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Wednesday, 10 May 2017, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

What is Noise? Beauty and Taste in 20th Century Music

Dr Toby Young

Download the lecture video here

Since the premiere of John Cage’s infamous ‘silent’ work 4’33”, scholars have been fascinated by the question of what noise is, how it differs from music, and whether it can ever be beautiful. Drawing on ideas from musicology and philosophy, this lecture will explore these questions, examining our changing understandings of noise and taste in relation to the shifting socio-political landscape of the 20th century. Ultimately it will seek to question how we experience music in the present day, and discuss whether artistic beauty still has a place at all.


No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.
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Dr Young is a Non-Stipendiary Lecturer in Music and Philosophy. He is a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol (faculty of philosophy) and Visiting Fellow at Cornell University (faculty of music).

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10 May 2017

What is Noise? Beauty and Taste in 20th Century Music
Dr Toby Young

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