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Music and Matter - Musical Matter – Music Matters, Remarks on a Multi – Related Term

28 August 2019


Music and Matter are seemingly self-evident concepts and yet they contain multitudes. In this keynote address, I will bring different approaches to these concepts to the surface within a broad context. While I will draw on examples that stem from my work in South-East Asia, my aim is to take a global perspective. 

In the first part of my talk, I will speak about the fact at hand—namely that ”music matters” in the sense that it plays essential roles in our lives. In the second part, I will draw on examples from the music of Debussy and Schnittke, Balinese music and national anthems to question whether musical matter is infused with special meaning and if so, how. 

To what extent are such meanings due to culturally immanent criteria? To what extent are they transcultural, or even global? While a comprehensive answer to this question may ultimately not be possible, it is nevertheless fruitful to delve together into this rich and almost limitless topic.

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