Series: Topics in the Aesthetics of Music and Sound

University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark






















All of the seminars are conducted in English.

All are welcome to the seminar series Topic in the Aesthetics of Music and Sound!







Please note that there also will be lunchtime concerts in Cafeteria 4 between 12 noon and 1 p.m. February 10,  March 17,, 2011), April 14 and April 28. Concert programs are available on


Thursday, April 28, 2011, 2:15 p.m. - 4 p.m. in U70. Guest lecture.


The Cultural, Aesthetic and Historical Significance of the Piano with Jan Beck Eriksson


Jan Beck Eriksson played a key role in the choice of the superb Steinway grand which has made the Lunchtime Concert series here at SDU possible. After the Lunchtime Concert during which he will be performing, Jan will be the speaker at the final seminar for the spring term in the series Topics in the Aesthetics of Music and Sound. The seminar will commence at 14:15 in U70 on April 28, 2011. Since the presentation deals with the cultural, aesthetic and historical significance of the piano, Jan will also present the seminar audience with a detailed examination of the Steinway grand, which will take place in Cafeteria 4 where the grand piano will be standing for a while after the concert for this purpose.


Thursday, April 28, 2011 is the final Lunchtime Concert  for the spring term and the tenth in the series since its premiere on April 29, 2010. We celebrate this anniversary with a Lunchtime Concert (see here) featuring Jan Beck Eriksson, prize-winning pianist (graduate of The Royal Danish Academy of Music). In true Lunchtime Concert tradition, Jan will offer a musical buffet of some of the best-loved music composed for the piano by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Sinding, Grieg and Gershwin.


From 1989 to the present day Jan Beck Eriksson has been affiliated with the piano merchandising firm Juhl-Sørensen A/S ( and is currently head of sales in the Copenhagen division. Through his work with Juhl-Sørensen A/S, which represents the piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons in Denmark and Sweden, Jan has become a well-known figure within the Nordic music milieu and is a regarded as specialist with respect to all aspects of the piano.


This seminar is co-organized with NTSMB: Netværk for Tværvidenskabelige Studier af Musik og Betydning/Network for Cross-Disciplinary Studies of Music and Meaning:






Downloadable poster/program in pdf-format here.



Thursday, April 14, 2011, 2:15 p.m. - 4 p.m. in U70. Guest lecture (via Skype)


Music, Logic and Language with Daniel Bonevac


Daniel Bonevac is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also Co-founder and Principle Advocate of BriefLogic. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, majored in philosophy at Haverford College, and got his MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, working primarily with Wilfrid SellarsGerald Massey, and Carl Hempel.


Professor Bonevac's research focuses on the intersection of metaphysics, philosophical logic, and ethics. His first book, Reduction in the Abstract Sciences, received the Johnsonian Prize from The Journal of Philosophy. He has written four other books-- DeductionThe Art and Science of LogicSimple Logic, and Worldly Wisdom-- and edited or co-edited four others-- Today's Moral IssuesBeyond the Western Tradition, Understanding Non-Western Philosophy, and Introduction to World Philosophy (the last three with Stephen Phillips). He is currently completing a book with Casey Jones, and is also writing a book on moral reasoning entitled Ways of the World.


Daniel Bonevac is also passionately interested in music and plays several instruments in addition to being an active ensemble singer. During today's seminar, the relationships (or lack thereof!) between music, language and logic will be explored and analyzed.


Seminar program/poster here.



Thursday, March 17, 2011, 2:15 p.m.- 4 p.m. in U70. Guest lecture (via Skype) 


Soul from Plato to Motown with Joel Rudinow, author of Soul Music: Tracking the Spiritual Roots of Pop from Plato to Motown (2010, The University of Michigan Press).


Soul music – a style of popular music that originated in America and flourished during the middle of the 20th century – combines African American gospel music with the blues - sources that are said and sincerely believed by many to be “spiritually incompatible.”  What does it mean for different styles of music – especially styles as closely and intimately related as gospel music and the blues - to be “spiritually at odds” with each other?  Can music have “spiritually therapeutic” effects? Can music have “spiritually toxic” effects? Exploring this labyrinthine nest of questions takes us into:


● Some of America’s most intriguing cultural history, deconstructing the mythology of the blues as the “devil’s music”;

● One of music theory’s deepest controversies: music’s mysterious capacity to move and direct emotional energy, apparently without rational mediation;

● An effort to recover and restore a body of ancient wisdom from Pre-Socratic Greek philosophy (Pythagorean tuning theory) as applied to a crucial and central element of blues tonality (the tritone – or “devil’s interval”), and in this connection, a re-examination of Platonic “formalism” and its limitations, and a re-appreciation of some crucial dimensions of Plato’s philosophy.

