professor Andrew Hughes.

The Representation of Madness in Western Art Music

Abstract: This talk will consist of about 30 minutes of talking interspersed with some 40 slides of musical scores, most of which are accompanied by the music, and occasionally movie clips of operas.  For those who do not read musical scores readily, there will be verbal explanations and plenty of visual pointers.

Prof. Hughes’ catalogue of musical pieces with mad scenes or backgrounds contains some 60 major works, far too many to discuss in the present circumstances.

First, there will be some general comments, and a brief résumé of mental and social afflictions and the mad characters depicted in music: occasionally, specific illnesses are obvious and well documented in the libretto or stage effects or in the context of the piece, with appropriate musical features.  A few relatively obvious musical techniques come next.  Then, skipping the earlier periods of music history, the Middle Ages and Renaissance, we will proceed generally chronologically, with excerpts from a few of the most important works from the 17th to the 20th centuries, a few of which should be familiar.

Professor Emeritus Andrew Hughes is an Oxford undergraduate and graduate. He holds positions in Queen's University, Belfast; University of Illinois at Urbana; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Toronto, where he was appointed to the Faculty of Music and Centre for Medieval Studies. 

Fellow of Trinity College, Toronto, and Corpus Christi, Cambridge: past President of the Mediaeval Academy of America. His specialty is the liturgy, chant, poetry, and manuscripts of the Middle Ages. A more or less fortuitous circumstance aroused his interest in medicine, from which followed a fascination with the topic of madness in music, a subject about which there is very little literature.

Guggenheim, Connaught, and Killam Fellowships, and recipient of numerous grants form SSHRC and elsewhere. He has published a dozen books, some in multiple volumes, numerous articles, and is a frequent speaker at conferences.

Please RSVP for this event by contacting wsmid@mtsinai.on.ca. 

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