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Music and Nature: How Closely Are They Related?

Music and Nature

Days are gone when we were accustomed to the sounds from forests than the ear bud and on a positive note, the dome of stars in the sky than the tones from our cell phone, music, and nature which cohabited without difficulty. Vestigial proof of humankind in nature made it through the concert hall regime: horn call from Brahams, bubbling streams in Schubert songs, and the murmurs from Dvorak and Wagner.

Could you tell how our relationship with nature and music evolved? And how did composers and others respond in 19th century to the emerging revolution in industries? Emily Dolan, a musicologist sets up discussion tonight at a lecture entitled “Instruments and Order: In Search of Nature Music” beginning at 6 p.m. held at Wagner Institute of Science.  In the company of recordings and video clips, Dolan focuses in to musical instruments that were built up – and have gradually disappeared – that were made in a way to ape life.

Dolan, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said that music and nature have always been very closely arranged, adding that the alignment has interestingly changed from one era to another. She acknowledged that during the 18th century, there were paradoxical shifts with most of musical instruments seeming to people like the nature’s voice.

Which instruments were being referred to? They included the glass harmonica which was created by Benjamin Franklin and its likes. Mozart wrote down about the instrument.  She also brought with her an imitation of the instrument known as Cristal Baschet, a modern instrument of chromatically tuned glass rods.  She will also display E.T.A. Hoffman, had something to contribute (like he always do in other subjects. In an effort to control nature, she said that it was part of what was going on, which automatically happens in other cultures.

She noted that what was there during the 18th century is the move through new technologies to a music of nature – to move on to an English garden and enjoy as the Aelion harp plays, adding that perhaps that is the sound of nature.

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