● Finally, at the heart of the labyrinth, a critical examination of clinical applications of music in medicine, which I argue are presently hampered by explanatory hypotheses too heavily invested in psychopharmacology, and would be better advanced by a shift of emphasis toward the metaphysics of energy.   


Joel Rudinow teaches philosophy and popular culture at Santa Rosa Junior College in northern California, where he also moonlights as a musician.  He is co-author of Invitation to Critical Thinking (now in its 6th edition) and Ethics and Values in the Information Age (both published by Wadsworth/Cengage).  His philosophical essays have appeared in Analysis, The British Journal of Aesthetics, Critical Inquiry, Educational Leadership, Ethics, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Philosophy and Literature, The Philosophical Quarterly, and Sophia.  His most recent book is entitled Soul Music: Tracking the Spiritual Roots of Pop from Plato to Motown, published by the University of Michigan Press.


Seminar program/poster available here.



Thursday, February 10, 2011, 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m. in U70.


Aspects of the Philosophy of Musical Performance - Panel Presentation and Discussion


Gustav Krogh Hansen Piekut, pianist. Please see HERE for the poster and program for Gustav's Lunchtime Concert 12 noon - 1:00 p.m.

William Westney,HCA Academy Guest Professorial Fellow SDU 2009-10, pianist – via Skype from Texas. Please see HERE for background on William Westney. 

Søren R. Frimodt-Møller , PhD Philosophy SDU 2010. Please see

Cynthia M. Grund, Associate Professor of Philosophy, SDU. Please see, moderator.


All four panelists are active as musical performers and are engaged in reflection about the practice of musical performance - and by the time of today's presentation and discussion, all will have given lunchtime concerts at SDU. (Please see HERE.)


The Lunchtime Concert at SDU is a radical recontextualiztion of the acoustic piano concert and piano ensemble concert. A Steinway grand piano is rolled into the midst of a university cafeteria at the busiest time of the day, and a full-blown concert is given. The atmosphere is as foreign to that of the conventional concert hall as can be imagined. (For those who speak Danish, it is instructive to watch the television documentary "Musik for folket/Music for the People" on SDU's lunchtime concert series which aired on November 22-29, 2010 on ALTV and is available HERE.) Today's lunchtime concert is the seventh which has been offered at SDU since April 2010. It has been interesting - and gratifying - to see how both performers and audience  react to this form of musical presentation.


The insights that may be gained from recontextualizing performance situations are among the topics dealt with as part of the field research that is currently taking place in the Nordic Network for the Integration of Music Informatics, Performance and Aesthetics – NNIMIPA – - which is headquartered at SDU, with Grund as its chief coordinator. The panelists will discuss and present aspects of this work during today's seminar.


Audience members who would like to prepare themselves for participation in today's discussion are also welcome to look at JMM: The Journal of Music and Meaning and, which is published at the Insitute of Philosophy, Education and the Study of Religions at SDU.


The poster for the seminar is available HERE.




Please see the following networks for additional information about activities within The Aesthetics of Music and Sound:    




JMM: The Journal of Music  and Meaning (Funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities.)






Nordic Network for the Integration of Music Informatics, Performance and Aesthetics  (originally supported by NORDPLUS and subsequently by NORDFORSK)






netværk for tværvidenskabelige studier af musik og betydning/

network for cross-disciplinary studies of music and meaning








Department for the
Study of Culture




Research Director for 

The Performances of

Everyday Living

Coordinator for

The Aesthetics of

Music and Sound


Editor and Webmaster for

Cynthia M. Grund





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The Aesthetics of Music and Sound -              

Cross-Disciplinary Interplay between the Humanities, Technology and Musical Practice 

Site of the SDU-IKV Research Program: The Performances of Everyday Living





Cross-Disciplinary Interplay between the

Humanities, Technology and Musical Practice