Censoring creativity from Plato to Bach

Wednesday 22 April 2015, 4.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Stephen Rose (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Plato banished poets from his ideal republic and argued that musical innovation would damage the social order. In 16th- and 17th-century Europe, Plato’s views inspired similar attacks on musical creativity: for instance, in 1580 the Elector of Saxony forbade church musicians from performing their own compositions in worship. Yet by 1680 many German musicians were expected to compose a new piece of church music for each Sunday. This talk examines 17th-century debates about how musical creativity affected social well-being, and asks why attitudes changed so dramatically in the period.

Location: I/D/003

Admission: All welcome